Mobile apps have indeed become a part of our everyday lives. Every remote corner of the world has more access to mobiles than it does to desktops. Therefore, mobile apps are in fact the big game changers. However, there is one small problem. A majority of the apps are developed in such a way that the content is English. At this juncture, knowing how far and wide an app can reach, is it not naive to assume that English, as the sole app language, would suffice? This is where app localization comes in. App localization is the process of making available for a user the option to use the app in his/her native language.
Why do apps need localization
Apps need localization because, with app localization, your app will have an international market. People outside your country would be able to use your app. Language limitation will not be a reason for your app to not cover a larger audience. Naturally, your potential market increases manifold which will directly increase sales. The chances of downloads are higher and hence the ROI would be higher. As the market is getting competitive each and every day, app localization can be your trump card to beat the competition.
Tips to localize your app for the emerging markets
Just the localization of the app is not sufficient because that is only half the job done. Post localization, you will need to tap into customer service and marketing strategies in the language that will be required when the app has been localized. Many a time, people don’t realize this and the larger user base will fizzle out as fast as it was built up because of this. The most important aspect of localization is that you need to know full well what it can do.
The foremost realization you need to have is to gauge whether your app really requires it. When investing in localization, you need your money’s worth, and so, it is essential to analyze your market and understand where your benefit lies. Comparing this with other competitors will give you a better idea on how to put your money to the best use.
Another thing to remember is that a mobile app has restrictive space. When translating from one language to another, depending on how big the translation can be, your outlay can get messed up. In this case, one must try to incorporate global icons as much as they can. This will minimize the need for a lot of text and furthermore, the translation. Just having the tech team understand the need for localization will not be enough. On a company perspective, it is important to rope in your marketing team and your content team to look at localization as an important step so that they can contribute and create in the future, based on the change.
Enabling UNICODE support is necessary to ensure that your app renders the character sets that you will need for different markets. Also, separate the code from the content. One must also remember to plan for ‘Right-to-Left’ languages such as Arabic. To localize your app, you must first internationalize it. This will ensure that your app can handle various languages and cultural changes without needing to be redesigned.
App localization is indeed the step forward, especially if your product has more than one type of specific audience. Understanding the ROI and going the extra mile is what is going to make app localization work for you, and its effects will vary from category to category, product to product. Rest assured, the profits and outreach are bound to increase with a good understanding and the incorporation of app localization.
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