8 Tips for Entrepreneurs Who Want to Develop Cross-Cultural Apps

What’s one tip you’d give entrepreneurs who want to release multiple versions of an app for different cultures?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC),¬†an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Know the Lingo

Alexandra Levit 2Direct translations, especially in the digital world, can easily fall flat. Review other apps that are popular in that country and understand what makes them tick. Get feedback on customization from developers schooled in that culture and do a beta test before a full rollout.
Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work

 

2. Start With One New Market

Aaron SchwartzBringing a product to a new country doesn’t just involve translating the product, or even updating your idiomatic expressions. You also need to understand the buying habits of a local market, as well as the engagement patterns to understand if your product is doing well. There’s no playbook for these — invest your time in understanding a customer’s mindset deeply in each culture.
Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

3. Pay Attention to Details

Rob FultonComing from an international publishing background, I’ve noticed that it’s really important to design an app in advance if you’re going to enter new markets. Text is much larger in French than English, which could make for more difficult visual control of your app. I’ve noticed that it’s the small things that make all the difference in how you move from one county to the next.
Rob Fulton, Matikis

4. Hire a Translation Firm

doreen-blochIf you’re taking the time to release multiple versions of an app for different cultures, you want to make sure to get the language right before you launch. Consider hiring a translation firm, like TransPerfect, to review all the text in your app before you go to market.
Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

 

5. Make Sure it’s Necessary

Ioannis VerdelisAsk yourself if you really need to expand culturally. In most cases, a great product or service works the same across cultures.
Ioannis Verdelis, Fleksy

 

6. Recruit In-Market Testers

Logan LenzRecruit a handful of test users for each new market you plan to penetrate and lay out your goal conversions and user flows. Have them provide feedback on the verbiage, alignments and overall experience. You’ll be surprised to find out that there is a lot more to consider than just translating your application.
Logan Lenz, Endagon

 

7. Localize the Language

Rameet ChawlaSpend time localizing the language in your app, as well as in the app store and Google Play descriptions. It takes hiring someone with local knowledge but can make a world of difference in acquiring users in a foreign country.
Rameet Chawla, Fueled

 

8. Don’t Go Crazy

john ramptonStart slow and with one culture before moving onto others. I would recommend having someone locally vet the app before you launch. Your app will be different in every market based on the people. Every culture is distinctly different. If you say something incorrectly, you may offend an entire culture.
John Rampton, Adogy

The Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.