Top Benefits of Localization in 2024

Businesses are continuously seeking ways to grow their reach and connect with global audiences. A recent study revealed that 72.1% of customers spend most or all of their time on websites in their preferred language, highlighting the critical importance of effective localization. Localization refers to the comprehensive process of adapting products, services, and content to meet the specific cultural and linguistic requirements of target markets.

This comprehensive approach goes beyond simple translation, integrating an in-depth understanding of customs, preferences, and cultural differences and norms. Expanding into international markets presents businesses with many opportunities, including access to larger customer bases, diversified revenue streams, and reduced reliance on a single market. By leveraging localization tools, businesses can effectively address international customers’ linguistic and cultural preferences, enhancing user experience and driving customer engagement.

In this blog, we’ll explore the myriad benefits of localization, from boosting market penetration to strengthening brand loyalty. We’ll delve into how businesses can navigate the complexities of different markets, ensuring their products and services are not just available but also appealing and relevant to a global audience.

Table of Contents

What is the Localization Process, and Why is it Important?

In the words of Giulia Tarditi, Head of Global Experience at Qualtrics, a pioneer management software provider, “Localization is the lesser-known sister of customer experience.”

Localization is a strategic imperative for businesses seeking to thrive in global markets. It involves tailoring content, products, and services to meet the linguistic, cultural, and functional expectations of your niche market. This approach significantly contributes to breaking down language barriers that hinder business growth. The localization process mainly involves identifying the target market, extracting translatable content, and altering text and multimedia components. These changes can then be incorporated into software or other products, and rigorous tests can be undertaken to confirm linguistic and functional accuracy.

The software localization market worldwide was valued at USD 5.9 billion in 2022 and is estimated to hit USD 5.6 billion by 2032, exhibiting a notable CAGR of 10.6% from 2023 to 2032. This substantial growth underscores the growing significance of localization in a global landscape. 

Take, for instance, Starbucks in Japan. The global coffeehouse chain has kicked off its Japan Wonder Project with a new Frappuccino featuring an exceptional kind of hojicha (roasted green tea) called the Kaga Bo Hojicha (Kaga Stick Roasted Tea). They focus on creating interest in local Japanese culture by providing customers an easy way to enjoy the special variety of traditional Japanese ingredients in their Starbucks beverages.

The initiative underscores the company’s devotion to delivering an experience adapted to the local market, customs, and preferences. Cases like these have proven the utmost significance of localization for your marketing success.

Developing an appropriate localization strategy is critical when preparing for expansion into new markets. Incorporating language translation, cultural message matching, image appropriateness, process definition, and regulatory compliance are crucial elements of developing a successful localization strategy. 

Once the strategy is established, the localization procedure becomes predictable and repeatable, enabling continuous and measurable growth.

Localization Benefits

Localization offers multiple advantages that can considerably impact businesses operating in international markets. Let’s delve deeper into these benefits:

  1. Enhanced User Experience and Outreach: Customers’ daily lives are influenced by how they interact with their favorite social media platforms, mobile applications, sites, and more. Content localization plays a pivotal role in confirming that your web presence is accessible in multiple languages across all these channels, letting your company reach a broader audience. This comprehensive approach enhances a positive user experience for global consumers, fostering trust in your brand. 

    The significance of user experience is also demonstrated in the statistics that revealed that 74 percent of customers can switch brands if the procurement process is too problematic for them. Besides, 32 percent of customers abandon their favorite brand after just one poor customer experience. Therefore, a positive user experience has a direct impact on key performance indicators like engagement rates, sales conversion rates, and bounce rates.

    Localization guarantees that products and services are customized to meet the user’s unique requirements and preferences, culminating in a smoother, more satisfying experience.

    For instance, Netflix employs localization tactics by delivering content in numerous languages and offering region-specific suggestions tailored to individual user viewing patterns. This approach enhances user satisfaction and encourages continued engagement with the platform. 

  2. Increased Accessibility: Localization also plays a significant role in improving accessibility for diverse audiences worldwide. Businesses can use localization techniques to ensure that their mobile applications and websites comply with accessibility standards, such as providing captions for videos and alt text for images. By localizing content and services, businesses can make their offerings accessible to diverse audiences, including those with language barriers or disabilities. This not only improves engagement but also opens up new prospects for growth and expansion.

    One prominent example of better accessibility through localization is Google Maps, the extensively used navigation app worldwide. Google Maps employs localization to impart navigation instructions in multiple formats and languages. By providing instructions in the user’s preferred language, Google Maps ensures that persons from different linguistic backgrounds can smoothly navigate their surroundings, whether they are traveling abroad or locally. This approach promotes inclusivity by breaking down language barriers.  

  3. Global Brand Recognition: Localization helps companies build brand recognition and establish a strong presence in global markets by adapting their norms and branding to resonate with diverse audiences. According to the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card, the world’s top twenty-five websites now support an average of 54 languages. 

    The top retailer on the list is Nivea, which offers diverse user experiences from one nation to the next. Nivea’s localization efforts extend beyond just translation, as they customize their products and promotional content to suit the exceptional preferences of each market. Also, the Nivea websites for right-to-left languages, like Arabic and Hebrew, look just as native as the left-to-right languages (German, French, English).

    Simply put, all localized versions of the site feel native to that exact market and locale. This personalized approach not only enhanced brand visibility but also fostered emotional connections with consumers, driving brand loyalty and advocacy.

  4. Adaptation to Cultural Nuances: Localization speaks to the heart. Localization is more than just translating words. It is about understanding and embracing cultural nuances to resonate with local audiences on a deeper level. For instance, Airbnb customizes its platform to accommodate cultural preferences and regulations in multiple regions. This includes adapting property listings, payment methods, and user support to reflect cultural nuances and promote inclusivity. By respecting cultural diversity, Airbnb builds integrity and trust among consumers worldwide. 

    By embracing cultural nuances, businesses can build stronger connections with local consumers, foster goodwill, and enhance brand loyalty. Furthermore, localized content is likely to resonate with target audiences, driving engagement and, eventually, business success.

  5. Market Expansion: Localization allows businesses to enter new markets and expand their global footprint by customizing products and services. One prominent example is Starbucks’ success in China, which is attributed to its strategic approach to market entry and localization. By modifying its store and menu design to Chinese culture and choices and by engaging with consumers through social media and other platforms, Starbucks has established a robust brand presence and fueled market expansion efforts.

    Starbucks tailored menu offerings to include region-focused beverages and adapted store designs to reflect Chinese culture. This localization strategy resonated with Chinese consumers, driving demand for Starbucks products and fueling global expansion efforts.  

  6. Improved Customer Loyalty: Localization also fosters customer loyalty by demonstrating a commitment to meeting the exclusive needs of local consumers. By tailoring products, services, and communications to resonate with local audiences, businesses can foster deeper connections and build trust over time.

    For instance, Amazon provides localized customer support and assistance in various languages, ensuring that users receive personalized assistance and troubleshooting. This proactive approach boosts customer satisfaction and builds trust, resulting in long-term loyalty and retention. In simple words, investing in localization efforts is not merely about expanding market reach; it is about cultivating meaningful relationships that stand the test of time.

Wrapping Up

Overall, localization plays a significant critical role in enhancing user experiences, driving brand recognition, and facilitating market expansion in global markets. The perfect localization plan allows businesses to promptly take benefit of emerging markets and position themselves for success in today’s interconnected world. 

By embracing the diversity of international markets and adapting to multiple preferences and cultures, companies can position themselves for long-term success and capitalize on the immense opportunities. 

In essence, localization is not just about translation; it’s about understanding, empathy, and relevance, a winning formula for companies seeking to make their mark in the world.