The startup world is an exciting place to be. Inspired by innovation, driven by values, and determined to make the world a better place, startups are primed for success. But there’s more to winning loyal customers and securing a meaningful market share than a good idea. Strategy is integral from day one and matters even more when the time comes to expand into global markets.
In today’s increasingly internationally connected world, business is not restricted by geography. Savvy shoppers, businesses, and enterprises are seeking not just the most convenient solutions but the best – regardless of where in the world they come from.
To ensure your startup survives long-term, international expansion is a must, and that means your product or service – and every associated touchpoint – must be tweaked and tailored to meet the distinct language, cultural, and societal expectations.
That’s where localization comes into play. Localization goes beyond the simple translation of your text. It ensures every aspect of your startup’s offering is geared toward delivering a seamless customer experience. It is key to unlocking success as you prepare your startup to expand into international markets. It’s not always an easy process (here you can find out more about that), but it’s one that is for sure worth it.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of localization
Fewer barriers to entry
Even if your startup is in its early days, investing time and thought into localization now will make entering new markets significantly easier when the time eventually comes. Small tweaks to your app’s code, your website’s layout, and your email setup can open the doors to international expansion. Even minor changes to your word choice can make localization easier – for example, you might limit your use of region-specific cultural references and idioms.
In addition, you may want to set aside financial resources to fund high-quality localization. Budget is often a sticking point for startups, so the more time you have to prepare for the expense, the better equipped you’ll be when you’re ready to pull the trigger.
Basically – it’s better to be as prepared as possible. Preparation is the key to success.
Rank higher in international search results
One for the digital marketers and SEO-wizzes. Localizing your website or app does more than help audiences feel comfortable and confident buying your product. It ensures they find it in the first place. Without localization, your website or app cannot compete for the coveted top spots on Google, Bing, the Apple App Store, Google Play, and other search engines and app stores. That means fewer visitors, fewer conversions, and ultimately a lower bottom line.
So, how does localization help you rank higher in regional search results? For one, a localized website will contain the keywords your target audience is searching for. This extends beyond simple translation – even in English, different countries and regions use different words for the same thing. The British call sweaters jumpers, washcloths flannels, band-aids plasters, and sneakers trainers. Moreover, Google continues to dominate the world of search engines in most countries, but not all. If you are targeting the Chinese market, you’ll want to adhere to Baidu’s algorithms.
Avoid an embarrassing or even devastating cultural faux pas
If you commit a cultural faux pas, your brand’s reputation may never recover. Unfortunately, these blunders are often hidden in plain sight in your copy, color choice, and graphics. Even something as seemingly innocent as a thumbs-up gesture may elicit anger. Proper localization executed by a team of specialists can ensure your startup avoids embarrassment, humiliation, and, worst-case scenario, immediate failure.
Build customer loyalty
Communicating with your audience in their language is the bare minimum when expanding into international markets. To truly win their trust and loyalty, you need to make their experience as effortless as possible. That means listing your products in the local currency, using the correct symbols and units of measurement and sharing stories that resonate with daily cultural norms.
Win more business
If your goal is to grow sustainably, localization is one piece of your success puzzle. The combined effect of the above benefits is simple: you win more business.
Globalization has made the world a smaller place. Consumers and corporates alike seek solutions to their problems from all corners of the globe. Startups are not confined to their local market. The precedent has been set, and the doors are wide open for international expansion and greater revenue opportunities – as long as you make the right strategic decisions along the way.
The importance of localization isn’t guesswork. You don’t even have to take our word for it, the stats connecting localization to a boost in profit are undeniable:
- 75% prefer to buy products in their native language.
- 40% of online consumers will never purchase from a website in a language other than their native language.
- 70% of top markets by iOS downloads are non-native English markets. For Google Play downloads, that figure is 90%.
- Three in four online shoppers are more likely to make a repeat purchase if aftersales care is in their native language.
- Content that is locally targeted has six times more engagement than content designed to appeal to the global market.
Expanding into global markets is a huge step toward growth and success, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Localization is the key to unlocking maximum ROI and winning the business of international customers.
It’s a harsh reality, but most startups fail in their own country. Internationally, the road to sustainable growth is even more challenging. By making strategic decisions now, your startup will be better prepared to launch in overseas markets.
Localization is vital to this process. It goes beyond translating your content and focuses on winning the trust and respect of your new audience. So, get in touch with the friendly team at Commit Global today. The team is ready to help your startup launch in a new market – wherever that might be in the world. Their tailored localization strategy gives your brand the competitive edge it needs to thrive.
What to learn more about startup localization? Then download Commit Global’s ebook “Localization 101 for Startups: How to Create a Global Business” for free.