Marketing Translation for Global Brand Building

Conducting eCommerce In and Out of China

China Muscle FlexA brand’s value in today’s constantly changing world is proving to be more important than ever. Brand managers in many sectors are flexing muscle overseas to appeal to worldwide consumers and grow revenues. But they are quickly realizing their brands’ limitations without proper localization.

Today, consumers habitually sift through a seller’s website content to learn more about their purchase— even when they plan to make the purchase at a local store. The Acquity Group proved this in the 2014 State of B2B Procurement study, which indicates that over 94 percent of online buyers conduct online research. Moreover, 84.3 percent of the respondents check business websites when buying goods or services online. The growing popularity of the digital buying process hence propelled marketing translation to play a vital role in online businesses.

Conquering China— Largest GDP beyond the USA

The world’s largest consumer market is composed of 1.357 billion individuals (according to statistics from the World Bank, United States Census Bureau), and many companies are of the view that expanding into the region could be the key to exponential growth. Between 2014 and 2015, requests for translation from English to Mandarin-Chinese increased by 17 percent. This is significantly higher compared to translation requests from English to Korean (five percent increase) and English to German (two percent increase). Surprisingly, English to Arabic and English to Russian saw the highest increase in translation service requests at 21 percent and 39 percent respectively.

“Although ongoing East-West cultural differences continue to pose challenges to foreign enterprises carrying out marketing in China, companies that make an effort to understand such variations and integrate them into their marketing strategies stand a greater chance of succeeding in the China market,” explained Matthew Harrison and Mark Hedley from B2B International.

But while world businesses are clamoring to penetrate China’s over 29 different provinces and range of dialects with a localized approach, China is mounting its offensive on the world!

China’s Counterattack

Chinese merchants and sellers have positioned themselves to cater to international customers through marketing translation services. According to an Israel-based research agency, between 2014 and 2015, local Chinese businesses persistently requested for online sales translations in the following languages: English, Russian and Arabic.

A closer look at the figures suggest that China-based establishments make such requests around holidays and peak sales periods, including on Singles Day (the Chinese singles holiday) on November 11, Black Friday around November 27 and Cyber Monday around November 30, to kick start the Christmas shopping season around the world. The majority of sellers use Alibaba as a selling platform, since it is widely recognized as a universal marketplace for common goods.

Marketing Translation’s Impact on eCommerce

Online businesses are heavily investing in digital marketing translation services to maximize conversion rates. A survey by OHT-Enterprise through Google Consumer Surveys highlighted that over 66 percent of participants who took part in the study (based on a sample of 800 respondents) leave unfamiliar websites that are not in their native language. Out of all the regions covered in report, Italy-based participants ranked the highest when it comes to website abandonment rate at a whopping 77 percent.

“When companies have brand content across channels to inform prospects’ purchase decisions, they can influence that interest and point customers toward solutions. A lot of businesses say they use content, but don’t have the breadth of assets they need to satisfy consumers’ hunger for information,” said Lauren Kaye, marketing editor for Brafton Inc., a digital marketing and content strategy firm.


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