22 June 2022
Der Underwear-Effekt

Table of contents

The translation and localisation industry has grown tremendously in recent years. But how is this development connected to underwear?

At first glance, it’s hard to imagine that translation and underwear have anything in common. Yet there is in fact an interesting connection, which we’ll explore in this article.

Localisation serves to internationalise your brand and online presence. The expansion of digital internationalisation can be linked to the massive growth of e-commerce in recent years. The Coronavirus pandemic was a formative cause for the change and growth of electronic trade.

Shopping online is easy, so it’s no surprise that customers favour this method and are always excitedly searching for new online offerings. But with such a large variety of online shops already out there, all with their own enticing offers, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.

That’s why the comfort and shopping experience of customers is becoming increasingly important. If you want to captivate your target group and build a long-lasting relationship with your shoppers, you need to ensure they feel welcomed, comfortable and at ease. One way to do this is by localising the language in your international shops.

Online purchasing decisions are fragile

Let’s briefly set aside internationalisation and return to the link between underwear and localisation. In 2020, the market research company Nimdzi Insights explored an interesting phenomenon they called Project Underwear. Nimdzi examined whether users are more drawn to the online shops and platforms offered in their native language.

They discovered that 9 out of 10 global users will ignore your product if it’s not in their native language.

From a psychological point of view, customers’ purchase decisions are a fragile commodity. They depend on many factors such as appealing graphics, smooth navigation, clear offers, and – indisputably – language. The conclusion of this study? The clarity and comprehensibility of all these components plays a considerable role in consumer buying behaviour.

The underwear effect – security within our own four walls

If a website or online shop is completely overloaded, poorly written, and at the same time not localised into our native language, we’re far less likely to buy something. The returns, payment methods, delivery costs, and long international delivery times might be unfamiliar as well. It just doesn’t inspire confidence.

To avoid this problem with your e-commerce company, it’s better to have your online shop localised. The "underwear effect" perfectly illustrates the reason why…

When customers are browsing their preferred online shops, they’re most likely at home, in familiar surroundings, and possibly in their underwear. The underwear symbolises the security of being within their own four walls.

In this scenario, the customer feels safe, comfortable and welcome. Shopping in their own language evokes exactly the same emotions. By having your online shop translated and localised, you can offer them a safe haven on your platform. This will create an intuitive understanding between you and your clients, which then leads to trust.

For you, this makes your target market’s language preferences an unbeatable marketing tool (cf. Nimdzi 2020).

Native language – confidence and a sense of home

Feeling comfortable and safe is a crucial part of customer purchasing decisions and affects their level of trust in the website or online shop provider. By respecting all cultures within your target market group and serving them well, you can easily strengthen your customer relationships.

A more personalised shop not only increases your credibility within the target group, it also reduces misunderstanding, mistrust, lost sales, lost customers and any doubts users may have about a foreign language. What's more, it will make your brand more approachable, honest and authentic.

When it comes to language, it’s important to remember that we feel most at ease with our mother tongue because it makes us feel at home.

Meeting the local requirements of your target group is an effective way to convince potential clients about your product, service or brand. A directly addressed message follows the current trend of the underwear effect.

Conclusion – The charming influence of language

In a globalised and connected world, language has a strong impact on people’s purchasing behaviour. Professional translations can therefore help you improve your online performance and increase your international conversion rates.

Using native languages has an unassuming and charming influence on customers. So why not become more charming? Have your online platform translated and localised today!


Sabrina Baumgardt

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