If you are looking to reach the ever-increasing mobile market in new territories but aren’t sure where to start, localization is key. Apple’s App Store and the Google Play marketplace prefer apps that have been localized for a given market. Apple has even asked developers directly to localize apps, according to MacRumors.
Connecting Consumers with Brands
The most important reason to translate an app is to reach potential customers in markets where you want to expand. Though consumers can find and download apps that are not in their native language, they will be more likely to download and use apps designed for their region than those that are not. Even if the apps are in the same language, they will not perform as well in the app store rankings if they haven’t been localized for specific regions. This is why app localization is important in any market penetration strategy.
For instance, a restaurant review app in Spanish may be understandable in both the Puerto Rican and Cuban markets, but if it has only been localized for the Mexican market, those trying to use this app in other territories may run into issues. Aspects such as location data, prices, and menus will be completely different. In this case, failing to localize the app could turn consumers away from the brand.
However, if the restaurant app were to have distinct versions for the Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Mexican markets that took into account aspects such as restaurant data, currency, and even call-ahead features, consumers could connect with the brand and be more likely to keep the app on their phone.
Another benefit of localizing apps is that it will outperform competing, unlocalized apps. For example, if you have a US-developed shopping app and are trying to expand to the UK market, you should localize it. Specific pricing information, local availability, and UK spellings of words such as “colour” and “favourite” will go a long way toward helping your app outperform other US-based apps that don’t have the UK market specifically in mind.
Competitors that are based in the region you’re targeting will always be a factor to consider when developing your positioning strategy, but localizing your app will help you compete with these entities (as well as other international competitors) on an equal footing.
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