Localization Industry’s Response to COVID-19’s Challenges
Life in the shadow of COVID-19 means living with near constant uncertainty. Because of the many changes in social and business behaviour the pandemic has brought about, it’s never been more important for businesses to be creative, agile and resilient as they navigate how best to cope.
Our work at DataSource in the translation sector encompasses 8 industries. This multidisciplinary mindset has led us to identify some key correlations that provide insight on how you can adapt your localization strategy to these changing, shifting times.
Sectors Currently Seeing Covid-Related Growth
- Pharmaceutical & Medical, Health & Hygiene: these sectors are frequently calling on localization services, given the many scientific developments, reports, product exchanges and sales across the globe.
- Toys, Leisure, Outdoor & DIY: the lockdowns that have forced people to spend much more personal and work time at home have significantly boosted sales in these sectors. Those stuck at home are looking for ways to entertain their children and themselves, as well as to improve their indoor and outdoor surroundings, and sales in these sectors reflect that. For example, some home decoration retail leaders report sales increases of between 30% and 200% compared to the previous year. Such products require expertise in localization to bring them to market.
- E-Commerce & Digital Content: The pandemic has forced consumers to turn to online retailers much more often than traditional brick-and-mortar operations. This explains the success of companies with a strong e-commerce presence. Consumers are also using digital services to a greater extent. For example, during the first two quarters of 2020, new subscribers to Netflix were up year-over-year. To keep this new audience, services like Netflix are continuously looking to add new content. This in turn boosts the demand for localization services.
- E-Learning: The transition to home-based work has transformed the professional landscape, particularly employee training delivery. In-person learning has been overwhelmingly replaced by online and digital learning options. Localization professionals have a major part to play in their delivery.
Emerging Localization Services
At DataSource, we have noticed a shift towards the following new services:
- Remote interpretation has, in the current business climate, largely replaced traditional on-site conference interpretation. Despite not being able to be physically present, clients must still meet and virtual events are still held. While digital tools provide the framework for remote communications, clients still need to access the services of interpreters who have successfully pivoted to working remotely. DataSource connects clients to these specialized professionals.
- Video dubbing and subtitling are in much greater demand. Due to reduced face-to-face business interactions, companies are connecting remotely with audiences by using recorded videos to promote products or even to give market updates. These multilingual communication campaigns require professional localization services.
- The large number of people forced to remain home turn to online sales platforms for both essential purchases and discretionary spending. This in turn greatly increases demand for Machine Translation (MT) services to keep up with related digital content localization. The life cycles of products sold online are very short, and the range of products very extensive. Only MT solutions (with or without post editing by a human translation professional) can handle the large volume of content AND very short turnaround times. This is one of the reasons that MT-assisted digital localization is in high demand.
Covid-19 has forced industries everywhere to adapt quickly, and the localization sector is no exception! Since its creation in 2002, DataSource has consistently demonstrated the capacity to adapt to industry-wide trends, especially those in the technology and electronic product sectors. These solid practices and well-honed instincts underpin our constant spirit of re-invention and improvement, thus ensuring that we are more present and able to offer new services. We will never stop keeping our ear to the ground to meet our clients’ emerging needs.
Without minimizing the serious health and societal issues brought about by Covid-19, this unique global moment does present our industry with unique opportunities to solve new problems and improve the daily lives of people in tangible ways. After all, adaptation is in our company DNA. Let our responsive expertise help you thrive during this unprecedented period!
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