Mobile App Localization: Does Your App Need It?

Partner Post - Konstant Infosolutions Top Mobile App Development Company

Posted: March 9, 2017

You develop an app and it is doing fairly well as a product. It has every feature in place and looking good to serve users with enough utility. In all, you have reached a mobile app that seamlessly addresses all the needs of your users and gets the most out of your mobile app endeavor.

But what if your audience is not able to understand what you intend to communicate. And what if you are not able to reach them right in their zone of comfort.

Most of the businesses fail to reach out their audiences well as they are not able to greet them as per their ethnic disposition and talk to them in their language.

You call that term ‘localization’.

As you would find people from different regions speaking different languages and referring to different ways of communication to consume different services – localization becomes important for any app that targets worldwide users. Thus, mobile app localization is one of the most important ways to penetrate and cover potential market for your app across different locations.

Mobile app localization: Facts and stats

A survey conducted by Common Sense Advisory over 2,400 consumers to comprehend what is the connection between language and user behavior and how close these factors relate with each other comes up with these findings:

  • 72.1% of consumers spent most part of their time on content written in their native language.
  • 72.4% of consumers established that they are more likely to purchase a product/service having information in their language.
  • 56.2% of them mentioned that they find it more important to have information in their own language than any other factor.

So, that clearly indicates how important localizing ecommerce and mobile shopping is.

Let’s look into another study conducted by European Commission over internet users. The research puts forth interesting findings in favor of mobile app localization.

  • About 90% of users over the internet from Europe indicated that if given a choice they would always prefer to go with their own language.
  • Almost 19% of Europeans were found saying that they would never browse in any language other than their own.
  • 42% of them said they would never opt for a product that is not presented in their own language.

Here, you need to consider the fact that most of the Europeans are multi-lingual and are quite fluent in English.

A chart illustrating the most used languages on the Internet as of June 2016

Source: Statista

Though most of it revolves around language, but it is also about exploring native preferences and tendencies and allowing users to access terms, expressions and for that matter the jargons they use. Take for example, in case of a weather app, some of them would be easily interpreting temperature in Fahrenheit while others would be more comfortable with Celsius.

These factors play a pivotal role in making a product more responsive and easy to use whatever the language of the app may be.

Apart from this, there’s a cultural aspect to localization as well.

Talking of that, this faux pas experienced by Puma in the UAE would best explain the idea of cultural localization. The company launched a special line of sneakers on the eve of the country’s 40th national day celebration. The footwear was themed in the same color as the national flag of the country, which stirred a huge discomfort among the people as they took it as a disrespect to their sacred symbol.

This example emphasizes on the fact that while internet is all about bringing the world together as one place, there is a need to localize brand proposition and content to make it transmittable, receptive, and purpose-oriented in all user-dominant perspectives. This can be effectively done by considering country-specific cultural leanings, trends, interpretations, adages, beliefs and sentiments – and making everything work as per native predispositions.

For instance, while producing copies for Arabic speaking audiences, the scripting should be different as they tend to read from left to right. In many countries calendar week begin with Sundays, whereas in many places Monday is the first day of the week. These subtleties make a big difference while you communicate and interface with native users and serve them to address their local preferences.

Mobile app localization as a growth hack

Localizing your app can help you greatly with your marketing agendas and help you tap opportunities from different prolific markets that predominantly deal in their native languages.

Here are some curious insights on Taiwan, based on the studies conducted by AppAnnie:

  • Smartphone penetration in Taiwan accounted for 78% with users having on an average of 40 apps installed on their phones.
  • Taiwan topped the list of highest app revenue generating countries.
  • Quite surprisingly, Google Play revenues were 30% more than that of Apple Store last year.

Putting all these facts together you can figure out how important mobile app localization is and businesses need to drive mobile app development and marketing decisions based on it combining different factors of penetration and acquisition.

Here’s what some of the top Western publishers have already accomplished by localizing their apps for the Taiwan market:

  • Clash of Clans has continued to hold position among the top 10 grossing apps whole of the previous year
  • Candy Crush Saga consistently remained at 21st position in the list of top grossing apps over the last 12 months
  • Criminal Case maintained a strong position at the 26th place in number of downloads for the past one year

Here a comparison between app localized and non-localized revenues/downloads reported by Distimo:

A chart illustrating proportions of free downloads and revenue by language for iPhone

Source: GigaOM

This report further spreads into detailed studies referring different scenarios and cases. In one of these case studies it was found that localization allows an iPhone app to witness an increase of 128% in downloads and a rise of 26% in revenues.

Bottom line

The market trends clearly depict the fact that having your app planned to serve local needs of your target users allow you to explore more opportunities in terms of penetration and reach. This encourages more fluid communication and better user response by allowing your app to engage and serve more focally and identifiably. As these apps are built on an idea to focus more on local users and their preferences and communicate with them in the manner they could relate with better.

Mobile app localization, thus, helps in generating more favorable response from the audiences and boosts user acquisition rates. Besides, of course helping you to commit to better marketing and promotional practices and establish your product as a favorite brand with the locals.

If you would like to know more about mobile app localization, mobile development experts at Konstant Infosolutions are ready to help you with that. You can reach them at the following email.