It’s 2019, and you probably heard the business cliche “think global from day one”.
For starters, thinking global means growing a mindset that your product or service is designed for the international market.
To go truly global from day one, you need localization. This is the process of taking a product and tailoring to a specific locale/market. Keep in mind that localization is more than translation. It’s adapting your product physically, linguistically, and even culturally.
Here’s what you have to consider to build a successful, international business in 2019.
The first barrier — physical accessibility
The first step of localization is making sure that your product is physically available to other markets. That means — can you ship to their country? Are there inhibitive customs or tax laws? Do you provide local payment methods?
If you rely on Facebook to market your products, then you physically won’t be available to buyers in China. In that case, you should consider local platforms to generate awareness and drive sales.
Linguistic accessibility — can’t read, didn’t buy
The next step is adapting the product to make it discoverable and understandable. This involves making content, the product and the website (as well as any marketing materials) in the preferred language of that market.
This is supported by several studies showing that online shoppers prefer to do business in their native tongue. 42% of Europeans have reported to only shop online in their native language. Another report found that 72% of online shoppers who are not native English speakers would like the product reviews to be available in their native languages.
The logic behind this is clear — you can’t buy what you can’t understand. And though in English-speaking countries we often have the assumption that everyone around the world speaks English, this, in fact, is not necessarily the case. Only 1.5 billion people in the world speak any English at all out of 7.5…