The importance of product localization shouldn’t be underestimated if your goal is to target a global customer base. Localization molds a product so that it can better fit the intended audience because, after all, consumer needs and wants vary widely depending on where they live.
If that isn’t reason enough, in this article we’ll cover why product localization is necessary, the different ways you can localize your product, and more.
Let’s dive in.
Why is product localization necessary?
Product localization improves the chances that your target audience can connect with the product you’re selling. Here’s an example of why this is important: Mint’s customer survey found that 57 percent of consumers prefer to shop local as a means of “keeping money close to home.”
Consumers tend to prefer local products—whether to their city or country—because it feels as though they’re supporting those in their community. And herein lies the key benefit of product localization, to make your product seem like a locally produced one while maintaining its original message.
In this global age, if a product isn’t delivered in a consumer’s native language while abiding by cultural and legal expectations, there is sure to be a local competitor that will fill that demand themselves.
Different ways to localize your product
There are many aspects of your product that may require localization, from the basics like product information to less obvious factors like local search engine optimization. We believe that there are five key areas to address when localizing your product: the product’s information, imagery, measurements and addresses, legal requirements, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
The first layer of product localization is usually adapting and translating the information into the desired language. From the product name and descriptions to help guides and marketing material, every piece of information needs to be analyzed and adapted to the new audience.
It’s important to also adapt the imagery of any products, especially if your new target audience has vastly different beliefs and cultures. When imagery is adapted it should adhere to any cultural conventions such as religious beliefs. It’s also a good idea to avoid a color scheme with any negative connotations.
A simple example of adapting imagery would be using clothing models from the same region that an apparel store is expanding into.
Measurements and formats
While not a dealbreaker, to make a consumer feel more comfortable when browsing through your products it’s a good idea to use their local measurements. Using local measurements will save them the effort of manually converting it for each product they look at, which can prevent them from shopping elsewhere.
Key information that should be localized includes currencies, measurements, sizes, and weights. It’s also a good idea to ensure that date and address formats match the local conventions so that customers don’t get distracted while making purchasing decisions.
Once all of your content is localized, you’ll need to ensure that it abides by all local laws. These laws include tax requirements, mandatory return policies and warranties, and any other legislation that apply to you and your customers.
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO isn’t something that your customers will see, but it’s just as important for helping them find your products. You’ll need to engage in a region-specific SEO plan which factors in the demographics and language that you’re targeting.
How to localize your product
Here at Day Translations, we believe that there are eight key steps in product localization. These steps range from content analysis to multiple quality control checks and the actual translation process.
Here’s a breakdown of the key steps:
1. Content analysis
Every product localization project needs to begin with a detailed content analysis. This analysis examines and highlights all the aspects of a product that require adaptation. The analysis creates the roadmap and allows the project to run smoothly.
2. Content management
Once the analysis is complete, any information that needs localization will be separated from the source material. The information is usually imported into a database where all the localization can be done.
The translation involves a series of steps from the actual translation of the project to editing and proofreading. Most of the work time will be spent in this step as it’s crucial for the content to be accurate and consistent with your product.
4. Initial quality check
Once the translation is complete, the content should be run through a quality control check to ensure any errors are caught before the project progresses.
5. Back conversion
Back conversion is simply converting the now localized content back into its original format. It’s important to complete this process properly, otherwise, the localized content could become corrupted and errors can appear.
6. Desktop publishing
This step ensures the cohesiveness between the localized text, original messaging, and imagery of the product.
7. Final quality check
The last step in the localization process is the final quality check. The final QC ensures that the localized content functions exactly the way it should without any corruption. You can think of this step as the test drive to smooth out any unexpected bumps.
8. Localized product delivery
Finally, you get to view the finished product and ensure that it meets your expectations. Once it gets your seal of approval the product will be ready for your target market.
Check Day Translations Localization services and ask for a quote today!