Why multilingual UX needs to be a key part of your digital strategy
Research and consulting firm Nielsen Norman Group states that user experience (UX) “encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products”.
It adds: “The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother.”
In the increasingly competitive and fast-moving world of ecommerce, it has never been more important for businesses to meet their customers’ expectations and strive for the highest UX standards online.
If your firm is looking to tap into international markets and seize opportunities in emerging economies, there is a lot to be gained from delivering strong multilingual UX. This can help to reduce webpage bounce rates – the proportion of users who navigate away from the site having viewed only one page – and strengthen engagement with visitors.
Why UX is vital
User experience is a broad term, encompassing everything from the graphical design and style of a website, to the site’s reliability, usability, loading speed and ease of navigation.
For ecommerce brands, strong UX is of fundamental importance. It could be the determining factor in many customers’ split-second decisions to stay on your site or navigate away to see what your competitors have to offer.
In an article for Entrepreneur, Michael Georgiou, co-founder and chief marketing officer of web development agency Imaginovation, referred to a Forrester study which showed that better UX design could boost website conversion rates by up to 400 per cent.
Separate research has underlined how the success of the world’s biggest ecommerce brands has been driven by their UX.
In a survey of regular internet users by Clutch, a B2B research and reviews company, Amazon was found to offer the best UX. The online retail giant outperformed Facebook and YouTube, even though those sites attract more than twice as many visitors as Amazon.
Generally, survey respondents preferred the usability of ecommerce platforms over social media sites.
The research also highlighted the importance of content as an element of UX, with nearly half (48 per cent) of the consumers polled saying they would return to a site that offers useful, relevant content.
Dennis Lenard, managing partner at London-based design agency Creative Navy, said: “Users often accept a compromise on user experience for the benefit of better or more content. At the end of the day, users care about the content more than they care about the design.”
The value of multilingual UX
As the Clutch research emphasised, content is a critical element of the overall online experience for users.
If your business has ambitions to grow and win new customers by expanding into international markets, it’s important to have a carefully planned multilingual UX and content strategy to increase your chances of successfully engaging and converting website visitors.
Core elements of multilingual UX include the option for users to easily select the language they want to use when browsing your site. The language selection box should be clearly visible and each option should be written in the relevant language – for instance ‘Francais’ instead of ‘French’, or ‘Hrvatski’ instead of ‘Croatian’.
Including a language selection box is just the first step, of course. By investing in comprehensive website translation and content creation, you can ensure that every page on your site is effectively translated to deliver the strongest, most relevant experience for users in the key markets you are targeting.
Localisation of key pieces of content and your most valuable marketing assets is another significant aspect of overall UX. It helps to ensure that everything people of certain nationalities and cultures see when they browse your website is tailored and appropriate to them.
These efforts can make a major contribution to your UX standards and set you on the path to global ecommerce success through the development of a strong brand and positive customer relationships.
For brands that get their multilingual UX and engagement strategies right, there is a world of opportunities waiting to be seized in the ecommerce industry.
In addition to well-established markets where consumers are spending more and more online with each passing year, emerging economies are offering a lot of potential for ambitious brands targeting rapid growth.
According to a report published by e-payment specialists PPRO in February 2018, Indonesia is currently the world’s fastest-growing ecommerce market, expanding at a rate of 78 per cent a year. Mexico (59 per cent), the Philippines (51 per cent), Colombia (45 per cent) and the United Arab Emirates (33 per cent) complete the top five.
For ecommerce brands that find the right strategies in areas such as multilingual UX, branding, digital marketing and SEO, these sorts of countries could hold the key to international success.
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