Transifex, a provider of a cloud-based localization automation platform, released the results of a survey that finds the role of localization increasingly important as companies expand to new markets.
The Transifex State of Localization Benchmark Survey examined the approach to localization among global companies. The study showed that localization is especially useful for business moving into markets where growing numbers of online visitors are coming from non-English speaking countries. The survey indicated that investment in localization is expected to increase in the next 12 months.
The survey, conducted in September 2014, included 1,558 developers, translators, product managers and other individuals responsible for localizing digital content about their approach to localization. They represented companies of varying sizes, industries and geographies. Overall, 70 percent of respondents indicated a positive impact of localization in terms of customer experience and market share regardless of industry, company size and the stage of localization maturity.
Fifty-four percent of respondents said they embarked on localization because customers were asking for content in their local languages. An additional 44 percent said localization enables them to expand into global markets. Moreover, 51 percent of respondents reported improved customer experience as a result of providing some level of localized content.
The survey also showed that Web apps, documentation and mobile apps are the most important content to localize. In addition, the average number of languages supported will roughly double over the next 12 months—growing from fewer than five to approximately 10 languages. Also, 55 percent of survey respondents identified translation quality and 47 percent cited translation consistency as the major challenges of localization efforts.
"The top reason cited for localizing content is because customers want it to be in their local language," said Dimitris Glezos, CEO and founder of Transifex, in a statement. "With impressive gains reported in both customer experience and market share, there’s no reason not to localize. With the biggest challenges of localization reported as being translation quality and consistency, the findings from this study reinforce our vision of providing a localization automation platform for any company looking to expand globally."
The survey showed that 45 percent of small companies and 60 percent of large companies translate a significant portion of their content (apps, websites, documentation, etc.). Regardless of company size, 59 percent of respondents said they do not adjust content when translating from one language to another. Transifex said the opportunity for developers is to focus on localizing content (currency, date/time, images, messages, design) as opposed to directly translating text to make the online experience more culturally relevant.