Technology has made international commerce more agile than ever before. An event planner in Atlanta can easily order wine from a vineyard in Italy and have it shipped to a conference in London. An auto mechanic in Switzerland can order parts from a manufacturer in Mexico and have them sent to Toronto. These transactions and many more like them, were once complex logistical challenges but now can be handled in just a few clicks on a website. Many businesses have invested the resources to make international business as seamless as technology permits, but for many, one major challenge remains: Language.
Many businesses have websites in their native language only, usually English. While there maybe hundreds of millions of consumers who are fluent and comfortable speaking English, there are billions who are not. To many of those consumers, accessing product information in their native language is extremely important. In fact, almost 60% of internet users have reported that having content in their native language is more important in their online purchasing decisions than price. This should be alarming to companies trying to reach international customers online, but lack translated content.
In order to begin doing business effectively with people who speak other languages, a company must localize their website content. This involves several steps including identifying and prioritizing content and messaging for translation, engaging a translations vendor, validating the translations for culture, and implementing approved localized content. These steps can be intimidating, but are essential to success in other regions. If you’re an English speaker, think about how intimidating doing business with a company whose website is only in German. Would you trust them? Do you think you could order a product or service on your own and get exactly what you had in mind? Could you get answers to your questions before you buy? If your answers are “no” to any or all of those questions, you can probably understand what might be intimidating to international audiences trying to do business with companies online in other languages. It isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are lots of companies that specialize in the translation of digital content. They can help your business successfully take your content from your native languages and make it useable to your customers who speak other languages.