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Retail On-the-Go, In Any Language

By Liz Elting

Business 2 Community - December 3, 2012

A well-developed mobile marketing strategy has the power to entice consumers, supplement the in-store experience and engage return customers, increasing brand loyalty.

Don’t forget that mobile e-commerce is also a proven way for your company to grow your consumer base in regions where you don’t have an actual physical presence. But you may have questions about how to roll out your mobile plan. For instance, should you optimize your existing site for mobile access, or invest in a customized app?

The answer to that will depend on your audience. Are your target shoppers more likely to use a mix of devices to shop, including smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers? If so, then an optimized mobile website may be the more appropriate choice. Does your business have the resources to build and support its own branded, content-rich app? Are your target consumers generally tech-savvy, male, and under the age of 30? If so, a mobile app may be the right move.

Words matter: the case for language translation and localization

While it was once acceptable to develop content in English only, the changing demographics of mobile shopping around the globe—and at home—mean that retailers have to offer content in the languages their target consumers prefer to ensure user engagement and customer conversion. According to a report by consumer spending analysts at WorldPay, developing global economies have the highest proportion of high-ticket item shoppers. The majority of e-commerce customers in China and India are considered heavy spenders, with 48 percent and 54 percent respectively parting with more than 30 percent of their disposable income online. Just as website localization shifted from “nice to have” to “need to have” for players in the global economy, mobile content localization is now experiencing the same rapid change as growing numbers of retailers are reaping the rewards of this medium.

When you make the strategic decision to add support for multiple languages to your mobile initiative, it makes sense to partner with a language service provider that can provide both the content localization you need and the quality testing that is essential on all versions of your sites and apps to verify that they are compatible on all common mobile platforms and operating systems. Through this process of post-localization testing, you can be sure that language, design, and functionality are all optimized for your markets, thus ensuring the best possible user experience.