In today's globalized world, businesses face the challenge of reaching and engaging customers from diverse linguistic backgrounds. 

The concept of "Can't Read. Won't Buy" emphasizes the significant influence of language barriers on consumer behavior and purchasing decisions. In this blog post, we will explore the implications of this concept, supported by statistics from the "Can't Read. Won't Buy" study from CSA Research. We also discuss the importance of translation and interpretation in overcoming language barriers to drive business success.

The Power of Language in Consumer Behavior

Language is a powerful tool that influences how consumers perceive and engage with products and services. According to the "Can't Read. Won't Buy" study, 72 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if the information is available in their native language. This statistic demonstrates the critical role that language plays in consumer decision-making.

The Language Barrier Challenge

Language barriers pose significant challenges for businesses aiming to connect with a global audience. Research shows that 60 percent of consumers rarely or never buy from English-only websites, highlighting the need for effective translation and localization strategies. When potential customers encounter content that is not available in their preferred language, they often feel disconnected, leading to lower engagement and conversion rates.

The 'Can't Read, Won't Buy' Study

The "Can't Read. Won't Buy" study conducted by CSA Research analyzed consumer behavior across multiple markets and languages. The findings revealed compelling insights:

  1. Language Accessibility Drives Purchase Intent: The study found that 74 percent of consumers are more likely to repurchase from a brand that provides post-sales support in their language. This statistic underscores the importance of offering multilingual customer service and support, including interpretation services, to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Translation Boosts Conversion Rates: The study also discovered that translating product descriptions and marketing materials can significantly impact conversion rates. Websites that offer content in multiple languages experienced a 55 percent increase in conversions compared to English-only websites.

Overcoming Language Barriers with Translation and Interpretation

To address the "Can't Read. Won't Buy" phenomenon, businesses must prioritize translation and interpretation services as part of their global expansion strategies. Here's how translation and interpretation contribute to overcoming language barriers and driving business success:

  1. Website Localization: Adapting website content to target markets through professional translation helps businesses resonate with local audiences. By using relevant keywords in translated content, businesses can improve their search engine rankings and increase organic traffic.
  2. Multilingual Customer Support: Offering interpretation services for customer support, both in-person and through helplines, chat support, or video conferencing, ensures effective communication and builds trust with customers. The "Can't Read. Won't Buy" study revealed that 79 percent of customers prefer live interpretation support over automated translation tools, emphasizing the value of human connection in customer service.
  3. Marketing and Advertising: Translating marketing materials, including advertisements, social media campaigns, and email newsletters, allows businesses to reach a broader audience and foster brand engagement. By tailoring messages to specific cultural contexts, businesses can resonate with customers on a deeper level.
  4. E-commerce Localization: Translating product descriptions, reviews, and user-generated content enables businesses to provide comprehensive information to potential buyers. According to the "Can't Read. Won't Buy" study, 67 percent of consumers consider high-quality product information important when making purchase decisions.

LanguageLine Can Help

The "Can't Read. Won't Buy" concept highlights the crucial role of language in consumer behavior and purchasing decisions. With the support of statistics from the "Can't Read. Won't Buy" study, we have explored the impact of language barriers and the importance of translation and interpretation in overcoming them. 

LanguageLine is the world leader in translation and on-demand interpretation, with access to 23,000 linguists in more than 240 languages. We partner with the majority of the Fortune 100 to adapt their products and services for the global market. 

Please contact us so that we can learn more about the challenges and opportunities you are facing. 

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