According to a number of surveys conducted in Europe, translating your website into the language of your customers and/or suppliers is key to arousing interest and triggering actual purchases. This is valid even if Europeans often speak more than one language. Read on.
If I can’t read it in my language, I don’t buy! An initial survey conducted in 8 European countries by specialist research company Common Sense Advisory highlights the close association between the language used and willingness to buy. 72% of consumers polled spend most of their time on sites in their own language and are more likely to make purchases on these sites. In addition, for 56% of consumers, the possibility of obtaining information in their own language is more important than the price. These findings are confirmed by a survey undertaken in 2011 by the European Commission concerning user language preferences online, in 23 European countries. 9 Internet users out of 10 say that the always use their own language to visit a site when they have a choice between several languages, and 42% assert that they never buy products or services in other languages!
The importance of multilingualism. Obviously, it all depends on the business sectors concerned and the size of the companies. According to a worldwide survey conducted in 2015 by Common Sense Advisory, the biggest companies use the largest number of different languages on their sites (between 12 and 19 languages for brand names with a value of 12 billion dollars on average). Between now and 2018, Common Sense Advisory considers that websites will need to be available in at least 20 different languages in order to achieve global success. Among the sectors that use multilingual sites the most are R&D (Research & Development), automotive, IT, precision medical products and pharmaceuticals.
What about for B2B SMEs? According to our SME customers polled in our “Export Stories” section, the average number of languages available on an export SME website is 4: English, French, Spanish and German. Faced with the difficulties inherent in multilingual SEO, these SMEs draw on Europages services to extend their international visibility in 26 languages.
What’s your multilingual strategy?