I recently had the pleasure of attending a very interesting event for application developers: VentureBeat’s Mobile Developer Roadshow in Toronto (check out the tweets about #vbroashow). The topics discussed included, among others, the monetization strategies game developers use to increase downloads and revenues. The most popular methods are shown in the graph below. But, where is translation and localization?
Another interesting graph shown during John Koetsier’s presentation was about the cost of user acquisition for mobile apps. Can’t find the graph now but I remember that the median was about $1 to $1.50 per user. Doesn’t that sound high when you can reach so many more app users with localization at just a fraction of that cost?
When I started writing this article, I wanted to showcase the benefits of app localization and why it’s the best and most-effective method to reach more users, increase downloads and engagement. Then, I wondered if this has already been discussed in other articles and did a quick research online. I found a ton of blog posts discussing this topic, so instead of writing the benefits myself, I compiled the following list with what I think is the best takeaway from each article.
iPhone App Localization: How To Get 767% More Downloads By Localizing App Keywords
Put simply, without localization, we would have had around 3,000 downloads for that month. With localization we had 23,000 downloads. Localizing this app’s keywords helped increase downloads by 767%! Yes, that’s over 7x the downloads we would have otherwise achieved.
The Impact of App Translations (study by Distimo)
Overall, applications that support multiple languages have increased their share of global free downloads and revenue. …one week after adding a native language translation for an iPhone app, downloads in that same country increased by 128% on average, with revenue increasing by 26%.
App Localization by Babble-on Translations
90% of the apps in the Top 20 of each country’s App Store are localized. Users overwhelmingly download apps in their own language.
How we tripled our user base by getting localization right
Getting localization right that led to a huge growth in our download rate – from about 1500 per day to almost 5000, in less than 6 months. Translating the app is a significant part of localization, but that’s not what drives downloads. It’s not about the text on the button, but about the way users discover the app, decide whether to download it and most of all – how they experience it.
App Localization: Increase your Downloads and Revenue Overnight
Only about 8% of the world speaks English as their first language (although the app market is skewed towards English speaking countries). 50% of the countries on the top 10 list for app downloads and revenue are non-English speaking countries from Europe and East Asia. That alone is reason enough to offer your app in more than one language.
The Science Of App Marketing: How To Help Your App Stand Out
Perhaps one of the simplest techniques for upping overseas app downloads is localization or internationalization, which basically involves reworking your app to fit into a local market, with the most obvious step — but far from the only one — being to translate your app into the native language.
Survey shows how localizing apps bolsters market expansion
Fifty-four percent of respondents said they embarked on localization because customers were asking for content in their local languages. An additional 44 percent said localization enables them to expand into global markets. Moreover, 51 percent of respondents reported improved customer experience as a result of providing some level of localized content.
The Benefits Of Language Localization For International Business
Localizing your products for existing markets can be a simple but very powerful way to increase sales, while selling to new international regions can multiply growth. Bringing a localized product to a new market gives prospective customers a compelling reason to purchase, enabling you to attain an otherwise unattainable level of market penetration.
Resources for app localization
Apple’s Internationalization resources for developers
Localization Checklist for Android Developers
Internationalization and localization on Wikipedia
Game localization on Wikipedia
22 Tips for Better Game Localization
Why App Localization Matters
Have you read or written an article that covers the benefits of app localization? Are you an app developer that has witnessed these benefits first-hand? Please share in the comments below.
Image credit: Death to the Stock Photo