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People Don't Buy What They Can't Understand / Getting Your Web Site To Work For You in Global Market

Sunday, July 12, 2009

In 2006 and 2008, my colleagues and I at Common Sense Advisory conducted two large-scale international surveys to understand language preference on the Web and for software products. The first survey polled 2,430 consumers in eight countries where English is not the primary language, asking them about their attitudes and behaviors toward English-language websites. The second questioned over 350 business buyers, also in eight non-Anglophone countries, about their preferences for buying products that had been localized for their markets.

We found that non-English speaking or consumers with limited English proficiency are 4.8 times more likely to buy products offered and documented in their own languages. Even among English-speaking respondents, 65.5% said they favored local-language products. Most consumers told us they would pay a higher price for a localized product.

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