Gemma Houghton

The Languages You Need To Use For Middle East Success

Global Marketing News – 14th October 2015

The languages you need to use for Middle East success

Research has revealed differing language preferences for apps in the Middle East.

The study, by On Device Research, found that 81% of Saudi Arabian smartphone users downloaded apps written in Arabic.

In contrast, just 39% of smartphone users in the UAE said they downloaded Arabic language apps, with many expressing a preference for international apps.

This shows that while an English language app may be the best approach when targeting the UAE, an Arabic language app is essential for success in Saudi Arabia.

The Middle East has a strong smartphone penetration, with smartphone owners being very active on apps.

Over half of smartphone owners in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon said they had downloaded at least 5 apps in the last month, with 40% saying they were prepared to pay to download an app.

Scandinavia leads Europe for ecommerce

Three Scandinavian countries are amongst the top four in Europe for online shopping, according to a study by the Office for National Statistics.

The UK took the top spot for the proportion of people engaging in ecommerce, followed by Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

78% of Danes said they had shopped online in 2014, compared to 77% of Norwegians and 75% of Swedes.

Finland came in at number eight, with 68% saying they had engaged in ecommerce in the previous year.

Separate research by E-Marketer found that the most commonly bought categories in all 4 countries were travel, tickets and clothing items.

Social media advertising hugely popular in South Africa

Social media advertising is extremely popular in South Africa.

A staggering 95% of major South African brands advertise on Twitter, with a similar 92% advertising on Facebook.

Social media is growing rapidly in South Africa, with the number of South Africans using Instagram and YouTube rising by 65% and 53% respectively in the last year alone.

Online advertising is set to account for over half of total advertising spend in South Africa by 2020, with social media advertising expected to account for a fair proportion.

The popularity of social media advertising in South Africa has been put down to the growing usage of social networks in the country, as well as the advanced audience targeting options now available.

Indians set to spend $8 billion online over festive season

Online shoppers in India are expected to spend around 8 billion US dollars on ecommerce sites over the next 3 months.

The Indian festive season, which comprises of various Hindu and Christian festivals spanning between October and December, is a key time period in the Indian shopping calendar.

The prediction of 8 billion US dollars being spent online is 45% higher than the amount spent on ecommerce sites last year.

Increased internet penetration is thought to be behind the predicted surge in sales, with mobile internet penetration rising particularly quickly in the country.

The Indian ecommerce market is predicted to be worth 60 billion US dollars by 2020, making it a lucrative market for global brands.

Karl Lagerfeld to launch ecommerce sites

And finally, the fashion retailer Karl Lagerfeld has announced that it will enter the world of ecommerce next month.

In early November, it will launch a global website targeting 97 countries in 5 languages.

It hopes that ecommerce will quickly become a key sales channel for the company, aiming for the medium to bring in “a double-digit figure in terms of share of revenues”.

Karl Lagerfeld already sells some of its products online through third-party ecommerce sites, but the launch of its own-brand ecommerce stores will see it offering a wider range of items.

It will include more women’s clothing and accessories, with menswear and children’s clothing scheduled for launch next year. It has also teamed up with Artnet to sell special edition bags with original sketches by the designer.

Webcertain’s global marketing news bulletins are daily 5-minute videos, providing marketers with the latest international digital marketing news in an easy-to-digest format.

Gemma Houghton

Gemma Houghton

Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Gemma has been working in international search for 6 years and leads Webcertain's marketing team. As well as managing Webcertain’s global online and offline marketing activities, she also organises and programs WebCertain's International Search Summit, a search marketing conference focusing on international and multilingual online marketing and contributes regularly to the Webcertain blog. She has also spoken at conferences such as SES and SasCon and writes regularly for State of Digital. Gemma holds a Professional Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a BA Joint Honors Degree in French and German.

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