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Marketers work hard to ensure that their products are easy to understand and accessible. Designers work hard to make websites as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Formatting efforts carefully measure the effects of using one font versus another. All of these elements combine to create a hopefully flawless experience for the user. If the designing of a website or application is done correctly, it can inspire potential clients to revisit them and create positive associations with the company in their brains. 

However, often, these elements don’t account for translation. Some may be surprised to learn that translating words into another language isn’t always enough to fully convey an experience to another culture. There are many more details that need to be addressed. Software localization is adapting your software to both the written language and the culture of your target audience. It can affect formatting, pictures, dates and times, spelling, and even calendars. While software localization may not seem very useful at first glance, it has many benefits that can help bring a company to new audiences and wider clientele. 

Advantages of software localization 

As companies localize their software, they automatically widen their outreach. If done correctly, localization ensures that customers can fully understand and interact with the software regardless of if the product was originally produced in their language. This will increase a company’s credibility on an international scale. It will also strengthen their position in the global market. 

Without the language and cultural barriers causing frustrations and misunderstandings, customers will be able to use all aspects of the software. Instead of only being able to grasp the most basic commands such as “open” or “save”, they will be able to understand complex instructions. They can troubleshoot problems themselves. They can access all the benefits the software has to offer. Once they understand the full potential of a program, they are more likely to recommend programs to friends, family members, or coworkers. 

This has dual benefits. First, it will allow your product to become more widespread within a foreign market. Second, it will reduce support costs. Currently, companies must dedicate lots of time to dealing with customer questions and concerns. Chat and call features are available to assist customers with issues they may encounter. Good localization means that foreign users will be able to better understand the products themselves. They will not need as much help from technical experts. As a result, the support costs of a company can be lower. 

Additionally, localizing software to function within other cultures can set your product apart from competitors. Today’s world is full of fast-paced races to obtain clients. By tailoring your product for another culture, you can quickly attract a new market in a space that may not have much competition. Users will flock to a program designed for their own cultural boundaries instead of an unlocalized product that they only partially understand. 

Localization in this way can help to build trust and loyalty between a company and its clients. In ensuring that localized software is free of spelling errors, clunky formatting, or other readability issues, potential clients will trust that the company can produce quality products in their native language. A company’s clientele will grow as customers return for the next product, already reassured that the company is capable of localizing to suit their unique needs. 

Why is localization important? 

In addition to the various advantages it allows, software localization helps to create a worldwide culture of inclusion and unity. Through localization, companies can build positive relationships with cultures that they would have been unable to connect with otherwise. It also demonstrates to other cultures that a company cares about its people. In this way, it gives a company a chance to reach a wider audience. If a company wants to grow on a global scale, its platform must be accessible in different languages. 

Additionally, localization helps to increase the click-through rate. If users see a website that is formatted in a familiar way and uses customs or images from their own culture, they are more likely to stay on that website and see what it has to offer. If a website includes unfamiliar elements, even if it is in their native language, they are more likely to click away. Most people have had an experience where they click on a website only to realize that the formatting is clunky, old-fashioned, and unpleasant to look at. Marketing attempts on websites like this are ineffective. Localization helps so that customers don’t get scared away. 

Software localization is also important because it can be applied to all kinds of industries. From social media websites to banking software, or even gaming apps for mobile phones, localization can always help a product reach more potential users. Localization isn’t even limited to being used during translation. It can be utilized to make content more accessible for people who speak the same language but live in different countries. For example, localization can help bridge the gap between English speakers in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Vocabulary and spelling differences between these dialects might confuse some readers, but localization makes the necessary adjustments so that the content is familiar to each specific group. 

The Importance of Localization for Global Success

The global market is filled with opportunities. However, only about 360 million people out of 8 billion people are native English speakers. Without localization, companies will be unable to reach the majority of people in the world. Other languages with large numbers of native speakers include Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, and Bengali. Each of these languages, as well as the hundreds that are not included here, represent a culture of people who could benefit from emerging software programs. The only wall standing in their way is the language barrier and the need for localization. 

Many large companies have already embraced localization. Huge brands such as Airbnb, Netflix, Slack, and Tinder have already adjusted their websites and additional software according to location. They use different marketing strategies, images, and content in order to tailor content for each region. Thanks to the efforts of localization, these companies are growing at an exponential rate. They produce content that feels familiar and easy to use regardless of a potential customer’s native language. They strive to prevent missing out on good opportunities due to miscommunication and build excellent relationships with foreign markets. 

As localization becomes a more popular decision, companies will expand. They will build a bigger clientele. They will also gain access to additional opportunities that wouldn’t have been available to them otherwise. Localization is the next step in leading companies toward international success. 

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