Times and markets are changing, and your dealership must change right along with them. America’s diverse population is growing. More customers than ever prefer to speak and transact in Spanish, not English.
It’s pretty easy to recognize the growing need for bilingual sales reps. But your dealership’s website should speak Spanish, too.
Read on to understand the opportunity, and why localizing your website for Spanish-speaking customers isn’t a “nice to have” for your dealership—it’s downright essential.
Why Localize Your Website?
Businesses that connect with Spanish-speaking customers will reap the benefits now and in the future. U.S. Hispanics now comprise nearly 18% of the U.S. population, and will increase to nearly 30% by 2060. They also represent the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.
For most Hispanics, speaking Spanish isn’t just a preference; it’s an important part of their cultural identity. Despite growing English fluency, over 80% of Hispanics still speak Spanish. Nearly 75% speak Spanish at home (though that number increases to 90% in some markets). Ninety-five percent believe it’s important that future generations speak Spanish, too.
More significant, this affects buying behavior. You already know prospective car buyers conduct lots of online research before they step on the lot—perhaps as many as 900+ digital interactions across nearly 140 Google searches, some reports suggest. When given the choice between English and Spanish, Hispanic consumers are 40% more likely to buy from a Spanish-language website.
For most Hispanics, speaking Spanish isn’t just a preference. It’s an important part of their cultural identity.
Hispanics have long been known as smartphone “power users,” and are much more likely to use a mobile device while car shopping. They’re also more likely to conduct online research for reviews, rankings, comparison shopping and inventory searches.
Catering to these micro-moments, in their preferred language, makes great business sense.
This extends to the credit application and negotiation phase. Spanish-speaking consumers feel more confident working with dealerships that offer credit applications and financing forms in their preferred language, both online and on the lot.
Finally, the impact of Spanish-speaking consumers on the industry isn’t near—it’s already here. In 2014, Hispanic consumers contributed to nearly 40% and 30% of brand growth for Toyota and Nissan, respectively. New car purchases by Hispanic buyers are on pace to double from 2010 to 2020.
Are you getting the picture? If you want to serve these customers in ways that make them feel comfortable (which will boost your brand’s rep and sales), localizing your dealership’s website isn’t just a smart play. It’s the only play worth making.
If you want to serve Spanish-speaking Hispanics the right way, localizing your website is the only play worth making.
Can I Localize My Site Myself?
But is it a play your business can make on its own? If you’re looking to establish and maintain multilingual web content, taking it on as an in-house project is fraught with risk. Unexpected, error-prone workflows and technical complexities await.
This often leads to serious delays to market, and dangerously slow site updates. Auto sales is a time-sensitive business. Product features, financing terms, special offers, service options and prices change frequently. Keeping this content accurate and in sync across your English and Spanish websites will easily overwhelm your lean in-house marketing team.
How Do I Choose the Best Translation Partner?
Today’s translation services vary widely in flexibility and technological capability. The ideal vendor can provide a responsive, fully turn-key translation solution with robust change-detection capability. That means when your marketing or inventory teams update your site, that new content is automatically detected and immediately queued for translation.
This goes beyond products and promotions. Content created by the manufacturer or your own sales reps can also be seamlessly translated and incorporated into your localized site. Other customer-facing content—including credit applications—can also be translated.
The best website translation solutions detect and publish this content within one business day—with zero effort from you or your team—taking the cost, labor, time, and worry off your plate for good.
Leading website translation solutions detect and publish new content and inventory within one business day.
Great digital-first translation solutions can also detect and localize the content that “hides” in SEO-rich metadata, code, image files and on-site applications. This can boost your localized site’s ranking in Spanish language search results.
Finally, great translation partners work seamlessly with any CMS you already have in place. Plus, they will have have API capabilities to handle your inventory-management PIM, or any other inventory system that you use.
Localizing your web content in a way that builds and supports relationships with Hispanic consumers is vital to success. It’s a big job that requires a strong technological toolkit, so be sure to select a vendor that offers a turn-key approach that moves as fast as your business does, that elegantly works alongside the content management and inventory systems you’re already using.