Creating Global Content to Conquer the MENA Market
Creating Global Content to Conquer the MENA Market
In this era of digitization and globalization, more and more people do not waver to open their wallets, desks and ears to clutch the latest thing or technology trending in the global market for freelance translation jobs. The more intuitive the product is; the greater are its likelihoods to be delightedly immersed in an intensifying market all across the globe.
The Middle East covers regions mostly of Western Asia and Egypt. As we know, the Middle East has three major language families; the Afro-Asiatic, Indo-European and Turkic language families. Arabic is by far the most extensively used language with Persian (Farsi), Turkish, Berber and Kurdish rounding out the top 5 languages. There are 20 other minority languages spoken throughout the Middle East, and most of the educated and upper classes use English as their language of commerce. French and Russian are also used in certain regions of the Middle East.
The Middle East signifies a flourishing e-commerce market that any sort of international businesses or brands can’t afford to overlook. Additionally, the B2C (business to customer) e-commerce market has been experiencing a crucial swing as validated by the largest Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) transaction in the Arab world. This was Amazon’s 2017 acquisition of Souq.com, the biggest e-commerce player in the Middle East and which is known as the Amazon of the Middle East. Thus, it is clear the need to indulge in localization for the Middle East if businesses want to succeed in this region.
As we know, online trade in the Middle East Is encouraged. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) involves six member countries, which are; United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar. The council purposes to boost online trade and ease foreign direct investment.
The residents of the Middle East enjoy and are more comfortable with online shopping. Online shopping has developed swiftly over the last decade and is anticipated to keep intensifying. Middle East consumers have a big enthusiasm for procuring both local and global brands online. The region is home to people with high per capita income and is evolving as one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. Thus, e-commerce is the highlight of this market and eventually leading to localization and translation of these stores.
Moreover, Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter play a progressively significant role in prompting the e-shopping behavior of Arab consumers. Social media penetration rate is highest in the UAE and Qatar (99 percent). Hence, brands and businesses on these platforms are increasingly promoting their products and services in their local language to keep customers engaged and feel more personal with the brand. To entice more native customers who are not engaging in online shopping because of language blockades, brands and businesses need to launch their websites in Arabic. Customer personas can be segmented easily, which greatly assists localization efforts in the Middle East. Brands and businesses have the prospect to enter this productive market. Now, Middle East localization is key to any business success. Only a few years ago, the Arabic language had only a small amount of representation on the internet. However, today Arabic is one of the most important languages for website localization.
Amassed practice of digital technologies and the internet has allowed the region to connect to the rest of the world. In fact, the Middle-Eastern consumer is now among the most connected and digitally savvy in the world. This habit has shaped a new culture in the region where Western trends are mixed with traditional Middle-Eastern cultural practices. Thus, underestimating the standing of religion for the Middle-Eastern society can be harmful for localization. For example, not paying attention to religious susceptibilities can cause an irreversible destruction to a brand. For instance, Ramadan is also a good time to connect with consumers through social media because during Ramadan users are spending roughly 2 million more hours daily on Facebook.
We know, that the languages Arabic, Persian, and Hebrew are written right-to-left and have diverse typescripts than the Latin languages. Furthermore, Arabic takes more parallel space than English in written form, and this is something to reflect on particularly when localizing a website for any brand or business. Consequently, it’s virtuous exercise to use a translation solution that provisions right-to-left languages. Care also needs to be taken to prevent any design blunders that can be caused by the differences between languages.
Most importantly, the Middle-East is a massive market that embraces immense prospects for luxury brands. Nevertheless, the cultural shades of the region entail brands to pay extra attention when localizing for this market. As a result, brands and businesses need to take the time to comprehend this various and ever-changing region. And most significantly, speak to consumers in the language they understand. Although it’s a thought-provoking task, but with effectual website localization solutions, businesses can make some of the progressions much easier.
The MENA region is till date reflected as the most immature e-commerce market as equated to the rest of the World. This is mostly accredited to trials with transacting business online- lack of stable online payment systems, the high level of credit card fraud in the region, customers’ inhibitions about making card payments online as well as lack of functional and trusted web properties servicing the market.
Companies bearing in mind to launch e-commerce properties in the MENA region need to prudently research and employ the following:
Appropriate research about the market will help brands and businesses comprehend their target audience, consumer behavior and market trends.
What are you doing to attract the right audience to your website? Are you visible, can your audience find you easily? A well thought out SEO strategy is a must for any successful ecommerce website.
User Experience –
The ultimate goal is to ensure that the user encounters no hurdles from the time that they view a view a product on the website to the moment they press the purchase button. It is important to work with a professional translation partner in order to provide a fully localized Arabic user experience including right-to-left layout and fully functional Arabic appearance for your business.
Localization goes hand in hand with user involvement. Part of providing the ultimate user experience is delivering engaging content to audience in the language that they understand.