Given that 95% of consumers in the world live outside the United States, 80% of the world’s population does not speak English and 73% of online shoppers prefer sites in their own languages, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment to make information about your products and services on your website available in other languages. If you work for a global company with a strong web presence or much of your business is derived from online exposure and sales, a site that is multilingual will:
- Engage your customers in their languages
- Enhance the user experience
- Generate more business
- Give you more repeat business from multicultural customers
There’s no country in the world where only one language is spoken, including the United States. Although English may seem to be enough, you could be missing out on a huge market share by not having your site localized, at least the most important pages into the languages of your largest potential markets. For example, if you do not anticipate getting business from Sweden or Norway, there’s really not much sense in localizing any of your website in Swedish or Norwegian. If, on the other hand, there’s significant potential in generating new income for your business from Latinos living in the United States or from Canadians just across the border, having information on your website in Spanish and French is a no-brainer and a potential slam-dunk for new revenue. Take the time to look at the demographics for potential business growth and let that be a deciding factor for the investment. Just remember, by not having information available in the languages of your potential new customers, you could be losing their business to the competition that does.
INTRANSOL will help you plan ahead by thinking about the navigation of your site. How will your foreign users be directed to the correct pages? Your home page may need to greet visitors in several languages at once. It’s usually best to give them a language option using the native name of the language. For example, the multilingual menu options for your site should simply be “English”, “Française”, “Italiano”, “Deutsch”, “Español”, “Svenska”, “русский”, “中文”, “日本語”, “한국어”, and so forth.