Major South African consumer trend that international businesses must know

If you want their business, you’re going to have to work for it!

That is one of the main takeaways from the digital customer experience report, released by Rogerwilco, a South African advertising agency.

For businesses looking to get their brands in front of South African consumers, and stay there – Personalization is key!

People expect businesses to understand them, their needs and wants, and for businesses to communicate in a way that’s personalized, and rooted in a deep understanding of their values.

Some call this a “paradigm shift”, but is it really?

Or is it an inevitability, largely driven by the growing adoption of technology in everyday life, both by South African consumers and businesses?

It goes beyond South Africa, however:


  • 65% of people engage with content that looks native, even if the quality is poor,
  • 76% of online shoppers prefer product information that’s written in their language,
  • And 40% of people opt for shopping experiences in their language.

It is clear: consumers in different markets are looking for brands that offer a personalized experience.

An important part of this strategy is localizing your web or mobile app for a specific market – this is often referred to as Software localization.

What is involved in the software localization process?

By way of definition, software localization is the entire process of translating and localizing a software product, to meet the unique requirements of users in a specific market.

However, software localization involves more than just translating the text of software into another language.

The localization part of the process requires that time and date standards, measurement units, currencies, design, including content – all be localized.

At Afrolingo we are proud of our comprehensive software localization process, which results in software solutions that work exactly as intended.

Our workflow in a nutshell:

  1. Order submission
  2. Project preparation
  3. Translation
  4. Proofreading and editing
  5. Localization
  6. Testing
  7. Project delivery

Pro tip

Because not all languages are the same, you should translate your software into languages using alphabets that aren’t English. For example, translating software written in English to Arabic would require the use of an abjad (The Arabic alphabet), not English letters.

Software localization can spur international growth

Building trust is the name of the game for international businesses entering new markets.

And to build trust requires adhering to people’s cultural and linguistic norms. Businesses who fail to do this, risk developing a negative reputation or worse – becoming invisible to their target customers altogether.

Consider these fascinating stats on the most spoken languages in the world:

If you just assumed English is the be-all-end-all language in the world, your business would miss out on a large number of potential customers. Especially if your target market includes speakers of these languages. 

Reasons why software localization should matter for international businesses:

1. Opportunity to expand your brand’s customer base

What’s the knock-on effect of a great localized product?

Well, your customers are more likely to share their experiences and recommend your solution to others around them

Creating repeat, and new customers for your business – and more reliable revenue streams, too.

Word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool. Creating tailored solutions for people makes it likely they’ll speak highly of you, to others.

2. Improves user experience

People want to use software products that work as well as they should! Seriously, a bad user experience in a software product is akin to committing business suicide.

Localizing your software for a market enhances the user experience they will have using our solution. Every penny invested in UX has been proven to return around $10 to $100 dollars for businesses

Users are smart, they will notice (In the User Experience -of course!) if a software product was adapted as a mere afterthought. And they will leave negative reviews to let you just what they think.

3. Can help you access new markets faster

One way to maximize your efforts is to incorporate localization whilst developing your software early on.

This will result in faster deployment times when your product is ready for the market. Allowing you to outwit the competition and gain traction.

Remember, it is more time-consuming – not to mention expensive – to localize your software product after you’ve built it.

Pro tip

A team of linguists and translators should form part of the team working on the software solution, to ensure it meets the linguistic and cultural expectations of a market segment.

How Afrolingo can assist you?

Afrolingo is a professional translation and localization company working on the African continent.

We work with international companies to translate and localize their products and services, for a specific target demographic, here on the African continent.

Afrolingo offers software localization services, to help you gain traction in a market of your choice, by localizing your software product to meet consumers’ cultural and technical expectations.