Localization and Translation
Localization and translation of Web sites and other advertising and promotional materials is a key strategy for success in international markets, especially when you‘re selling products or services:
- to precisely-targeted market segments, and/or
- for which customer relationship management is important.
Your Web site is a 24-hour-a-day salesperson for the services you're offering. It must be able to explain your offerings to cross-border prospects, and convince them to buy from you instead of one of your many competitors. To be effective, translation and localization needs to be undertaken in close coordination with affiliates "on the ground" in the target location.
ACRO is currently localizing Web sites for the following markets: New England USA, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Localization and branding
- Products/services are branded for differentiation from competitors.
- Copy, images and colors create the brand.
- No one single choice of copy, images and colors is universally optimal; the cultural preferences of each target export market must be recognized and accommodated.
- Local phone calls are billed by the minute in many countries; fast downloads and offline browsing are the norm.
- Different countries have different technology-level distributions among Internet users; e.g., not everyone has 3GHz processors, 32-bit color and DSL.
- Localized copy is not always of the same length as the original version; this can affect page layout and require changes in font sizes.
- Tax laws differ among markets.
- Some countries have enacted privacy legislation more stringent than that in the US.
- Each country has its own laws with regard to marketing, advertising, credit, etc.
- Half of the orders placed with U.S. e-commerce sites go unfilled as a result of order-processing failures (payment methods, currency conversions, fulfillment problems, etc.)
- Date and time conventions vary.
- Currencies and payment methods vary from country to country.
- Currency exchange rates are ever-changing.
- Differing moral standards affect the acceptability of content and advertising.
- For all practical purposes, all the world but the USA uses the metric system to express weights, sizes, distances, etc.
American companies, and Americans in general, are not always highly esteemed in export markets.
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