Reasons for running multilingual websites
As economic globalization has led to a global market, companies need to attract people from all over the world. Finding customers online may sound easy, but it’s not enough to simply offer products and services online. Internationally successful companies need to consider many other facts, too. One of them is communicating with clients in their native language.
If you communicate in your customer’s mother tongue, they will remain on your website for twice as long and are four times more likely to purchase from you!
Of course, millions of websites are in English, and more than 20% of Internet users are English speaking. But the dominance of the English language on the web is ebbing as there are billions of people on earth that speak in a different language.
Top 10 languages
The best way to win your client’s favor is to communicate in their native language. The figure below illustrates the top 10 languages used in the Internet. English (27%) is followed by Chinese (23%) and Spanish (8%) in the list of top 10 languages that most frequently appear online.
Did you know about Japanese?
What may surprise you is that Spanish is followed closely by Japanese: There are nearly one million Japanese-speaking Internet users, which represent 5.0% of all Internet users in the world and 78% of use the Internet.
Talking to Europe
The latest Eurobarometer survey provides another reason to develop multilingual websites: 9 of 10 internet users in the European Union said, that given a choice of languages, they would always visit a website in their own language. Only a third of them is using a foreign language actively, and only 20% of Internet users in the EU would buy products from a website in a foreign language.