Can’t Read, Won’t Buy!

The title of the report published by Common Sense Advisory speaks for itself: if I can’t read the label/manual/website/etc., I won’t buy your product. The language of your website is one of the most important factors that make the users stay or leave. Communication in international markets is a key to global success of a company. Translation is always an investment. Otherwise you end up wondering why you company does not sell as much as it could.

The researchers contacted consumers in 10 countries and checked how shopping preferences are influenced by the language of a product. It turned out that the significant number of consumers chose only products and services which offer versions in their native language. Many customers consciously avoid websites with only English version because they are afraid of misunderstanding and consequently making a bad buying decision. Those who visit such websites spend there less time and go back to the search engine to find some more language-friendly company.

Apart from website translation there are other important factors influencing customer choices: manuals, technical support, guarantee service etc. should be available in the desired language version. If consumers cannot use this services in their native language, they are generally discouraged to buy a product.


87% of the consumers who do not speak English do not buy products and services on the English websites

55% of the consumers buy only on the websites translated into their native languages

56% of the consumers spend more time on the websites created in or translated into their native language than on the websites in English

The research was conducted in the following countries:

  • Brazil
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Spain
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • Turkey

The analysts did not include Poland, but the results could be very similar to other countries. Although Polish consumers know English very well, they still prefer shopping on the Polish websites. Translations into Polish are necessary for all the companies wishing to conquer the Polish market.

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