How to successfully enter the European market

Man pointing a European country on the map

While you can’t successfully enter a new market without a great business strategy, we tend to forget about the most important factor that leads to success: language.

Europe has 24 official languages

This is the number of official languages, but there are actually more than 200 languages spoken across Europe. If you only translate your content into the English language, you won’t be doing yourself any favors. If anything, your approach might even backfire.

official languages in Europe

Most Europeans understand and speak English, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they would rather buy from someone who can’t be bothered to adjust their content to the target market.

Research has shown that about 44% of internet users in Europe feel that they aren’t getting enough important information if a website isn’t translated into their native language.

So why take the chance? Adapt your content to the target market and your company will come across as credible and trustworthy.

How can you decide which European market is best suited to your business?

Every business strategy starts off with research, and it’s no different when you want to enter the European market.

Try to find out which European countries would benefit most from your product or service. An important part of this is also researching your competitors.

Once you have defined your target markets, start preparing your content for localization. Opt for localization rather than translation, as this will mean that all your content will be adapted to the exact specifics of the target market.

Entering strategy

Enter the European market the right way

You will probably have noticed that we’ve already mentioned localization a few times during this article. To get an understanding of the difference between translation and localization, click here to read our article on the key differences.

But if this didn’t grab your attention, here are a few stats that show how important localization is:

More than 50% of Google searches are in languages other than English.
Approximately 40% of internet users won’t ever buy from a website that doesn’t provide information in their native language.
Even among people who are highly proficient in English, 65% prefer to read content in their native language.
Around 75% of online buyers say they’re more likely to buy again if the after-sales support is done in their native language.
Almost 76% of internet users prefer to read information about products in their native language.
Over 80% of Swedish online shoppers prefer to make a purchase in their own language, even though they are known for being the best non-native English speakers.

Now you’re ready to conquer the European market!

satisfied consumer

This article has provided you with some key information about entering the European market, but every business has its own specifics when it comes to new markets.

It’s important to understand that every country within Europe is different, and a lot of effort should be put into adapting your content to the specific features of each target market.

Frequently asked questions

There are 24 official languages, but there are actually more than 200 languages spoken across Europe.

Even though most Europeans understand and speak English, they are still more likely to buy products from a website that provides information in their native language.

It’s hard to say which country is best for doing business in Europe. It all depends on your product and whether there’s a demand for it in the country you’re thinking about doing.

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