Oxford Study Shows Language Choice Impacts Decision to Buy

Thinking about revamping your user experience in 2017? How much thought have you put into language? A new Oxford study shows that when it comes to purchasing power, language is more important than you might think.

According to the study conduced by Scott Hale from the University of Oxford and Co-Author Irene Eleta from the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal), those who are interested in written reviews and looking for products/services in another language, appreciate translate buttons.

The researchers created three separate travel tours. One tour had three reviews in English; one had six reviews in English; and the final one had three reviews in English and three in Spanish. 

Half of participants were offered a translate button for the English reviews. Of that half, 28 percent hit the translation button. While the researchers couldn’t determine if the translate button or the original content in Spanish had more impact on participants’ perception of the tours, any translation—original or machine translated—resulted in a more favorable review of the tour.

One participant said the ability to translate reviews showed that the company offering the translation is “flexible and multinational.”

So if it’s flexible and multinational you’re going for when creating those international user experiences, don’t ignore translation. 

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