Offshore growth is a realistic, feasible, and attainable goal for businesses of all sizes now.
Whether you want to take your hot-selling chili sauce beyond the Farmer’s market, or sell your cool customized surfboards to board riders in Hawaii, Bali, or France, it’s do-able.
Not that long ago however, international expansion was just a pipe dream – especially for SMBs who couldn’t afford a multilingual infrastructure.
But language barriers have been largely erased thanks to innovative auto-translation technologies that enable diverse businesses and industries to communicate with global customers without breaking the bank.
From RBMT to NMT
Most translation platforms are built on automated software that interpret the sentence structure of a language to produce a translation based on the rules of that language.
Early versions, based on rules-based machine translation (RBMT) systems, were unable to capture the nuances of everyday speech. SMT (statistical machine translation) systems meanwhile, relied on real-life phrases to generate more accurate translations.
Today’s third wave of translation technologies are based on neural machine translation (NMT) advances. Powered by self-teaching algorithms, NMT platforms recognize natural word and phrase combinations – across all languages – to deliver clear, accurate translations.
5 Reasons why SMBs should focus on non-English speaking customers
With these breakthroughs, there’s never been a better time for businesses of all sizes – especially SMBs – to pro-actively tap non-English speaking customers. Here are five reasons why.
- Business without borders – Smart SMBs have quickly recognized the business opportunities offered by foreign markets and developed strategies to optimize them. Businesses that already make use of automatic translation are ahead of the game, and they will be the ones to prosper in an increasingly diverse market. If you want to remain competitive, even just in the U.S., it’s imperative that you, too, develop a strategy that utilizes machine translation.
- Affordability – most advanced solutions offer affordable monthly or annual subscription fees covering the most commonly spoken second languages in the U.S. – Spanish, French, Chinese and Tagalog. Some solutions can support up to 120+ languages.
- Speed and convenience – auto translation is also fast – advanced software can deliver large batches of translated text in minutes. In fact, many platforms translate text in real-time, meaning you can send content in your native language and, on the way to the recipient’s device, it will translate into theirs.
- Enhance competitiveness – from a financial and productivity standpoint, using machine translation just makes sense. Not only does this technology level the playing field between SMBs and larger competitors but also, it makes consumers feel happier, more valued and cared for.
- Customers prefer content in their own language – the recent “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy,” research report highlights the immense importance of using a multilingual approach when conducting business with other cultures. According to the findings – gathered using representative samples from 29 different countries – customers prefer to buy from websites that use their native language over ones that don’t.
To further break down just how big of a role translation plays in B2B and B2C international commerce, the research spotlighted the following:
- 65% of consumers prefer content in their native language.
- 40% of consumers said they would not buy from a website or brand that failed to communicate in their native language.65% said they prefer branded content in their native language, even if said content is poorly written
- Even more enlightening are the statistics regarding English sites in particular. As many as 30% of respondents said they never buy from English-only sites, while another 30% said they rarely do. More than half of respondents (56%) said they boycott English-speaking sites altogether. Of individuals who receive communications in English or a foreign language, 75% said they desire that same information in their own language.
Even if you don’t plan to expand into foreign markets, you shouldn’t ignore this data. Non-English-speaking consumers make up a large portion of the U.S. e-commerce market, with numbers in the millions.
For example, there are over 400 foreign languages spoken in the United States. Approximately 40.5 million residents speak Spanish, 3.4 million speak Cantonese and Mandarin, and 1.7 million speak Filipino and Tagalog. Another approximately three million speak French, Arabic or Vietnamese.
While auto translation is a relatively common feature now, not all platforms are built the same. Powered by several translation engines, NotifyMe supports more than 120 languages making it a great option for reaching customers around the world, as well as local customers who speak English as a second language.
For added convenience and comfort, recipients of NotifyMe notifications can also choose to either read, or listen to messages sent – if you want to see how NotifyMe measures up register for a free trial today.