What is Product Localization

What is Product Localization & Its Importance

Products and services keep taking a new shape and transformation in the market every now and then. As a business owner, it can be tough to remain relevant in the market with the same product or services for the longest time without figuring out other creative and transformative ideas. Of course, customers are always on the lookout for compelling and satisfying products. Business owners, on the other hand, strive to meet the customers’ needs.

But then, how can you ensure your product remains in the market for a long while maintaining the same traction as a new product? That is where product localization comes in. In this guide, we explore everything you need to know about product localization. Keep reading to gather more insights.

What is product localization?

Product localization is all about adjusting specific products or services to meet the target audience’s lifestyle, including cultural practices, language, and other unique practices practiced by a specific target group.

The main objective of product localization is to make a specific target market feel like a specific product or service was designed specifically for them. A business person, therefore, can penetrate different markets faster and seamlessly with product localization. In the end, the business will grow and expand, while customers will enjoy localized products to fit their lifestyles and cultural practices.

Why product localization is important

Product localization is effective when you need to extend your business to a global audience. However, different target audiences have different practices and needs. To eliminate common barriers such as language, cultural practices, and product preferences, business people simply implement product localization and attract a wider global audience in a seamless manner.

Importance of product localization

So, why should you localize your product and services? We’ve already mentioned that product localization helps business owners reach out and serve a global audience. Other benefits of product localization include the following:

  • Expand your customer base in a shorter timeline

Product localization is a sure way to expand your customer or user base. With product localization, you will manage to tailor your products and services to meet a specific target audience’s needs, hence meeting all their requirements and satisfying their needs.

What’s more, product localization enhances the accuracy of the product details based on a specific audience, thus eliminating misinterpretation of terms and phrases of specific products. Besides, the accuracy of product description details and tailoring everything to meet a specific audience’s needs creates better user engagement and experience. All these results in an expanded customer base because of the good relationship and customer satisfaction between your products and customers.

  • Eliminate cultural and language barriers

Local language barrier is the biggest challenge for businesses that want to create a global presence and reach customers from different regions.

Of course, no customer will spend on products and services that don’t meet the level of experience they want. Not all people speak and understand English comprehensively. Again, not all websites are available in English. This creates a big gap in the market, making some potential audience’s needs unmet.

The best way to solve this puzzle is to localize the products and services and stay ahead of the market competition while attracting a huge global user base.

Every customer will enjoy a personalized experience based on their language and cultural practices. Besides, product localization makes it possible for all customers to access your products and services despite their location.

  • Quicker Time to Market

Market penetration is the toughest phase, especially for new businesses that are launching new products.

Product localization accelerates the time it takes to market a product instead of waiting until the final stages to start marketing the product.

The process begins with content localization, a strategy that familiarizes the customers with the product even before the product is released. By the time the product gets released to the market, the audience is ready to receive it, making the time to market quick and seamless.

  • Increased revenue

Of course, product localization speeds up revenue growth. Every customer wants products and services that align with their language and practices. Besides, businesses that specialize in localized products are likely to maintain a higher customer retention rate while attracting new customers, thanks to the personalization and enhanced user experience. All these increase revenue, which speeds up business growth.

Note: Some customers are often skeptical about buying products or services that feel like a translated version of something else. Therefore, in some instances, customer retention might not always work in your favor because of such customers.

  • A seamless marketing approaches

Product localization, when done the right way, is a reliable marketing strategy for your business. However, extending your business to a global audience has a set of risks if you fail to take the correct steps.

When done the right way, it means the target audience gets the precise message at the right time, prompting them to act, whether buying or interacting with your products or services. This will create a positive effect on your business, attracting new customers and retaining the already existing customers.

Therefore, make sure you understand the broad market of your product and services, identify your potential customers, and know what they need and how they can get all they need. With all these in mind, you can strategize product localization and tailor it to create a perfect marketing strategy.

  • Promotes user engagement and experience

Localizing your products and services means tailoring the products to align with certain audience requirements and preferences. Customers are likely to engage and purchase personalized products because the product offers exactly what they need.

Again, personalization of products and services promotes a higher user-retention rate due to good experience with the products and services.

Different forms of product localization

The three broad categories of product localization are linguistic, cultural, and hardware & software localization. Below is a detailed description of the types of product localization.

  • Hardware and Software Localization

This is all about customizing the products and service’s UX, making them easy to use and functional overall. The goal is to produce a smooth user experience with the product.

Hardware and software localization goes beyond just implementing changes for different operating systems. It requires time zones, currency, cultural norms, language, and related elements to meet all the requirements of users in a specific region.

Other key elements to take note of when localizing hardware and software include measurements, currency, colors, icons, and symbols. For instance, American measurements are different from UK measurements. While they may seem minor, they play a big role in executing the product localization process successfully.

  • Cultural Localization

This type of product localization is purely based on the adaptation of cultural norms. It can include creating a UX design that aligns with the local user’s preferences changing the symbols, or linguistic expressions and phrases. The goal of cultural localization is to ensure the target user feels comfortable using or interacting with the product or service.

  • Linguistic Localization

Linguistic localization is all about translating one language to fit the target user audience’s language while maintaining a high level of accuracy and maintaining the original message.

The process of linguistic localization is quite complex. It is not all about language because you must factor in other cultural elements and languages to ensure the target audience gets a clear message.

Ideally, the content should meet cultural values, conventions, and local practices.

Step-by-step product Localization

product localization

Are you on the move to localize your product and scale your business higher? Follow the steps below to execute the processes successfully:

  • Conduct market research

Before you start thinking of how to meet user requirements, you must first of all do extensive research, understand the target market, and explore everything you need. Among the questions you should address while doing market research include the following:

  • What is the location of the new target audience?
  • What content aligns well with their needs?
  • What languages do they speak?
  • Which products or services fit well with their lifestyle?
  • What are their cultural nuisances?

These are among the many questions you should find answers to when doing research. With the answers, you will have clear guidelines on how to tailor the localization process, ensuring every element aligns with the target audience’s needs.

  • Get your product localization team

Next, you need a resourceful product localization team that will carry out the process professionally.

An established company will require a large team with more resources because the product localization process for such a company can be complex. This is contrary to a startup company that might require a smaller team to execute the process.

Despite the size of the establishment, it is crucial for a localization team to include some professionals to enhance the success of the project. The key professionals for a product localization team include the following:

  • Project Managers – this team includes professionals who oversee all the product localization processes. They must ensure every step is accounted for, the process is executed professionally, and the final delivery is timely. This means project managers must have excellent leadership and communication skills, especially proficiency in the languages involved during the localization process.

Therefore, when choosing project managers for product localization, they must showcase professional skills. Proven experience is an added advantage.

  • Translation Teams – the translation team plays a big role in the product localization team. They ensure the products and services description is translated from one language to another and anyone can comprehend it well. Therefore, they must understand both languages to execute these processes.

You can have a bigger or a smaller team of product localization translators. It all depends on the magnitude of your project, available resources, and your preference.

Of course, a huge project will require more translators to offer useful insights that will direct the process in the appropriate direction.

  • Product Developers – product developers also contribute a lot to the product localization team. In fact, they are the active team from the beginning of the process to the end.

Product developers contribute technical knowledge and skills, pinpointing the best tools and resources that can shape the processes. Above all, a dedicated developers provide insights into the best practices and approaches to make the product localization process a success.

  • Get the best tools and expertise

With the teams in place, you will now need the right tools to actualize the process. Apart from the tools, you will need professionals who can use the tools effectively to accelerate the product localization process.

If the company is just starting up with limited resources, it is important to choose a reliable software solution and translation management system that will execute the processes professionally and technically.

  • Localize for every market target

Each product localization project is unique in its own way. Therefore, depending on the product details, choose the right product localization approach. This is after understanding the nature of the products and the target market you intend to expand. Start the process from scratch, ensuring you align every step in the right manner.

Note: the different types of product localization approaches include the following:

  • The agile approach – This is the latest and most modern product localization approach. The content is released once translated in batches, thus ensuring faster time to market. Here, you don’t wait for translation to launch the products and services.

Ideally, you focus more on identifying and responding to market changes. If anything changes, you can swiftly modify the localization process to favor user feedback.

With an agile approach, you will need reliable localization tools that will simplify the processes and enhance consistency throughout the process.

  • The waterfall approach – This approach is more traditional than agile and continuous. Here, all the product details are translated before releasing to the market. While it has the benefit of ensuring accurate and consistent product localization, it is a costly and time-consuming approach.

Therefore, if you want to use the waterfall approach, planning is key. Start planning from the very first development stages to have an easy time managing the processes in the later stages of development.

  • The continuous approach –is a form of agile localization whereby the content is always translated immediately after it is created. There is no need to wait for translation before the product is released to the market. The process is continuous, making the product available in the market throughout.

Under continuous localization, the localization and development teams must collaborate to enhance the success of the process. Besides, you will require a robust localization platform that can manage large volumes of content that require translation.

  • Product localization testing

This is the final stage of product localization. After the initial phases, you must test and ensure the process has turned out successfully.

While testing, gather insights from the target market users. They will give you an overview of what is right and what needs changes, if any. After the testing and modification processes are over, it is when you can launch a localized product successfully.

Examples of localized businesses

Netflix – when Netflix was just starting, it was for the US audience only. After localization, Netflix is now available in 190 countries, thus expanding its global user base.

Slack – Slack is a communication platform accessible to different users across the globe. Slack’s UI is translated into Japanese, Spanish, German, and French as a way of expanding the user base and reaching the global audience. Other features like customer support services, foreign currency, and contextual language support have accelerated slack’s effectiveness on the global user base. Today, Slack is available in over 150 countries.

WWF – even NGO organizations can localize their products and services to reach a global user base, and WWF is a typical example. The organization is available in different regions, and it strategies its content to fit a specific user audience. What’s more, its content is tailored to align with the local audience’s cultural norms and practices.

Starbucks – This is an American coffee company, and it has localized its products and services to attract a global audience. Today, Starbucks offers taro-flavored drinks in China and matcha cream Frappuccino for Japanese audiences.

What’s more, Starbucks strives to deliver special holiday drinks for specific countries. A good example is the Japanese Christmas-themed chestnut. Menu and promotions localization strategy have enabled Starbucks to attract a wider global audience.

PUBG – This is a great royale game that has localized its products to fit different markets. The gaming effects have features that align with specific audiences in terms of preferences and language input.

Other companies that have localized their products and services are Airbnb, Coca Cola, Samsung, and Domino’s, among many others.


Every business person strives to scale and grow their business to the next level. In fact, reaching and serving the global audience is one strategy that can make a business grow bigger and better.

Product localization is the most effective way to promote and grow your business by servicing the global audience. The benefits are vast compared to the challenges you may encounter along the way.

Still, with the right product localization team, the right tools & resources, and proper planning, you can always execute product localization seamlessly.

Any queries? Get in touch with our software development company – Aalpha information systems and get a free consultation.


Written by:

Stuti Dhruv

Stuti Dhruv is a Senior Consultant at Aalpha Information Systems, specializing in pre-sales and advising clients on the latest technology trends. With years of experience in the IT industry, she helps businesses harness the power of technology for growth and success.

Stuti Dhruv is a Senior Consultant at Aalpha Information Systems, specializing in pre-sales and advising clients on the latest technology trends. With years of experience in the IT industry, she helps businesses harness the power of technology for growth and success.