Trends are changing. Markets are not usually the places we used to visit frequently. Business dynamics are being re-written and reshaped. In recent years, the surge in retail commercial activities and online business can be noticed even by a layman. Changing lifestyle and spending habits have influenced the way market functions now-a-days. Businesses are expanding beyond national boundaries and reaching out to diverse regions and countries in their endeavor to stay ahead in competition and remain profitable always.
Globalization has influenced entire spectrum and our market is a whole new place for us now. Retail stores are now flowing with brands which once were considered to be international only, beyond the reach of common people. MNC’s are offering best of their products and services to domestic markets. Of course there are still the traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores for buyers, but more and more shoppers are now turning towards online space as well, because of convenience and services it offers.
Customers are choosy now-a-days and prefers to buy a product strictly as per their choice. Many studies have revealed the fact that shoppers like to purchase a good when it is tailor made according to their preferences and suit their style and taste. A study by Accenture shows that over 60% consumers don’t even mind sharing personal details when it comes to personalizing a product of their choice. In their quest to find a personalized product, they provide ample data and information to online retailers and in turn they are suggested by the retailer what suits them best. However, it is not possible until it is done in a language most suited to native customers and to which they understand conveniently. Even if a retailer has all the good intents to provide its customers best of the goods and services in a distant country or location, it is not going to be possible without the assistance of an expert translator or localization specialist. It is imperative for a customer to first understand the entire process of personalization and then be able to communicate precisely what he or she wants. The retailer today is bound to provide multiple language options to its customers so as to make them feel comfortable while selecting a good or placing an order or opting for a personalized service.
Another interesting aspect to retail e-commerce business is growth of emerging markets like China, Russia, India and Brazil. Most of the surveys and studies have already indicated that online business in emerging markets is set to surpass many developed countries’ business. It is largely possible due to emerging economies’ consistently growing middle class which is proving to be so influential in spending with large disposable income. Whilst China continues to dominate e-commerce business landscape worldwide, Russia and Brazil are also proving to be markets to reckon with. Russians have particularly developed a taste for luxury goods, electronics and fashion apparels. On the other hand, Brazil may not look so promising with its not so strong economy; however many believe that it can turn the table with its expanding middle class. A huge market potential is to be tapped in above said economies as there are still very low percentage of people who rely on internet when it comes to shopping. But is it possible to penetrate the market when you are relying only on English as major language to showcase your products or while interacting with customers? As a matter of fact, proficiency in English language is quite low in these countries. According to a study, only 5% of Russians are good in English and it is a well established fact that people prefer to buy when they understand in their native language and more so, if the retailer has a well established local base.
Therefore, the key to expand footprints in these markets is to come up with multilingual plans combined with localization strategy. That’s the reason why more and more online businesses and retailers are opting for local language platforms for their websites and increasingly going hyper-localized. Until now, online e-commerce or business was considered to be a place more frequented with elite and upper class people. Since most of the business and transactions would used to happen in English only, it resulted into non-English speaking people feeling neglected or ignored. Even today, most of the online content is dominated by English. However, ever increasing demand by native speakers has compelled more and more online retailers to opt for local language and translate in a manner which is easily understandable and convenient to the masses. Even Google is adding more than ten languages to its virtual Smartphone keyboards.
In fact, the companies have recognized and assessed the volume they can generate by going local and translating products in local languages. It is a quest to reach farthest, to be the fastest and to be the most recognized and accessible brand worldwide. And it is possible only with translation which is done with highest degree of accuracy and precision leaving no scope for uncertainty or ambiguity in customers’ minds. A study by Morgan Stanley indicates whooping $137 billion online sales in India by 2020, as compared to just $11 billion in 2013, thereby underlining the growing dominance and business potential non-English speaking territories can offer. The fact is further endorsed by a study which says that in 2010, only 7.5% Indians had access of internet which is now supposed to be more than 35% which means adding up of 370 million new users and this figure is only going to increase with ever increasing Smartphone mobile users.
Most of the emerging markets are witnessing a similar trend which promises to be so lucrative for e-commerce giants. Going local is the key and what better way to narrate and translate it in native language. Translation for retail and e-commerce is going to be the game changer for most of the players in virtual world. It’s not only being profitable and staying ahead of competition; it’s about staying relevant in a particular market because customers are going to identify those, who identify with their customers.