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Is your website speaking the right languages?

Tags: language

The internet and technology are helping brands reach anyone at anytime and anywhere. The business world has become a place with no territorial barriers. If an e-commerce business or an app producer play it smart, they can succeed globally. However, they have a big obstacle to face: the linguistic one. English remains the most widely Language used online, but internet users are no longer surfing websites written only in English. Research shows that people who speak English as a second language prefer to make purchases and read articles in their native language. Many businesses that target the international market do not understand that if their website only uses English they will only speak to a limited slice of their potential customers. Translation and localisation are the key factors in reaching a global audience in the online world. You should think about adapting your website to meet the tastes and needs of a single market. This phase of your internationalisation strategy is very delicate, as you may waste time and money localising your materials for languages and countries where audiences may not be interested in your products or services. So the question is, which languages should your website speak? As TeleCrunch stated in one of its studies, in 2020 a business will need to localise its website in 48 languages to reach 90% of global audiences. However, many companies speak fewer than ten languages. These figures highlight a key fact: localisation is effective if you target the right audiences, the ones interested in your products or services. A business should decide which languages and markets to target according to market research and traffic data available on Google Analytics. The attempt to reach as large a target group as possible is not worthwhile and it is the least effective method for with the process of internationalisation. Here are two factors to determine which languages could be the most profitable in the e-commerce sector: The top ten languages used on the internet:
  1. English
  2. Chinese
  3. Japanese
  4. Spanish
  5. German
  6. French
  7. Korean
  8. Portuguese
  9. Italian
  10. Russian
The top ten e-commerce countries based on global retail e-commerce:
  1. China
  2. Japan
  3. US
  4. UK
  5. South Korea
  6. Germany
  7. France
  8. Brazil
  9. Australia
  10. Canada
However, our advice is to take into consideration the culture and shopping habits of a market and determine if it makes sense for you to localise your website and products in that area. In order to clarify this concept, you should have a look at the localisation choices of companies in TeleCrunch’s study. Chinese should be one of the first choices of languages, considering the two factors above, but, in reality, only twelve companies among the companies taken in consideration by the study speak it. This choice is due to many factors, but the main one is the fact that Chinese users prefer local platforms and products manufactured by local businesses. Localisation choices are the crossroad between success and failure in the global market. It is important not to act on unrealistic expansionist aims, but concentrate all your efforts on markets in which you know your products and services will succeed. Still not sure which languages are the best options for your website? Contact us today at [email protected] and our team will be glad to help you.

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