Localization has become a popular tool of adaptability for business, and by the looks, the aspect is here to stay. With the growth of the internet, e-commerce, and international branding, companies today do not have any restrictions. Brands of one country now spend vast resources to market their product in other localities. However, if the imagery or marketing methods do not comply with the targeted audience, the whole effort goes to waste. That is when the need for software localization arises so that the business can expand into global markets.
Now let us discuss what software localization is. It is the procedure of translating computer software to different locale languages. The translation will adapt to the locale’s legal requirements, incorporating the customs, jargon, and colloquial words used in that region.
With a designer’s skills and expertise, the software looks like designed in the user’s own country. Software localization is a term significantly different from internationalization. The latter term refers to the development of software content to localize itself for the targeted audience. Rather than coding each language, internationalization replaces codes to adapt each language without engineering any change. Software developers carry out internationalization, while localization is the work of translators. Software localization requires you to internationalize it first so it can quickly adapt to different languages or regions.
Why Is It Important For Businesses?
Every business knows the importance of localization to enter and remain in the global market. Many companies want to sell their product in the worldwide market, and for that, they need to adapt their cultural and linguistic norms or else lose their customers. Globalization has encouraged people to make their products and services available in other parts of the world. In this way, software localization becomes an all-important aspect for every business willing to take their operations global. Focusing on only one segment limits your business’s potential and loses potential growth and expansion opportunities.
Localization includes the following aspects of a locale language:
- Links and other resources
- Accounting standards and calendars
- Signage, hand gestures, or symbols
- Culturally appropriate imagery
- Left to right languages
- Spelling and phrasing
Benefits Of Software Localization
Businesses and companies consider software localization for the following reasons:
• A Large Population to Target
Just an idea of contemplating a global audience is enough to make anybody’s head spin. As globalization has increased, the number of online subscribers has also risen. Currently counting to over 3 billion, there is much-untapped potential present in the market to target. The burgeoning number of mobile phone users means almost half of the world’s population has access to the internet. With the right language and regional dialect, you can target them using the right platform.
• It Helps Increasing CTE (Click Through Rate)
Suppose you come across a foreign platform that you see fit for your e-commerce business. However, you will likely use a translator like Google Translate since you do not speak that language. Chances of you leaving the site are likely as you do not understand the language. The same case of CTR happens if some non-native visits an English site. They feel confused and leave the site without browsing. Software localization helps you bring those customers by adapting their language and regional norms. They understand the content of your website, which increases CTR chances.
• Increased Sales
Since the chances of CTR increase through software localization, the cases of potential sales also rise. The more people browse your website, the more interested they become and deals potential increases. That is because a buyer will always trust a product or service displayed in their native language. For some buyers, the information in their native language is more important than the product itself. In short, your revenues grow as you engage with your customers efficiently.
• Enhances User Experience
Some business owners think that localization of content is necessary compared to software. They fail to realize that localization of both content and software is vital to give the best user experience. Translating content will only improve SEO rankings, but it will not affect user experience. However, translating CTR buttons, subscribe icon, menu, and other user interface elements drastically increase user experience. Users will possibly spend more time on your website and browse thoroughly to purchase your product or service.
Seven Steps of Software Localization
Step 1: Market Research
Before trying to reach a new market and set your localization strategy, initial market research is necessary. Researching is the only way that points to potential success in a target market. Once you have understood the demographics and preferences of a new market, this is where you localize your software. Continue with the research to seek new strategies to implement and increase sales potential.
Step 2: Know The Market
During researching, it makes sense to use the language variant for the targeted market. Besides language, you have to understand cultural aspects in regards to color and symbols. You conduct these activities to understand the norms and values of the market you are about to target. That way, you will deliver a positive message to your audience and successfully capture the market globally.
Step 3: Ask For Advice
You can take advice from various sources like business blogs, conferences, peers, and others to make your research more specific. Ask an expert for some professional advice on how to tap your target market. Most businesses willingly share their experiences, which will help you understand the new market’s pitfalls and hurdles. Note down these points and devise the strategy accordingly.
Step 4: Prioritizing Translation
The next step is to prioritize the content needed for translation. You do not have to run localization on everything at once. Take gradual steps in localizing where everything works in synchronization. Long term and successful localization strategy have everything working together according to new market regulations. Weave the idea of globalization by thinking global but acting local.
Step 5: Review Of Translation For Errors
For the successful implementation of a software localization strategy, translating is one part of the process. You need to do regular reviews and find out any errors in localized content or interface. You cannot get everything right the first time, so regular checks will help you sort out the mistakes better.
Step 6: Place Translated Files In Code Structure
Once you have translation covered according to the target market, integrate those files into your software code structure. When implemented, the software will automatically translate everything according to the language of the visitor.
Step 7: Build, Compile And Test
Once you have initial success with the market, build your strategy, compile the success factors, and test your plan. If the project succeeds, you have an idea about implementing those steps in other markets. The key here is to build, compile, and test according to your research and demographics of a targeted audience.
Successful software localization requires commitment from everyone involved in the process. Assigning one person to take care of the task will not work out. As a business owner, you need to implement a successful strategy and target the audience accordingly. Software localization is a means to make your customers feel welcomed and comfortable according to their preferences. You can increase revenue drastically using a thoroughly planned localization strategy.