Read the Case study 4.1 "The implications of globalization for consumer attitudes" on page 218 and answer the question there.
Question - Based on this article and your experiences, debate the question: `Site localization is essential for each country for an e-commerce offering to be successful in that country. After referring to several online articles and couple of published papers on ‘Website localization’, I have summarized below some key learning and findings about ‘Why website localization is essential?’ Website localization facilitates reaching more customers throughout the world and hence increase Sales, revenue and profits – World Wide Web itself means a business can reach out all over the world through a click of the button. Internet knows no boundaries and it enables business to expand into international market since websites are easily accessible to one and all. Some useful 2012 statistics of where the 2405 million internet users come from are - Asia has 1076.7 million users (44.8% of total users)
Europe has 518.6 million users (21.5% of total users)
North America has 273.8 million users (11.4% of total users) Remaining 22% is spread across Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Oceania/Australia Growth of internet users in last 12 years has been very high in – a) Africa – 3606.7%
b) Middle East – 2639.9 %
c) Latin America/Caribbean – 1310.8%
d) Asia – 841.9%
Source : www.internetworldstats.com. Copyright © 2001 - 2012, Miniwatts Marketing Group. All rights reserved worldwide.
Best websites like Google, face book, Yahoo, YouTube, Wikipedia, Amazon, e-bay, live etc. are all popular and successful because their users are from all over the world.
Website localization crosses all Language barriers -
According to 2012 report by www.internetworldstats.com only 27% of total internet users know English. Number of internet users in non-English speaking countries is rapidly growing. For instance in last 10 years – i. use of Arabic online has increased 2501.2% ,
ii. use of Russian language has increased by 1825.8%
iii. use of Chinese language has increased by 1478.7%
iv. use of French, Spanish, German has also been increasing continuously. Source : www.internetworldstats.com. Copyright © 2001 - 2012, Miniwatts Marketing Group. All rights reserved worldwide.
Hence a website should be in a local language and easy for the International customers to read and understand. According to recent research, users perceive a company more favorably (for example more trustworthy, more likeable, etc) when they see a version of the website in their mother tongue, regardless of their English proficiency. (Tong 2011). Language is very important to create a positive brand image of the company and has profound impact on user’s mind. Text translation must be done by language expert having experience in copywriting and keeping in mind the target audience. If the translation is poor or is wrongly done by machine translator then the customer might not feel secure in doing business with your company since the meaning of a particular sentence might totally change and become ambiguous. Every website should be made available in a local language as well as English and users should be able to choose their preferred language easily through a click of a button. For instance - Google was quick to realize it had to invest in languages if it was going to succeed in local markets. When most companies were happy to support 10-20 languages, Google localized its search interface to support 60 languages. The search engine now supports 120+ languages and most Google services support between 40 and 50 languages.
Website localization highlights product modifications done to suit a new market - When any company starts its operation in a new region it is important to find out consumer preferences and likes. Since every market is not the same it is essential to modify and customize products according to customers’ taste...
Globalme Localization Inc, Vancouver paper ‘Designing Your Website with Localization in Mind’ available from http://cdn.globalme.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/web-localization-whitepaper.pdf [accessed on 2/11/2012]
Jesús Maroto & Mario de Bortoli (2001) paper - ‘Web Site Localisation’ published in Proceedings of the European Languages and the Implementation of Communication and Information Technologies (Elicit) available from [accessed on 1/11/2012]
Paul Sawers (2001) article ‘Web design, with the world in mind: a guide to website internationalization’ available from http://thenextweb.com/dd/2011/05/20/web-design-with-the-world-in-mind-a-guide-to-website-internationalization/ [accessed on 29/10/2012]
Jenny Warner (2010), PixelCrayons, article Web Localisation Is Important... But Why And How? available from http://abduzeedo.com/web-localisation-important-why-and-how [accessed on 29/10/2012]
Prepared by Jay Makwana
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