According to a recent report, a whopping 94% of US citizens shop – or are willing to shop – online. A huge number, but still below what other countries report. Like Germany, where the percentage is 97%, or South Korea, where it closes to 100%. And while Americans are known to spend the most money online, focusing with your online business on them only would be a big mistake. Because there are other people in other countries who would buy your product or service – and if they are not English-speaking, you might be ignoring them completely. And losing out on all the money they are willing to give you.
When it comes to Europe – more specifically the European Union – only about 40% of the population speaks English. This means less than half of its total population, which exceeds 500 million today. And if you go further East, you can see that many countries have a much lower percentage of English-speaking citizens. Less than 10% of the Chinese speak English, and in India this percentage doesn’t reach 15% at this time. And the number of English speakers in Brazil hardly exceeds 5% (according to a 2012 survey by the British Council).
Why should this interest you? Well, first of all, because these countries – considered to be “developing” economies – are where the biggest growth can be expected in the coming years.
Some companies have foreseen this trend, offering their services localized for non-English territories. Facebook, Google and Microsoft were among the first to offer localized services, but smaller companies like the all slots mobile casino soon followed suite. More and more companies expand their reach beyond the Anglosphere, offering their services and products to people who don’t use English as their first (or second) language.
If your product or service is mobile, reaching beyond the Anglosphere is even more important. According to research conducted by Newzoo and OneSky (an app localization platform), BRIC countries (BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China) will reach a year-on-year growth of over 90% when it comes to mobile gaming in 2016. Smartphone use is expected to explode in the BRIC countries in the coming years, with manufacturers focusing their marketing efforts to these countries. And gaming is just one of the many businesses that will need to open up new markets. We can expect many others, from dating to news and search, to reach out to customers speaking foreign languages.
Internet users all over the world are looking for products to buy and services to use. The global value of e-commerce sales has grown by an estimated 25% in 2015 alone, reaching a value of a whopping $1.6 trillion. Are you really willing to miss out on such an opportunity?