The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt around the world. More than ever, ensuring that the user experience (UX) is positive in all languages will become increasingly important.1 At times like this, consumers may be less tolerant. That’s why companies that meet their needs and exceed their expectations with the right strategy and content will generate customer lifecycle loyalty and value. Jorge Zuñiga Blanco, an entrepreneur and eCommerce expert, looks at some of the trends and observations that have emerged in recent months to help businesses drive sales in the COVID-19 environment.
Increased localization demand has companies migrating to e-commerce models. This increases the localization needs as the business owners try to regain the ground lost to the closure of physical stores. There is also an increased demand for remote language services. For example, remote interpretation replaced face-to-face methods in hospitals, schools and courts, as well as in other private sector organizations that need to comply with the new rules of social distancing.
In order to adapt, businesses have turned to location to maintain revenue. Explains Zuñiga, “Since physical sports were suspended during confinement, international broadcasters needed new content to offer to its audiences. They connected with the needs and emotions of customers. For example, they redirected ads, texts, and other materials that displayed or referenced large groups of people to comply with current market guidelines.”
It’s critical that a business understand and respond quickly to local customer trends. Be sure to select providers that can offer you a wide variety of language services, such as translation, interpretation, and variants of each of these processes. That will give your business the ability to better adapt to consumption trends, some of which still can’t be predicted.
The coronavirus pandemic changed the world in so many ways. It has forced business owners to reconsider what consumers expect from the business now, what the new values and expectations of your brand are and how should this influence proposals, slogans and calls to action. Localization is key to doing well and it’s extremely important that marketing teams consider it to avoid embarrassing mistakes.
International companies tend to be more protected from the economic impacts of COVID-19 because they can migrate their approach to markets with relatively short confinement periods or faster recoveries. Instead, companies that depend on a single market had to work subject to the constraints of that environment and wait for the confinement to lift. That’s why brands should explore opportunities to diversify their market and ensure that the content of their creatives and marketing materials is tailored to consumer standards and behaviors.
As consumers become confident again and markets reopen, competition between brands is likely to be more aggressive than before. Adds Zuñiga, “Brands that are ready to enter those spaces with properly located services and products will have a marked advantage. As a result, companies should review and correct their localization processes. They should also make sure they are ready to provide them with as much ROI as possible.”
Thanks to globalized eCommerce platforms, many companies are present in “new” markets without even realizing it. For example, if your company had modest sales in West Africa and you sell or trade in English, you may find that if you locate your materials in French, Yoruba, or Arabic, your sales revenue increases markedly with relatively less effort.
During this pandemic, many companies migrated to the digital environment for the first time, and this trend is likely to continue18, especially in B2B purchases. If you’re thinking of following this path, be sure to evaluate your operations to identify and correct gaps in digital marketing. For example, you can prioritize immediate needs, such as virtual events and sales over partner networks, rather than longer-term requirements, such as product delivery and support.
One sector that was particularly affected by the pandemic is tourism. But some companies take advantage of the downtime to plan for the future. For instance, a travel company developed a new system that allows them to create human or automatic translations for their marketing materials. “Using automated processes for non-essential translations will help reduce costs. In addition, technology in general will ensure that the company is ready to target customers when they book their vacation and start traveling again,” explains Zuñiga.
Making sure your workflows are as efficient and easy to understand as possible will help you transition to new markets. That will also relieve some of the pressure on staff. There are two ways you can achieve this, workflow automation and platform connectors. Both can be of great help in terms of the localization process.