By Sean Work
Imagine you are traveling in a faraway country, outside of your comfort zone. You are enjoying the sights and sounds and smells, but you know you are a stranger in a strange land.
Then, you hear someone speaking your native language. Immediately, you turn to see who it is, and you smile, because you feel at home with this person who knows your language.
Our native language can affect our behavior and influence our purchasing habits. Indeed, language has been proven to affect our behavior considerably.
In research published in the Harvard Business Review, it was found that 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language. This means that, by providing a site in only one language, you automatically are ruling out a huge potential client base.
The research also found that 72.4% of consumers would be more likely to buy a product using information in their own language. With so many products available, consumers increasingly are undertaking their own internet-based research before committing to a purchase. If your product information isn’t in their native language, chances are they won’t buy it.
In fact, 56.2% of the consumers in the study said the ability to obtain information in their own language is even more important than price. Thus, while price reduction is an obvious tactic in a competitive market, the use of language may have a bigger impact than you might think.
Another report, published by the European Commission, revealed that 90% of internet users in the EU always visited a website in their own language, when given a choice of languages. In today’s competitive world, no business can afford to ignore the possibility of adding 90% of a country’s internet users to their sales figures!
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