Looking to take your business globally? Selling only to the locals in different regions may be too limiting. Localization is the buzzword you need to know: why it matters, what it is, and what it looks like when it’s done right.

Why is localization essential?

Spot a great product advertised in a foreign language and in a foreign currency? What are the chances you would buy it?

This is when localization comes into play. Content and purchasing options must be translated. However, literal translations are useless since cultural norms are significant when expanding into a new country or region. Read these tips to find out about localizing content to maximize sales effectiveness.

Simple steps for localizing your content

  • Work with a native speaker to ensure nothing is lost in translation. Online tools like PickWriters will assist in finding the best fit for your project.
  • Conduct new keyword research in the secondary language, as opposed to simply performing a literal translation of your English language keywords.
  • Allow customers to pay in local currency and limit the use of exchange rates and surcharges.
  • In some countries, reading is right to left; alter your web design accordingly
  • Resist using the same default website images. Adapting to the resident culture shows locals that you include them in your vision
  • Remember that A/B testing is universally applicable, but what works in one country may not work quite as well in another

Effective design localization examples

1. The Share a Coke Campaign

One of the best examples of localization is the “Share A Coke” campaign. It may not specifically be a web design, but it is an effective illustration of successful localization.

By labeling bottles with names, Coke started a craze where shoppers purchased bottles that meant something to them. This type of personal localization, where an individual product can segment a customer base in countless ways, is highly effective.

Additionally, the Coke company identified the 100 most common names in each country designated for the campaign. This type of localization reached millions of people worldwide, demonstrating the effectiveness of its branding and, ultimately, sales.

2. McDonald’s Restaurants

McDonald`s ability to adapt to individual countries

McDonald’s is an important example of avoiding literal translation mistakes. For example, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “finger-lickin’ good” advertisement for Chinese consumers, unfortunately, translated to ‘eat their own fingers’. Whereas the McDonald’s English language website provides a tab to translate the content into Spanish.

Continue to explore the site to see options for language translation for many countries; this provides access to localized menus. Every country where McDonald’s operates has a core menu from the US, supplemented with local variety dishes that are designed to appeal to the local culture and tastes. If these menus were simply copied and pasted into the website for every country, the local varieties would be challenging to accommodate. The result of a localized website is a range of choices that appeal to people around the world.

3. The Nike Language Tunnel

Nike, by displaying the different regions as shaded areas on a map, managed to create a localized design independent of the user’s language.

Click on the desired region for redirection to a subdomain site featuring region-specific content. To attract customers, Nike also includes regional sports stars to front their campaigns. Superstars like Michael Jordan and Ronaldo, recognized worldwide, are used, as well as athletes from the specific region. This allows shoppers to easily identify with the brand and creates a more engaging experience when navigating the site.

4. WWF take localization regional

The World Wildlife Fund’s mission to save endangered species is of universal importance.tAt the bottom right-hand corner of the homepage, there is an effective example of subtle design localization.

Links to the Scottish and Cymru offices are provided to communicate with local representatives within the United Kingdom. To improve outreach and inclusivity, the Welsh spelling for Wales is used.

5. ASOS: Payment in any currency

ASOS, an online clothing retailer, is a good example of how to pay in local currency. A simple symbol of the country flag from the IP address origination is a technique ASOS uses to identify which currency to use.

To change to the local currency, click the large change button to select the appropriate country. This is easier than paying in US dollars by searching for the English language name for your local currency.

6. Apple Japan combines culture with the latest tech

To appreciate the local culture and how you can use it to optimize your web design for sales, look no further than Apple Japan. By showing photos of Japanese consumers using their products and creating fun, vibrant Japanese text, the core identity of Apple Japan is integrated with the local culture.

This accessibility for Japanese consumers, rather than copying images from the US website, enhances the user experience.

Final Thoughts

Is localization an unnecessary use of time and resources? Consider the local consumer: if the layout, text, and imagery of your website are tailored to local preferences, will sales increase? Design localization is key to increasing international sales globally.

Colibri Digital Marketing

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