How Does Chinese Localization Affect Website Performance?
If you’re building a global business, localization is indispensable in your business strategy. You localize your product to match your customer’s preferences and the legal restrictions or requirements in the region of distribution (e.g. cars, medical devices, and other import products)
Localization can also be in the form of digital assets. If you’re in the internet or technology industry, it can be website localization and translation of content and design based on your customer’s browsing behaviors, such as the case of an English site that needs a Chinese version to gain engagement, click-through, and virality from its Mainland visitors.
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If you compare an English site of a famous food chain such as McDonalds or Starbucks, you’ll find significant differences on the Chinese website that hint you the importance of localization.
Some internet best practices in the West are not applicable in the Chinese market; language, for example, obviously stands out, then culture, mindset, and habits of the target market.
Why? Because these small, yet website elements – colors, structure, letters, content and among others – matter in Chinese localization. Maybe you just finished your English website recently and
wanted to see how you perform in one of your markets such as China. Or maybe you already have a Chinese website but felt that traffic was stagnant or no growth at all. These insights might be
useful for you.
Effective localization of an e-commerce site can produce 200% increase in sales
A localized website decreases the stress among customers who can read and understand the information on an e-commerce site. As Chinese consumers are savvier than ever and connected to smartphones
and social media, they decide when and how they shop, according to a Fortune 500 Retail Company via Deloitte’s report, Delivering Superior Customer Experience in China.
According to Chao and et.al research on Website Localization in the Chinese Market, a cross-national study by authors Singh, Fassott, Chao, and Hoffman 10 years ago provided empirical evidence that cultural adaptations of a website content “has significantly increased consumer’s purchase intentions and leads to favorable attitudes toward the site,” where effective localization is implemented, there was a 200% increase in the e-sales of a company that has multilingual languages.
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Localized websites have higher engagement than non-multilingual websites
How would you know if customers spend more time on your website? It starts with translation quality and localization of overall content, which leads to a higher engagement rate. According to Common Sense Advisory, they have surveyed 2,430 respondents from eight countries to understand how language affects their online behavior.
They found out that 72.1 percent of customers spend most of their time on websites that are in their native languages and that 72.4 percent are likely to buy a product with all the information
they needed that is in their mother tongue. It only shows that if you would like to improve your website’s performance, effective localization and translation quality, whether in Chinese or in
any other language, should be part of marketing and R&D to understand your customers.
Takeaway thoughts for Chinese localization strategies
There’s no doubt that there’s a cutthroat competition both on the domestic and international levels in China market, posing challenges and opportunities ahead. A great thought-piece that a multinational company should read is China Daily’s interview with Esmond K.L. Quek, principal of Ed Bernays Brand Consultancy and former China CEO of Hill & Knowlton, a large public relations firm.
While it’s quite a long read, we’d like to give a takeaway thought about Chinese localization, quoting him, “Multinationals that entered the market early are evolving and responding to customer demands much quicker than they used to, “but new companies just coming to the market should learn their lessons, so they don’t need to go through learning cycles,” Quek says.
“Responding to customer demand means localization, yet how to do it properly is a complicated topic, he says. “Generally, they need to consider several areas: product, price, promotion and distribution.”
And under the promotion area, digital assets such as websites should be considered, too.
Start right this year and check out AZ-Loc Localization page for more details.