How responsive would you be if someone tried to sell you their services in a language you couldn’t understand, or in poorly written English littered with spelling and grammar mistakes?
You don’t have to wonder; a BBC article estimates the losses for poorly presented e-commerce sites in the millions.
It doesn’t matter whether you are selling to ethnic markets in the US. (30% of the population and over $1 trillion in purchasing power) or to an overseas market where your product may be in high demand but has low visibility: the best way to sell your products and services to foreign markets is to communicate with consumers in their native language.
The broader your market base, the more financially resilient your company can be. Translation and localization can open up new markets around the world or right on your doorstep. Expanding your target market provides the biggest return on investment by offering an increase in sales at low cost.
As the old axiom says, “You have to spend money to make money.” It has never been as true as it is today in our interconnected world. In economically challenging times, the money invested in translation services can reap vital rewards.
When overall economies are trending downward, it’s important to remember that these numbers are gross averages. So, customers for your company’s goods or services may still be spending in another area of the world. You could also be losing ethnic markets at home to a competitor who chooses to reach out to clients in a culturally meaningful way!
Even if you do not have a product or service that can be sold on worldwide markets, you can still benefit from translation services. It’s easy to create goodwill with business cards, presentation handouts, or company information translated into the language of international business representatives who may come to you.
Communication within multinational companies as well as to existing and potential customers is critical in a world connected by the cloud and social media: people want to stay informed. Newsletters keep employees and shareholders up to date on the company’s strategy. Advertising tells consumers when a company is doing something special, like promotions or discounts. Even when sales have slowed because a business involves big-ticket items, advertising keeps the company in the public mind.
Each language in which you are not communicating means millions of potential customers who don’t know about you. This is even more true online, where some estimates are that English speakers account for only 25.9 percent of the world’s online population. It’s time to calculate the number of potential customers you could be converting to sales in new markets. If the expected earnings are greater than the cost of translation, you are losing money by not localizing!