According to a 2017 analysis by the German Startup Monitor (DSM), 83% of German startups plan to further internationalize their business. Digital products are dominating their product market with 79% of the startups stating that digitalization plays an important role to their business models.
When asked what the biggest hurdles for internationalization of startups are, DSM identifies legislation and regulations, as well as cultural and language barriers. This ultimately comes back to the ‘localization’ of digital products.
Localization describes the process of making websites and apps available for the international market, but catering to the local user.
From the success story of the German ecommerce company Yalwa - The Local Internet Company, there are three key factors that help successfully establish digital products in other markets.
1. Ensure the Digital Product is Usable by Local Users
Localization requires a lot more than a simple translation of copy. It requires that you address the cultural nuances that can make a major difference in the customer experience.
2. Get Real-Time Feedback from Local Users
User-centric development of digital products is all about speed. You must be able to deploy new features, bug fixes, and products at a moment’s notice.
3. Consistently Place End Users at the Center of Product Development
Gaining valuable customer insight in your product’s user experience is crucial to ensuring the product is functioning as intended. Testing by real users from the appropriate target group allows companies to receive a holistic view on every aspect of the digital product.
Users in Local Markets are the Success Barometer
Yalwa has expanded to more than 60 countries since its inception in 2006, with the help of specialized classifieds portals Locanto (online classifieds network), Yalwa (local business directory), and askalo (search engine for cars, homes, jobs). In cooperation with the Applause testers, Yalwa was able to further accelerate its strong international expansion.
With crowdtesting aid, Yalwa is able to realize the demands of the end users before the actual customers can access it themselves. This allows Yalwa to proactively develop its product in line with end user’s needs.
Learn more in our case study of how the three aforementioned localization factors helped Yalwa deliver the best possible digital experience to their customers and end users on a daily basis.