Localization is the process of customizing your app for use in countries other than your native country. When you think of releasing your app in another country, you might just think about translating all the text, but it’s not quite that simple. It takes time and effort to modify your app in such a way that it can be released in another country. Aside from just translating the text, you need to consider translating other resources, numerical formatting, new device types, and even cultural differences in your target countries. So why is it important to make your app available in other countries? First off, more countries mean more potential users.
Your approach to localization should consider things like market share, company position, and target audience. So let’s take a look at three different case studies for some examples. This first case study is a large, existing brand that sells athletic wear. They’re already well positioned in the market and they’re among the top three in their category. They want to reach out to teens who love soccer to build brand awareness and loyalty. To do this they decide to build a mobile app for soccer fans. To reach their target market they decide to support a wide range of countries, focusing on countries where soccer is popular, like Brazil, Germany, and Argentina.
And they decide to make their app available in 40 different countries at launch, internationalizing their app from the beginning. The next case study is a small startup based out of the United States. They’re trying to get anyone to use their app. They have limited resources, so they decided to release their app only in English but with the structure to support more countries later. When you release your app in the Play Store only in English, you don’t limit your app to only the United States. It’s available all over the world. Even if you only support English, you’ll notice usage from other countries.
If you structure your app from the beginning to be localized in the future, then you can use this information to decide which countries to support next. For example, if you notice a lot of users from Mexico, you might localize the Spanish next. This last case study is for companies that are more in between the two extremes that we just mentioned. You’re not dominating your market and flush with cash, but you’re also a little further along than the company with limited resources mentioned earlier. Right there in the middle. You’re more established and you’re looking for more growth. So this company is currently focused on the United States but is looking into supporting multiple countries.
They did not structure their app to be translated to multiple countries from the beginning, so they have to do that first. Then they can take their app, translate into their new markets. They decided a good first step would be to support France, Spain, and Germany, and then release in those new markets. To tie all this together, no matter your strategy for localization, the content in this course will help make the journey of internationalization and localization easier to manage.
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