UK businesses missing out by not translating websites, argues the ATC
New research by market research company fast.MAP has revealed that the French are twice as likely as British consumers to buy foreign goods direct from other countries, prompting the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) to highlight fears over UK organisations missing out on global business as a result of a poor web presence.
Conducted in March of 2014, fast.MAP questioned consumer panels across Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Turkey and Spain about the goods and services bought directly from foreign countries.
Geoffrey Bowden, general secretary of the ATC, commented on the impact of UK businesses having a website available in other languages: “The internet has changed the way that we do business, but it has also changed where we can do business, and this is something that can open up a whole new market for UK organisations who aren’t yet actively exporting. With a website that is available to other countries, in other languages, UK organisations don’t necessarily need to have made the decision to actively export in order to bring business in from overseas – they simply need to be available to these markets online. But to do so, they must first recognise the value of investing in an international web presence.
“These survey results highlight the differences between European countries in export behaviour, and there is no doubt that the UK is falling behind where language is concerned. It highlights the reliance that UK consumers have on organisations speaking English, and this attitude is not only narrow-minded but one that is no doubt costing us business. 5 of the 6 countries surveyed by fast.MAP are making more of an effort to liaise with other countries in other languages than the UK, and UK businesses must wake up to the potential of a global website in increasing opportunities. Other European countries who have these language skills are one step ahead of us, and they will continue to find their services in a much higher demand from businesses than we are.”