With Google announcing Mobilegeddon last year, businesses are now feeling the pressure of building a mobile-friendly website, in order to ensure high ranking on search results pages, but also to prevent customer frustration and abandoning their website all together. Whilst web design templates are usually built to accommodate mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, there is an element of having to go one step beyond and understand what your customer would want to see on their phone screen, and how to best tailor your website to your particular audience.
One simple feature that comes to mind is language – whilst customers will want to see large buttons that are easy to select with their finger or thumb, text and images that are an appropriate size for their screen, they also expect to see it in their language. Statistics from the Common Sense Advisory show that 55% of people only buy from websites where information is in their own language – so you could be cutting out half your potential audience. This also has the same impact for app downloads – mobile analytics firm Distimo found that in one week in 2012, when popular apps were introduced in several languages, download figures showed a 128% increase and revenue was up by 26%.
55% of people only buy from websites where information is in their own language
Research by Distimo suggests that translation should be done into English first as over 90% of the 200 top rated apps support the English language, but remember – English isn’t spoken exactly the same across the globe, so consider localising your content for the U.S., Australia, Canada and other key English-speaking markets. However, whilst apps in English usually produce the biggest share of revenue, East Asian markets are experiencing a growing interest in smartphone apps too. What’s more, mobile users are more likely to pay for an app if it is in their native language, so companies should also consider localisation into Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian, to name just a few.
App download figures increased 128% when apps were translated into several languages
Another consideration for the development of mobile technology, is not only new content, but new types of content – think about smartphone add-ons such as Siri, which can understand questions, commands and even jokes in over 15 languages. And we’re becoming more connected around the world too, as demonstrated in the fact that Skype has ambitions to fully integrate a real-time voice translation feature soon.
And this is just the beginning, you’ve probably heard the term “The Internet of Things” – a network of interconnected smart devices. These devices communicate not only with other electronics, but also seamlessly in near-natural language with humans. Wearable technology and remote heating controls are just the beginning; expect products such as fridges that can tell you when your milk is going to go off and add it to your shopping list, or bed-side alarms that go off earlier because it knows the traffic is bad. And it goes without saying that these will need to be localised to each country’s behaviours – someone in Tokyo won’t have the same shopping list or use household items in the same way that someone in London would. In each market, not only is it important that businesses speak to customers in their language, but that they anticipate what their customers expect to see and that they interact in a manner in-fitting with the local culture.
Someone in Tokyo won’t have the same shopping list or use household items in the same way that someone in London would
As we’re part of the wider Capita group, we have access to hundreds of other companies with numerous resources and knowledge, in order to help us deliver a full end-to-end solution. G2G3 is a digital transformation company who develop immersive simulations and virtual environments, and through our partnership, we can create fully optimised multilingual mobile websites.
So if there’s any time to think about how you can take your brand global, how you can reach more potential customers, how to engage with your existing customers and how to gain more traffic and leads to your website, it’s now.