How to pick your next language?
iGaming sites are some of the most multilingual sites on the internet, as their services have global reach. In many cases global expansion happens quickly, with little time for planning.
iGaming organizations can decide to add a new language to their site for several reasons, not all based on real market opportunities. It is important however to consider the whole picture, to try to identify the top candidate languages that are going to increase the most players numbers and volume.
Given the cost and effort in adding and maintaining a new language, and given the wide array of languages used in attractive iGaming markets, organizations can consider various data to help them select the next highest value language.
Factors in language selection
As the sector is highly regulated, compliance to local licensing regimes is always the first point that must be considered. The legal department or specialized counsel are in the best position to advise companies in this regard.
Every company surely has customers from local markets that are not currently serviced by a localized site, therefore need to turn to the site in English or other languages.
- Review main KPIs in markets not serviced by a local language to identify top markets of existing players. These will also be the main candidates for next language.
- Analyze CRM data to reveal significant information about players from a local market. For example a high open rate vs. a low CTR may indicate that the user is interested in the information, but doesn’t understand what action to take as it’s not in the local language.
- Revisit visitor vs. conversion numbers. Markets where visitor numbers are high but conversion is low may need a local language.
- Top markets local languages – Consider top language(s) spoken in the top markets. There may be languages that can service more than one market. For example Russian is used proficiently in many CIS countries.
- English proficiency – Common Sense Advisory has found that people with no or low proficiency in English are six times more likely not to buy at English-only sites than people with high English proficiency. If the top candidate is a market with high level of English, you may want to pass on it to the next candidate, where customers may benefit more from the offering of their local language.
Availability of viable payment methods
It’s wonderful to be able to service customers in their local language. However, if there are no viable payment options for online transactions, the frustration of not being able to deposit and withdrawal funds will drive customers away despite a completely localized experience. Customers in specific markets need access to online payment methods that operate locally and ideally will accept local currency.
Give priority to markets serviced by payment providers that are already affiliated with the organization. In this case, adding the new market and currency will be fairly straightforward. In the case that a prospective top market is not covered by an existing payment method, local online payment methods can be explored. In some markets there are no real viable options.
A truly localized experience cannot be complete without offering customer service in the local language. Ideally an organization can offer full support to customers in a target market, alternatively it can consider certain compromises:
- Native or fluent representatives – The best option is to have native or fluent speakers of the language to converse on live chat or answer emails from local users. Obviously these resources will need to be available in the local market time zone. Language customer service reps can also be a invaluable resource for translations quality checks and insight on local user preferences. Survey your current representatives to find if any have additional language knowledge, as often language speakers are proficient in more than one language.
- FAQ or knowledge base – In case an extensive FAQ or knowledge base already exists, translating this content will offer a first level of support to the local player.
- Pre-set answers to top questions – Even if no organized FAQ section exists, most customer service departments have prepared (“canned”) answers to top questions from users. Translate these canned emails will offer first level support to the local player.
- Second level support – In the above two scenarios, where local support is only available for first level support, make clear to users that additional support is only available in English (or whatever source language of the organization).
- Other hybrid solutions – A localization professional can guide an organization through alternative solutions. For example Machine Translation (both to understand the query as well as translate the answer); localized forms with pre-set choices the user can select to communicate the details of the issue (eg. Transaction number, deposit/withdrawal amount, type of issue, type of bet, amount of bet, sport/league/game); user forums (although these cannot help with troubleshooting issues on payments or placed bets).
Final language selection
Once the company examines all factors, it will have produced a prioritized list of top candidates for new languages.
The next step in the process of comparing new language candidates is to “Calculate ROI of adding a new language to your website”. Once the new top language has been identify optimize your processes to “Add a new language to your website. Can it be as easy as a click of a button?”