What to watch out for in 2021: Localization Trends

welocalize January 20, 2021

2020 will be a year to remember. The emergence of COVID-19 caused rapid and unforeseen changes across all aspects of life. It’s caused huge, and ongoing, disruption to international economies and businesses. Lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing all impact how we live our lives. However, despite devastation and uncertainty, the pandemic has been a catalyst for change and progression, causing the world to think differently, revealing new opportunities for global growth.

As the new year gets underway, Welocalize shares the top five industry trends and developments in localization and global growth to watch out for in 2021.

1. Emerging Markets

​As developing economies start to mature in areas like telecommunications, internet access, cheaper data, and smartphone access – new markets continue to emerge such as India and Africa, generating more demand for global, digital content. ​

For India, with 22 official languages and over 19,000 different dialects, an ‘English-only approach’ is not enough to reach these richly diverse consumer markets.  ​Localized e-commerce, streaming services, and e-learning content are in high demand within the India market, highlighting a long-term opportunity for growth.

2. Industry Growth

‘E-commerce is expected to reach a staggering five trillion dollars (USD) in sales in 2021’ Shopify

COVID has an enormous impact on business – and some industries fared better than others. Sectors such as travel and hospitality experienced enormous losses due to lockdown measures and social distancing. As some industries suffered, others recorded significant growth and that momentum of change will continue into 2021. Global e-commerce grew far more than in previous years and this continues to have a knock-on effect on digital marketing activities. Global brands look to increasingly sophisticated marketing strategies to reach more customers. E-Commerce aligned with social media is set to rocket in 2021 as brands truly digitize – we’ll see social and online advertising playing a far bigger role in global CX.

Welocalize company and digital marketing agency Adapt recently launched a new and expanded range of solutions designed to support global expansion of today’s ambitious brands.

3. More Intelligence – Continued Growth in Demand for AI-Enabled Solutions

The AI and Machine Learning market is expected to be worth around 3.5 billion by 2024. AI-enabled language solutions, such as machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) enable large multilingual datasets to be understood and processed, streamlining the translation workflow.

The influx of user generated content has resulted in AI and NLP techniques now being used as a solution to monitor and identify harmful, offensive, online content in multiple languages. ​

Predictive analytics, managing datasets, developing chatbots, enabling neural MT and NLP, smart LQA and much more – AI is particularly with multilingual datasets and will add innovation and value to many localization solutions and processes.

As data volumes continue to exponentially grow in 2021 and with no sign of this slowing down, we will continue to see AI-enabled technology solutions leveraged for language services to generate new sources of revenue, simplify tasks, and even enhance businesses efforts around inclusivity.

Read more here or watch our on-demand webinar, Using AI to Protect Your Global Brand: Tackling Non-Inclusive and Hate Speech

4. Multimedia & E-Learning Translation

‘By 2021, 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video.’ Cisco 2021 Forecast Highlights.

2020 accelerated an already increasingly virtual and digital world. The pandemic impacted how consumers engaged with digital content, social media, and increased consumption of video and streaming services. More and more brands are using interactive features and video elements to engage and educate their customers and audiences – especially as in-person interaction is no longer the norm.

The ability for businesses to reach large international audiences through digital channels is increasing requirements for multimedia content. A big focus in 2021 is for businesses to leverage and localize their audio-visual content to be culturally relevant in a global market to reach local audiences and deliver an authentic customer experience.

For multimedia, always consider localization from the start. Changing the language is just the first step, then it’s followed by design and visual modifications.” – Michael Anderson, Senior Multimedia Engineer, Welocalize

To find out more about how to leverage multimedia in customer experience, watch our on-demand webinar with CSA Research, ​How Do You Provide Amazing Customer Experience

5. Virtual Events & Online Experiences

The rise of virtual events and online experiences isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. According to CSA Research, there is lots to gain from virtual events and they can still provide valuable experiences for attendees.

Virtual events offer new opportunities to engage a broader audience across the globe, and with technology continuing to evolve, brands will continue to host, and evolve, virtual and hybrid events.

The ability for attendees to join events from all around the world will drive demand for multilingual video, interpreting, subtitling, transcription, and text-to-speech activities, to engage and connect with global participants.

For more information about Welocalize localization and translation solutions, get in touch with us here.