The socio technical landscape of the world is changing fast and with it the business landscape. People in Asia-pacific spend more on online purchases than people in North America. In fact, global B2C e-commerce sales now exceed $1.5 trillion annually. This unprecedented growth is being largely driven by China, India, Argentina, Canada, Russia, Italy, Mexico, Indonesia, and Brazil. This is a remarkable opportunity for companies to reach brand new markets, audiences, and customers.
While the opportunity is obvious, the path to success is not as clear. There are a number of challenges that companies face when trying to appeal to new audiences in new locations.
- Customers want to interact in their own language. More than half of customers will only buy from websites in their own language. To reach 90% of global buyers, you’ll need 13 languages. For most companies, producing and maintaining that number of websites is prohibitive.
- Websites change all the time. Translating a book is one thing, translating a website is a never-ending undertaking. Without translation software, the translated version quickly becomes out of date and less effective. Tracking website changes in a spreadsheet and making batch translation requests is inefficient and slow.
- It’s more complex than content. Creating an experience that connects with users in their own context is more than just words. It also involves things like currency, date formats, and payment methods. This means that developers are often required to maintain localized versions of websites, pulling them from more strategic projects.
- Beauty counts. It is as important that a website look good as it is that the language is correct. Translating in a vacuum is dangerous business because the way the words look when finally rendered on the page matters to visitors and impacts conversions.
- Most translation is inefficient. Website translation projects are famous for budget overruns largely because translation without language software is inefficient. The same words, phrases, and even paragraphs can be translated multiple times and don’t doubt you’re paying for it each time.
- Performance matters. Most companies can’t afford to have a data center in every geography they wish to service, but even a beautifully translated, localized, and updated website will not produce results if it takes forever to load and buyers give up before they click.
Language Software from Smartling Can Help
Smartling offers language software designed to specifically and economically address these changes for brands that want to expand their global reach without breaking the bank. Here’s how.
- Translation options. Language software should not be confused with machine translation. Smartling gives customers the option of using the translation services method of their choice, including professional human translation, translation by bilingual employees, community translation, machine translation, or a hybrid approach. Customers can provide their own translation resources, or choose from Smartling’s wide network of partner professional translation agencies.
- Content collection. Rather than relying on batch processes to gather new content for translation, Smartling’s language software automatically detects and responds to content changes on the fly and returns translated versions to your content management system or code repository. There’s no need to keep special track of changed content on a spreadsheet or wait for translation to be queued.
- Simplified localization. With Smartling’s translation proxy tool, the Global Delivery Network, dynamic Web applications are translated quickly and easily with little to no coding required. Customers can use our API to automatically collect strings and submit them for translation. We help get developers out of the business of maintaining localized sites.
- Translator tools. With Smartling’s language software, translators are able to see their work in context as they go. This visualization helps them consider important layout factors such as space limitations and text density, resulting in a more appealing final experience for users.
- Translation memory. Smartling’s sophisticated translation memory tools can reduce translation costs by 40-80%. Our language software keeps track of what’s already been translated, so it doesn’t need to be repeated again. It gets smarter as it goes, always increasing matched content and improving speed and consistency while reducing your costs.
- Global SEO. Target language keyword creation and linking are important for effective global SEO. Using professional human translation and Smartling’s translator tool gives brands the best opportunity to rank well in every language.
This is a unique time of increasing global connections and opportunities to reach new potential customers more efficiently and profitably than ever before. With Smartling’s language software, translation, localization, and global delivery do not have to be obstacles even to businesses with limited resources and budgets.