2020 shaped the business landscape in unexpected ways. Although certain trends can be seen worldwide, industries haven’t been affected evenly. This article examines how the last year’s events will shape 2021 localization industry trends.
How did 2020 affect business?
As a predominantly B2B sector, localization industry trends are shaped by our clients’ businesses across the globe. In 2020, most of the world’s major economies, other than China, were plunged into recession. The global tourism industry began to crumble and hospitality businesses are shutting their doors (BBC).
However, it’s not all bad news. The pandemic sped up the adoption of digital technologies by several years (McKinsey). Meanwhile, shares in certain pharmaceutical companies involved in vaccine development have shot up (BBC) and e-commerce sales are at an all-time high (Shopify).
What does this mean for 2021 localization industry trends?
As learners continue to turn to online platforms in the wake of COVID-19, global providers need to look at how to create consistent, engaging content that resonates with international students.
This isn’t only the case for school and university education, either. According to the World Economic Forum, 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025. These soft skills include leadership, learning strategies, and analytical thinking. Whether this will be achieved in-house or externally remains to be seen. However, between April and June this year, Coursera saw a fourfold increase in the number of people looking to improve their own education and skills.
E-learning translation and localization will provide companies with the opportunity to grow their platforms and courses worldwide in 2021.
Digital marketing localization
According to HubSpot, digital leaders working across various industries plan to spend an average of 25% more on digital in 2021. Global brands, such as TikTok, have already seen the importance of prioritizing spending on localization to engage users as a major part of their marketing plan.
Video marketing, in particular, has seen significant growth in recent months. Forbes reported that, in early 2020, “the number of U.S. Facebook users watching live video increased 50%, prompting the platform to roll out additional features to support video creators”. It’s also been noted that posts without a video get 92% less traffic than posts with at least one video.
Localizing video content can be done through voice-overs, subtitles, and graphics, making the video resonate with users in other countries. Those interested in video localization may also consider transcreation. Transcreation builds on localization, transforming a product so that it feels as though it was made locally, with that specific market in mind. It elicits the same emotional response in the new language and resonates with the audience. Localization and transcreation digital marketing strategies link closely with personalization, one of our key marketing trends for 2021.
2020 saw brick-and-mortar retailers transform their online presence to stay afloat. Shopify reports record levels of e-commerce competition throughout the pandemic, but not all businesses were able to adapt quickly and easily:
“Many new competitors are not equipped to compete on customer experience, a top differentiator online, giving an edge to brands with immersive omnichannel experiences.”
E-commerce localization allows companies to make their brands locally relevant and overtake their competition. Everything from products to chatbots can be localized to make sure shopping experiences speak to users across channels.
New localization markets
According to the COVID-19 Enterprise Survey, 56% of language service providers have received requests from new groups. This could be for local market research, language support, or international process optimization.
While localization industry trends appear differently across various sectors, they all have one aspect in common, summed up by Dr. Donald A. Depalma from CSA research:
“Primary data demonstrates that you need to speak the language of your customers, employees, and partners. If you don’t meet their expectations, a competitor will.”
At Future Trans, we’re localization experts. Our team has over 25 years’ experience in the translation industry and provides the highest-quality services in MENA and beyond. To find out more about how we work, see our services.