Introduction

With so much opportunity in industries like e-commerce, media, and travel, it’s no wonder that SaaS is experiencing a rapid period of growth in the enterprise market. However, this growth must be accompanied by changes to the product itself, which often comes as a surprise to many startups. Understanding your customers is paramount for successful SaaS marketing.

Here are some important considerations for growing companies looking to make the leap from a single-language service to one that is globalized.

The Importance of Localizing Your SaaS Product

In the last five years, SaaS companies have grown from being a small part of the overall tech landscape to becoming one of the most important sectors of it.

The reason for this is clear: SaaS products are easy to sell and easy for customers to get started with. They also provide ongoing revenue streams for developers, a model that has proven successful for many companies.

While SaaS products have been around for over 15 years now, it wasn't until the last couple of years that they became mainstream. It's not just because they're easy to use but also because they remove most of the barriers that make traditional software so difficult to distribute and sell. There are no physical products to ship and no CDs or DVDs to manufacture; just a simple download link that customers can access at any time of day or night.

However, while SaaS has been successfully adopted by many businesses around the world, there's still room for improvement when it comes to localizing your product into other languages.

SaaS products are global in nature, but the majority of them are localized for specific markets.

Localization is the process of adapting a product or service to meet the needs of a particular market.

Why Localize Your SaaS Product?

There are several reasons why you should consider localizing your SaaS product:

Localization is a long-term investment

While it is true that developing a localized version of your product costs more time and money than simply using English, it pays off over time and in more ways than one. Localizing your product into multiple languages makes it much easier for you to scale globally while eliminating language and cultural barriers between your company and its users. This can result in higher customer satisfaction levels as well as higher customer lifetime value (CLV).

In addition, localizing your product gives you an advantage over competitors who choose not to localize their products by making them appear less professional.

Increase customer satisfaction

You can leverage the power of localization to improve the user experience and make your product easier to use for customers around the world. This will result in happier users who are more likely to recommend your product to others — which means more signups!

Reduce support costs

When you localize your SaaS product, it becomes much easier for customers to understand how it works and how they can get value out of it. This means fewer support tickets being submitted by confused users who don’t understand how things work, which means lower support costs!

Boost revenue

The localization process of your SaaS product gives you access to foreign markets with more opportunities for growth as well as increased revenue through international sales transactions.

Common SaaS Localization Challenges

SaaS localization is a complex process, which requires a lot of attention to details.

Lack of Data Governance

The main challenge is the lack of control over your data, especially when you are talking about sensitive information such as financial data or customer data. In most cases, it's impossible to have a single source of truth for all of your data because each department has its own database and systems. The lack of a centralized system leads to duplicate data entries, inconsistency in terms of how different departments refer to the same product or a product feature and a lot more.

This kind of problem is usually difficult to solve because it requires changing existing processes and addressing cultural resistance from multiple departments that are used to working independently from one another.

Unclear Ownership of Content Assets

It’s not unusual to see a client who has no clear ownership of their content assets. This can be caused by the lack of a centralized repository or by multiple teams working on different parts of their website without communicating with one another. Because there is no single person responsible for managing all content in one place, it’s difficult to keep track of changes and make sure they don’t conflict with one another. And if you can’t keep track of your changes, how can you ensure that they comply with local regulations?

Inaccurate or half-finished translation

When you hire a translation agency that provides translation services to localize your product into a new language, you expect them to deliver high-quality translations that can be easily understood by your target audience. However, this doesn't always happen. Sometimes the translator doesn't have enough knowledge in the field they're translating into and they just copy word-for-word from other sources instead of translating properly (this is called the machine translation process, translation memory usually being used). Other times, they make simple mistakes such as missing articles or conjunctions when translating sentences.

Sometimes translators don't finish working on their projects because they get distracted by other projects or simply don't have enough time to finish them all before their deadline expires (this is especially true for agencies that offer fixed prices).

Localization of legal documents (e.g., terms of service)

Legal documents are mostly related to copyright issues, so it's very important to localize them correctly in order to avoid any legal problems with your users or partners from other countries. In addition, many legal documents contain certain phrases which can't be translated literally into another language as they don't make sense in the target culture or country context, so you should always ask a native speaker of your target language before changing anything in such documents!

Lack of localization agility

The traditional approach to software localization is a waterfall process, which involves many people, many steps and a lot of time. This process can be very costly, especially for enterprise-level software or products that need to be localized on a regular basis.

In addition, there’s no way to predict what changes will be made in the future or how they will affect your current localizations. This can cause delays in the process and make it difficult for you to stay up-to-date with new releases.

SaaS Localization Tips & Best Practices

Here are some best practices to help you get started with SaaS localization:

Research localization targets beforehand (to ensure fit)

There are many different types of companies that use SaaS products — from small businesses to large enterprises — so the language needs of each group are often very different. For example, if you’re targeting a B2B SaaS product, you’ll want to make sure that the application is translated into industry-specific terminology and jargon that accounts for your target audience.

Localize user interface elements first (including error messages)

In addition to translating text into other languages, it’s also important to localize user interface elements such as buttons and icons. Some companies prefer to do this after they have completed their initial translation; however, we recommend doing this during the initial translation phase instead since it will save time in the long run.

Use regional pricing strategies

Offer different pricing plans in each region based on local market conditions (e.g., cost of living). This will allow you to increase your revenue while keeping your product affordable for customers in different regions. For example, if the average monthly salary in one country is $2k but $3k in another country, it makes sense to offer cheaper plans in the first country and more expensive ones in the second country as long as both plans are still profitable for you.

Conclusion

No matter how you spin it, localization can be a pain. It seems like every corner of the website has something to be translated, and there are different strategies for handling it all. However, all hope is not lost. There are a lot of reasons to make the effort, so long as you understand what goes into doing it well. With that in mind, it becomes easier to take on the task and make sure we do it right. After all, there's always room for improvement, right?



PoliLingua

We use only translators carefully selected to match the subject matter and content of your project. Our translations meet and exceed international quality standards. Upon request, we will provide you with a statement which certifies the accuracy of our translations.

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