Across the internet, there are websites that win big and there are websites that lose big. And it’s the role of marketing executives, e-commerce managers and business owners to find out why their website is winning or losing big. But with so much at stake, even some big brands fail to address and cater to the specific needs of their global audience and end up losing to the competition.
The phrase digital localisation encompasses the entire web testing strategy designed to adjust a platform for multiple locations. At baseline, this includes translations, currency and location-specific delivery changes. Most companies who are aware of localisation simply conduct automated testing which ‘corrects’ localisation issues. However, there’s much more to localisation and many more ways to increase your conversion rates and revenue.
3 of the best localisation practices for conversion increases
Localised content creation
At risk of stating the obvious, different people in different parts of the world have different interests and preferences. Using events or news stories specific to the country your user lives in can help to create a more personalised experience. This increases conversions and brand loyalty, as the users feel acknowledged and catered for.
Nike’s website is a perfect example of how to create localised content.
On Nike's UK site, there is an emphasis on the 2019 England national team kit, with The Lionesses' captain, Steph Houghton, taking centre stage. As a household name in England, Houghton's presence resonates with the target audience - especially considering the World Cup is set to take place in France next month.
By contrast, in the South Korean version of Nike’s website, the same campaign is used but we are instead presented with an image Ji So-Yun, the first South Korean to play in the FA Women’s Super League and a key player for Chelsea.
Both campaigns are time-relevant and aim to sell football merchandise. However, the actual presentation of the campaign differs in each country to appeal to location-specific users. Both women are easily recognisable to their respective audiences, but they would be inappropriate figures to use in other countries.
Small adjustments such as this affect how your users view your brand and the emotions created while on your site. Relatable and recognisable localised content increases positive user experiences, increases user loyalty and increases conversions.
Speak their language
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that there’s more to localisation than simple translations, and this is still true. But there’s more to translations than you might originally think.
In Belgium, users should have the choice of Dutch, French and German. And in Canada users should be able to choose between English or French. Simple right? Not quite.
Complexities start to occur when you consider French speakers in Canada should experience the same content as Canadian English speakers, instead of an experience designed for users in France or any other French-speaking country. After all, while the language is fundamentally the same, different localities will use different phrases and colloquialisms - and mistranslations can land you in the digital stocks. This is particularly important when considering countries with different political stances, religions and cultures.
Remember just because the base language is the same, it doesn’t mean that your translations are contextually correct.
The device melting pot
According to Device Atlas, the most popular phone in the UK during 2019 is the iPhone 7. For your website, this means that if you optimise your website on the iPhone 7 you should see a positive result. But what about other countries? In Romania, the Samsung Galaxy J5 is the most popular device and in Columbia, it’s the Samsung Galaxy J2 Prime. Already we can see how different countries have different device preferences and optimising your website for just the top 10 or 20 might not be enough to cover your global audience.
Google Analytics (GA) can give you some insight into which devices your customers are using depending on each country, but it doesn’t tell you the impact your lack of localised optimisation is having on your revenue.
Closing the gap between what you think your customers experience on your website and what they actually experience is a key benefit of web testing. Digital localisation goes way beyond simple translations to achieve this, helping you to gain customer loyalty and transform your conversion rates.