Last July, independent market research firm CSA Research released the results of the third edition of the study Can’t Read, Won’t Buy – B2C, which aimed to evaluate online language preferences and their impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Key data from the study

  • 8709 surveyed
  • 29 countries: Germany, Brazil, China, Korea, Denmark, Egypt, Slovakia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Slovakia, the United States and Vietnam.
  • The surveys were conducted in the official language of each country; in the case of the US, the survey was conducted in Spanish.
  • The study consisted of two separate surveys; one for consumers, with 50 questions, and one for companies, with 33 questions.
  • The study was directed by CSA Research in partnership with specialized firm Kantar

Outstanding findings

  • 65% prefer the web content in their own language even if it’s low quality
  • 67% accept websites that use multiple languages on the same page
  • 73% prefer products with user reviews in their language, even if the website or application is not translated
  • 75% claim they are more likely to buy a product from the same brand again if customer service is available in their language.
  • 71% prefer to use search engines to solve problems, over social networks, recommendations, influencers and product comparison websites.

CSA Research Director of Research Donald A. DePalma said, “The findings of the 2020 edition of the study show that if a company chooses not to localize the shopping experience it risks losing 40% or more of the potential market […]. Although companies want to offer products and experiences on the site in English, most consumers prefer to think, act and buy in their own language. ”.

See the interview Can’t Read, Won’t Buy: The Impact of Localized Business Content on Consumers on the show Coffee & Content with Donald A. DePalma.

Click here to access the study’s full report.


Website localization (or translation) creates a bridge that breaks communication barriers, adapting a message to a target group, so that it is perceived as if it had been developed with them in mind. This personalization is what fosters acceptance of the message, product or service being offered and can then generate actions.

Undoubtedly, providing product or service information on your website in the consumer’s language increases the likelihood that the consumer will purchase the product or service and, what’s more, provides the environment for building stronger customer relationships.

On the other hand, we see the importance of taking a step beyond language: SEO. Having a search engine optimized website in the consumers’ local language will better position you to answer users’ questions and offer them your solutions.

Keeping this in mind will help you create effective marketing and publicity strategies if you’re considering internationalizing your brand. In view of the above, web localization is a process that requires research, professionalism and experience. Its long-term benefits are greater than the initial costs:

  • Increase web traffic
  • Increase sales
  • generate target audience trust
  • avoid cultural misunderstandings

It’s for this reason that linguistic professionals and marketing experts are required. This team must work hand in hand to thoroughly understand the characteristics of the target audience. The translator will make sure that the message is understandable to the reader, while the publicist will be responsible for making the message eye-catching and interesting.

At Pantoglot we engage with your communication objectives to deliver a unique digital customer experience If you are interested in learning more about this solution and for your internationalization project, please contact us here.



Autor: Paula Forero

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