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What is SaaS Localization?

The first steps in understanding and implementing SaaS localization.

Filip Smet

Updated on July 8, 2024

Software as a service (SaaS) has rapidly become the cornerstone of business. Saas allows users to access software applications over the internet and on a subscription basis, eliminating the need for complex installations and ongoing maintenance.

As a result, business expansion is no longer confined to local markets — and here’s where SaaS localization comes into play.

SaaS localization involves adapting the software product to extend beyond translation and curating it to meet thelinguistic requirements and cultural and regulatory needs of each specific target market. 

SaaS localization enables a more personalized user experience, helps comply with local standards and regulations, and creates opportunities among new customer bases. 

We will take you through the first steps in understanding and implementing SaaS localization.

What is SaaS Localization?

Understanding SaaS Localization

When approaching SaaS localization it’s important to note the distinction between localization and translation. Localization goes a step further than simply making sure your software converts from one language to another. 

A few key components of effective SaaS localization include language adaptation, user interface, currency and date formats, and legal and regulatory compliance.

Firstly, language adaptation ensures the software’s text content is accurately translated and culturally relevant. Secondly, user interface changes may be necessary to accommodate different text lengths and reading directions, such as making the interface right-to-left for languages like Arabic. Thirdly, currency and date formats need to be adjusted to match the local standards. Lastly, legal and regulatory compliance must be considered to meet the specific laws and guidelines of each region.

These elements ensure that SaaS products are fully functional, user-friendly, and compliant with local expectations — allowing your product to be marketable across the globe.

Why is SaaS Localization Important?

SaaS localization involves several key elements.

User Interface (UI) Localization

UI localization involves translation and adapting the software’s US to make it user-friendly and culturally relevant to various languages and regions within your customer base. A key aspect of this is making sure your in-app content can be effectively translated into different languages. However, it’s also important to consider how the design and layout of your app would be received among various markets. 

Customer Support and Documentation

Localized customer support and documentation allows users to access help and resources in their native language — enhancing the overall experience. Depending on your target markets, this could involve having support representatives who speak multiple languages and creating expanded access to self-service support. 

Marketing and Sales Materials

Localizing your marketing and sales materials can help effectively communicate your value propositions and allow you to engage potential new customers in various markets. Additionally, having a localized marketing strategy can help you build brand loyalty and stay competitive. 

Date, Time, and Number Formats

Adapting date, time, and number formats to local conventions is necessary for usability and accuracy. This small but essential difference can save customers from confusion and maintain a consistent user experience.

Currency and Payment Processing Options

Offering localized currency and payment processing options allows users to make transactions in the preferred monetary terms, which is pivotal for smooth and secure financial operations. This might also involve diversifying your accepted payment methods.

Best Practices for Effective SaaS Localization

An effective SaaS strategy will start with investing time in researching and defining the scope of your strategy, target markets, and specific localization goals. 

Next, leveraging professional localization services to help ensure high-quality translations that take into account cultural relevance, linguistic nuances, and regional preference will help save you a lot of time and effort.

Another best practice for effective SaaS localization is to utilize technology such as Translation Management Systems (TMS) and Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. This can streamline the translation processes and help with consistency across localized content. Automation is an important part of SaaS localization because it can effectively minimize errors, reduce manual effort, and speed up the process of adapting your software.

Finally, a continuous process of updating and testing to maintain accuracy and relevance is very important. The localized software needs to evolve with product updates and market changes. By implementing these best practices, you can ensure your SaaS localization efforts are effectively fostering a seamless user experience across your global markets.

Conclusion

SaaS localization is no longer optional. It is essential to reach a global audience, ensure user satisfaction, and stay competitive. As localization trends advance, you can expect to see increased automation, AI-driven translations, and more intricate tools that will enhance accuracy and efficiency. 

Looking to start localization for your SaaS product? GlobalLink Go offers a free trial — giving you access to global translation memory, brand management tools, a contextual editor, and a suite of collaboration tools.

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About the author

Filip Smet

Filip Smet is a Product Manager for GlobalLink. Hailing from Belgium, he brings a blend of precision and creativity to his work. You can find him spinning his favorite records or honing his backhand on the tennis court when he’s not working

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