For centuries we have been told that the world is getting smaller and the digital age is one of the biggest contributors to our ever-shrinking planet. We no longer have to wait for weeks to receive some form of information about countries outside of our own. Instead, a simple clickety-click and we have all the global information we need at our fingertips. And leading the digital age is mobile.
Unless you were living under a rock, location-based gaming app Pokemon Go was released in 2016 and took the world by storm. In the first week of its release, the free app was downloaded 15 million times, increasing Nintendo’s stock prices by 23%. Pokemon Go is a prime example of mobile app localisation done right. The app was localised perfectly with translations being contextualized, screen sizes being optimized and hotspots being location specific.
For ecommerce retailers with global apps, the localisation process is a bit more problematic. Translation, payment, postage, spacing all come into play when localising a mobile app globally. Simply commanding a bot to perform automated localisation testing will not put an end to your problems and is most likely holding your revenue back.
Apart from increased revenue and an expansive audience, what are the hidden benefits of localisation?
1) Increased app visibility: In a similar way to its partner SEO, app store optimization (ASO) works in a similar way. Apps which are fully functional and localised will appear at the top of the search list on the App store, instead of at the bottom behind your competitors.
2) Mobile layout optimization: Focusing on text layout alone, both app stores offer to cater to around 130 countries, with the majority being laid out specifically for the English language. However, only 24% of smartphone users are native English speakers, with French, Spanish and German languages taking up to 30% more spacing than English. Taking all these factors into account, it’s clear that there’s a serious text-based layout issue. Translation requires more than a simple word switch; it needs an entire localisation test to uncover any issues which are reducing the quality of your users’ experiences.
3) Certified ROI: This is a simple one. Investing in localisation testing has proven to increase downloads by 128%.
With so many different factors going on during the localisation process, external testing is a blessing as professional testers uncover issues, without the risk of app bias or browser blindness. Additionally, community testing gives you access to global devices and testers at a cheaper cost and with a quicker turnaround, compared to doing the testing internally.