As the West continues to be burdened by economic downturns and sluggish growth, progress in emerging markets such as China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa is expected to continue moving forward throughout 2013.
Add this to the exponential increase in internet usage within these up and coming markets (the number of Arabic internet users, for example, increased by 2,500 percent between 2010 and 2011), and one realizes that the need for localization within information technology, whether it be a software program or a website, has never been greater.
In fact, from a business perspective, conducting the necessary research to effectively translate and localize a company website can present one of the fastest and most effective returns on investment in this day and age.
Take Wiggle, a British company that caters to cycling and triathlon enthusiasts, based in the English seaside town of Portsmouth. Its website was optimized into nine languages besides English, and the company now ships bicycles and accessories to more than 70 countries, accounting for half of its £100m annual turnover.
SKINS claims to produce the world’s most advanced range of sports compression wear for both performance and recovery. Founded in Australia, the company now has offices the world over. In November 2010, Skins aimed to increase its non-English speaking customer base by implementing a website optimization strategy in numerous languages and applying a multi-lingual email marketing campaign. The result was a 610 percent return on investment and a 533 percent increase in organic site traffic via multi-region on-site and off-site search engine optimization.
The Time is Now
Now, perhaps more than ever, economic growth in developing economies and the increasing diversity of languages spoken online mean that there is an increasing need for companies to effectively engage and communicate to a consumer base that is widely expanding.
Thanks to the internet, no matter the size of your company, conducting business on a global level is easier than ever before and no longer a widely expensive process. Why invest heavily in overseas offices, sales conferences, and trade missions, when a well-optimized and multi-lingual website can have almost the same effect.
The advantages for businesses implementing website and software localization have never been greater, thanks to unprecedented access to a worldwide consumer base, matched by unprecedented demand. All companies need is a vision and to know is how to effectively approach their future customers.
This post was written by the people behind Today Translations, a London-based translation company specializing in language strategy and dedicated to giving businesses a global presence. Today Translations provides professional translation, interpreting, and localization services in more than 160 languages.