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Localisation Matters for Corporate Buyers

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June 7, 2017

65% of multinational enterprises think localisation is very important for achieving higher company revenues

Localisation continues to cascade and a myriad of factors are driving its importance. A study released by the CSA took a look at the trends in localization and why it is important for corporate buyers.

Why is localisation important for corporate buyers?

News reports tell us that global business speaks English, but do not discount the fact that people do need products localised into their native languages. In fact, English-language versions of products no longer satisfy people around the globe, and businesses are now conducting more and more work in a country’s native language.

To determine that localization does matter to corporate buyers, the CSA surveyed business people who have purchasing power for a broad variety of high-tech and software products. 10 non-English speaking countries and 400 companies were polled about online buying behaviors and the business people’s attitude towards localized products and websites.

The survey

The CSA’s mission was to verify the importance of language in buying products online and how likely buyers are to purchase services and goods on an English-language site. The research comprised:

  • A survey of business buyers on four of our continents
  • 10 countries, 40 responses each from Indonesia, China, Brazil, Germany, France, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Spain, and Turkey

The 10 countries were chosen for four particular reasons:

  • Large populations
  • Big economies
  • Imports and exports of high-tech equipment and software
  • The native language is prevalent in more than one country

Buyers prefer their own language

The survey found that while many business people claim competency in English, most prefer to do business in their own language. The survey further discovered that buyers tend to buy localized products for their organizations. However, there still seems to be markets lacking localized alternatives, which leaves buyers with no choice but to purchase English-language products. This is not ideal if you are not localizing your offerings when your competitors are.

The CSA’s survey showed that many corporate purchasers tend to make their purchases in English for the sake of quality, cost, and selection. The survey further uncovered that most buyers prefer to buy localized products. The contradiction between buyer behavior and actual preferences tends to occur in every country.

What do the results mean for global businesses?

While many corporate buyers seem to buy English-language products, from sites presented in English, the fundamental question for those businesses that are not localizing their website or products is this: how long will corporate buyers continue to buy from you if you do not localize?

The answer is simple: until the best version of your offering is made available in their local language.

Have you localised?

As more companies move headquarters to emerging economy locations, it is expected that over 200 companies are expected to be based in emerging markets by 2025. So, if you are not shifting, too, how are you conducting business internationally to entice corporate buyers? And if you aren’t yet, but planning to expand, remember that language is continuing to become an even more critical and larger obstacle if you are not already localizing your offerings and website.

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