Three ways to access a global market with mobile app localisation
In the world where there’s an app for nearly everything and many users perceive their smartphones as an extension of their lives – launching a mobile app into foreign markets should be a piece of cake.
But very often it isn’t.
Apart from the growing competition and demand to create unique, attractive and useful apps, there are additional obstacles: language and culture. To access a global market with your application, you’ll need to adapt it to the language and culture of each and every market. This strategy is much more effective than publishing a single version of your application in English.
To make sure your localised and translated mobile app can unlock its potential on the global market, make sure to do the following:
1. Research your market
Not all mobile applications are suitable for every country. Sometimes cultural factors will prevent your app to break into your preferred market. Do your research and come up with a list of countries where your app would be marketable and culturally acceptable. Make sure you know the habits of your target users: which mobile app distributors they prefer, which social media platforms they use, what is their approach to online ads, etc. This data will prove useful to adapt your content and prepare for marketing and promotion campaigns.
2. Adapt your content
Once you know more about the target market and potential users, it’s time to tweak the content of your app. In this way you can personalise your mobile app and make sure it can appeal to your users. If it’s an e-commerce app, remember to include local payment methods or promotions for local holidays. If your target users are strongly influenced by their culture and prefer mobile apps with animations and vivid graphics – add extra items to your app to align to their needs.
Only translating the text in your app is the first step to failure. To access a global market your app has to be global too – i.e. designed with the specific needs of your target users in mind. These needs include the language layer, content style, graphic preferences, measurements or currencies.
3. Promote your app locally
To make sure your localised application reaches the right consumers, you’ll need to use the right distribution channels. App Store, Google Play or Windows Store are not equally popular in every country. In some regions you’ll have to choose a local platform. For example, in China Google Play is unavailable and you’ll be better off selling your app via Baidu which is the largest app distributor in the country.
Finally, make sure your app store descriptions also have a local feel. Again, go beyond mere translation and work with professionals to make sure your content is engaging and convinces users to download the app.
Expanding to new markets with your mobile app can be a smooth journey. To make sure it will lead to success, learn more about your target users and choose the right strategy to adapt and promote your app on the local market.
Dorota Pawlak is the owner and managing director of Polish Localisation. She enjoys helping business enter new markets and is passionate about cultures, languages and technology.
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