Is your company developing an app? Or is your whole business model based around an app? If it is, then sooner or later, you’re going to have to think about mobile application localization. Why? Because we live in a global world. Over five billion mobile phone subscribers are predicted by the start of next year, and over 50 per cent of the world’s app user population is based in Asia/Pacific.
If your app is only launched in one market – or worse – one operating system in one market, you’re greatly reducing the number of potential users for your app. What do app users translate into? Greater profit, the goal of any business and delight of its shareholders.
Still not convinced? Let’s go deeper. Check out the 5 main benefits of mobile app localization here:
A Global Market at Your Fingertips
Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit, Pokémon Go has been a roaring success (despite making a few blunders in their mobile app localization roll out.) Global giant, Nintendo, is no newbie when it comes to international sales. They realized early on that an app that’s a roaring success in one country has just as much chance of being a hit in another. So, they localized the Pokémon Go app for different global audiences.
Call it a failure to calculate demand, or a carefully planned suspense-building strategy, but Nintendo decided to launch their app in a handful of countries first (excluding its home country, Japan). What did this lead to? Anger and frustration among the Japanese and other fans around the world who felt left out at the Pokémon launch. Also, a plethora of illegal spinoffs of the game in China and Canada, and hacking problems in the Philippines.
No one said that localizing your app was going to be easy, but it will bring benefits. Which takes us to our next point.
According to VentureBeat, Pokémon Go made over $35 million in its first two weeks and a further $1.6 million on iOS in the US alone. You could say that was a stronger case for NOT localizing your app. After all, if you’re grossing figures like that from app at home, do you really need to take it global? Well, if you want to make bigger, uncapped sales, then, yes!
Let’s just imagine that your company isn’t Nintendo and your app doesn’t benefit from a world-famous legacy of TV shows and game cards. But, it can still be successful worldwide if tailored to your foreign audience. Show me the money!
Your app will be competing with another million + 1.2 million or so apps that are already out there on iOS and Android, respectively. Not only are you going up against international giants and well-known names, but you’re also going to have local apps to take into account. If you roll out one language version of your app in different regions, it won’t be downloaded. In fact, it won’t even be seen, as users will search for the type of app that they want using local language search terms.
If you consider that almost 90% of activity on mobiles now takes place in apps rather than browsers, you already know why you’re designing your app. But, just having an app doesn’t mean it will be a success. Actually, the great majority of apps that are downloaded are deleted within a few minutes.
Laser-targeted app localization has never been more important. Even if you only target English-speaking countries to start with, remember that countries like Australia and the UK use different units of weights and measurements and date and time formats. If you don’t get this essential part right, you’re just one X away from never being seen again.
Localizing your app will give you greater visibility in the App Store and on Google Play, assuming that you do it correctly. If you haven’t heard about App Store Optimization (ASO) yet, you soon will, and it should be factored in from the start. Your texts and assets, description and images need to be localized and optimized for higher ranking.
If you stick to a carefully thought-out app localization strategy, you’ll know the most searched-for terms and be able to optimize your app well. Which means it will be seen on the App Store, downloaded more and rise in rankings. Furthermore, an app that brings about optimum user experience will get better reviews. And good reviews will boost your ranking.
Localizing your app will increase your ROI. Just think about it. Localizing your app may be no small task, but it doesn’t require reinventing the wheel. Once you have a successful model in place, you have the foundations for taking your app global. Which means that you don’t have to spend costs on R&D. Your investment in app localization will bring you a higher overall ROI.
A much higher overall ROI, in fact. Distomo ran a study on companies who localized their apps for iOS, and guess what they found out? Localized apps saw substantially more downloads – 128% more, in fact.
Want to find out more about mobile app localization? Why not try contacting an expert and get your global strategy started today?
Christina Comben is Content Manager at translation and localization services provider, Day Translations. She specializes in website content, article writing, content optimization and blogging. Multilingual and qualified to MBA level, Christina is motivated by challenge, change and continued learning. You can connect with Christina via her website, through Twitter (@christinacomben), or LinkedIn.
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