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Localise your homepage for multiple markets – then you have the pick of where to focus your attention & resource rather than being forced out of the markets your competitors already operate in.
China, Russia, and other fast-growing economies will compete with you in markets you hadn’t even begun to consider. Don’t follow the herd, but blaze your own trail. This takes confidence and a strong business plan but it is the only way to achieve a competitive advantage.
Examining your web analytics will show you where your service or product is most in demand out of the countries you’ve targeted. It then makes sense to invest further in these areas before launching into an entirely new global market. Focus on your top selling products and services. Those that you’ve got a proven success record with are the ones you should be promoting to new overseas customers.
Watch out for copycats. Many of the best business ideas are vulnerable to being copied. Monitor and track competitor’s activity with online alerts and keep your eye on their business developments.
If you’re short on multilingual resources, look at alternative methods to handle functions such as customer service. Technology puts a whole range of communication channels at your disposal – use these cleverly to communicate with your global audience. For example, an email translation system can be configured to provide seamless support to your international customers without you needing to employ a multilingual customer service team.
Localisation of your website and marketing collateral may seem like a costly expense, but you should think of it in terms of a deposit on future customers. You will get a return on the investment, as you’re opening up a whole new sales channel.
Localising your website involves more than swapping the English text for a translation. You should consider various aspects of your website and the customer experience in general. Will the design and imagery of your website appeal to customers in the target market, or might it switch them off, or even offend them? What ordering and payment methods might they want to use? A localisation expert will be able to advise you on these matters. Contact us now for advice.
Being global is a process, not an outcome. Once you’ve localised your website, that’s not the end of the story. Keeping the various language versions up to date can be a challenge, but doing so will reap great benefits in terms of traffic, enquiries, and ultimately, orders from your international customers. The latest innovations in translation and web technology mean that it’s now possible to have your English website monitored for any updates or changes, so that these can be localised and applied to the other languages.
Getting a ‘global’ website is all well and good but can you truly deliver on it? Consider very carefully logistical commitments such as delivery and regulations of the country involved to ensure you’re up to speed before you open yourself up to problems.
To provide true authenticity to your brand in the relevant countries, we’d recommend always using native speakers for language work – even the highest standard of education in a foreign language is no substitute for the level of fluency and cultural context that a mother-tongue linguist has.