When is the right time to localize your mobile app?
With all the hype surrounding mobile apps and localization you might be asking yourself if localizing your app is something that you really need to do to be successful. How to recognize that it’s the right time to localize your product? And what factors should you take into account before deciding to take that step?
Below you can find three signs indicating that your mobile app might be ready for a global journey.
1. Increasing interest from users abroad
One of the indicators that your app is ready for the expansion to a new market is the interest of your current and potential users. Have a closer look at your app store reviews and comments on social media: Is there any specific region that is particularly interested in your app? Do you get frequent requests to add a new language? What do users from a specific country say about your product?
The feedback of your fans or users can help you establish if your app has a potential in another country. Engage with your users regularly and take their opinions seriously to make sure you know how to enhance your mobile app, not only when it comes to adding new features but also in terms of adding new languages.
You can also check your app analytics to examine where your most loyal customers are based. Even though they use your app in English for now, there might be more users eager to download your app once it’s available in their native language.
2. Huge potential market share
You can start with localization before your app is published if you know that your offer and features are competitive or if you have already released other apps and have some experience in localization. You don’t have to wait to publish the app in English (or your other native language). You can simply release one or more language versions simultaneously with your English product, if your market research tells you there’s a vast group of users that might be interested in your app.
Check where your competitors are active and examine if users in your potential markets might consider downloading your app. This will help you decide if simultaneous localization and development would work for you.
In your research don’t focus only on the so called “top languages” that are used online or in the mobile app world. Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Japanese, German and Portuguese are usually perceived as safe choices due to the huge number of native speakers and internet users, but you don’t have to stick to them.
Your app can gain more traction in other, less obvious regions, so chose your target audience wisely based on the interest in your specific features.
3. Profitability in your home market
A good way to test if your app is ready for a global journey is to analyze your profitability in the last 2-3 years. If your app revenue in your home market is growing and you have some free cash to invest in expansion, then localization might be something for you.
If your revenue stays on the same level, tapping into a new market might be a good idea too. A temporary stagnation might simply mean that your app has reached its potential on the local market and it’s time to look for more users and fans elsewhere. And to do that you’ll need a thorough market research, followed by effective localization and a good marketing strategy.
In any case, before you decide to localize your mobile app, make sure that there’s demand for your product in other regions and that adapting your product to new cultures and languages will attract loyal customers.
Without analyzing your target market you may end up with a useless product and localization may turn out to be too costly.
Dorota Pawlak is a localization consultant for digital brands. She enjoys helping businesses enter new markets and is passionate about cultures, languages, and technology.
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