Expand Your Reach with App Localization

With the number of app downloads worldwide reaching a staggering 204 billion in 2019, it is clear that localizing your app to enter new markets is a critical step in increasing your customer base.

What is App localization?

App localization is the process of customizing your app to suit a target market or region. Ultimately, the idea is to ensure that your app is as appealing to the new market as it is to the original one. As part of your localization strategy, you can include different dialects and variations of the same language.

Although language translation is a significant part of the process, app localization is much more than that. During localization, following cultural norms and paying attention to language nuances are essential to achieving a successful outcome. In addition, various symbols and images that might be appropriate for one market could easily be offensive in another, making this aspect critical to the process. Therefore, considering all characteristics of a region is necessary during the localization process.

Why is App Localization Important?

By localizing your app, you are creating a huge opportunity for expansion that you likely would not be able to achieve otherwise. Without localization, you are limiting your app’s potential, since users want products that are in their language and that fit their needs. From currencies to measurements, modifying information to suit a region will go a long way with potential customers and will ultimately increase your customer base.

Consider these global statistics:

  • Consumers across the globe spend 50% of their time on social and communications apps.
  • Worldwide app store spending has reached $120 billion.
  • In 2019, $86 billion was spent on mobile gaming, which is 25 percent higher than all other gaming combined.
  • Users open an app an average of one to ten times a day.

With apps being so popular worldwide, it simply makes good sense to extend your app to reach new locations.

Developing a Localization Growth Strategy

Once you have decided to localize your app, the next step is to determine your localization growth strategy. One way to initially ascertain if your app would be successful in other locations is to look at whether it is already being downloaded outside of your current market. For example, if your English language app is being downloaded in non-English-speaking regions, chances are that a localized version of it would be successful in another country.

When considering your strategy, keep these steps in mind:

  • Laser-target your market. Give some thought to where your app has the possibility to become popular, based on the local interests of the region. Consider what makes your app unique to the region to make it worthwhile to localize there. As the most downloaded apps worldwide for January 2020, TikTok, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger paid close attention to their markets to make decisions about localization.
  • Think about the top languages for app localization. If you are not sure where to start, consider the top five languages for app localization after English: Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Russian, and Korean.
  • Pay attention to what people are saying about your app. Peruse technology recommendation websites and online forums to find out whether your app is being reviewed and discussed by users from other regions, then consider those markets as possibilities.
  • Partner with a language services provider (LSP). Once you have made the decision to localize, select an LSP that can put together a top-notch team that to ensure a successful app localization.

The Impact on Business is Tremendous

The bottom line of app localization is that it can have a remarkable impact on your business. As an example, app developer David Janner kept track of the traffic from one of his apps before and after it was localized. Prior to the localization, 76% of traffic was generated from English-speaking nations; after the localization, approximately 90% of all downloads were from non-English speaking countries. Even more amazing is that overall downloads increased by 767%.

One app that nailed localization is Evernote, which has 75% of its users outside of the U.S. The company’s expansion into Japan is an excellent example of how to decide which markets should be considered for localization. When the company noticed an increase in users in Japan, it paid attention, especially since it had not targeted marketing in the country. With 225 million users, Evernote has clearly implemented an excellent business strategy that included localization.

When deciding on how to increase usage of your app, remember that localization provides countless opportunities for growth. Considering that mobile apps are expected to generate more than $935 billion by 2023, the decision to localize makes excellent business sense.


To expand your customer base and increase revenue, make app localization part of your business strategy.

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