December 30 2016

Personalization has become the need of the hour. With every app trying to leverage user data, it is important that marketers and developers look into further tactics to optimize their levels of personalisation and stand out from the rest. In this post, we’re going to talk about the latest level of personalization that apps are increasingly focusing towards – localisation.

What is app localisation?

App localisation refers to the practice of optimizing your app functionalities and content based on the user’s location. The tactic is used to adapt a product to a specific locale or market, in order to ensure that users have a smooth journey to an in-app conversion.

app localisation definition


The importance of localisation

Both Google Play and Apple App store are now available in almost every corner of the world. Apple supports 155 countries in 28 languages and Google Play has free applications available worldwide in 46 different languages.

App stores now want everyone to have a seamless experience on their smartphones – irrespective of the location they are in or the language they’re comfortable with. In turn, giving developers the chance to grow their apps across the globe in a bigger target market and larger market opportunities.


In fact, some of the top apps already use localisation as an integral part of their marketing and user engagement strategies. About 13% of marketers believe location based personalization gives their apps the opportunity to tap into untapped markets and get a competitive edge.



One of the most recent and most effective examples of a type of app localisation being Pokemon Go. Remember how the game notified you every time a pokemon was close by, even when you were on the go?


Did it not nudge you to jump right into the game and not let that Pokemon be captured by anyone else? While it was a competition for you, it actually added to the game’s app sessions and engagement rate, helping it grow even further.

In case you were wondering global revenue distribution looks like, before starting to localise your app, here’s everything you need to know:



How can you localise your app?

All the big boys in the gaming industry are already tapping into the power of localisation to engage their users on a deeper level. Let’s take a look into how you too can do the same!

App Store Optimization

Want your app to be discovered in new countries? First work on its discovery! Adapt your title and description according to the location market you’re targeting. Then focus on the best keywords that you can rank for in the new language to boost visibility and downloads. Screenshots and video trailers with updated, localised content will take your ASO efforts further.

For example, here’s how Clash of Clans changed up their app store descriptions to suit the local market:


Also read: The game developer’s app store optimization cheat sheet

App content

Going freemium will definitely get you users from across the world, but localising your app’s content will help you engage them better. And by localisation of app content – time, date, units, alternative SDKs and editorial content. You absolutely need to make sure that each of your content pieces provide a localised experience to the users – yes, including emails!  

For example, Uber. Since Chengdu is a city renowned for having a massive panda conservation center, they created a Panda themed content and touch points for users. While it might not seem all to relevant to users from other countries, it certainly worked well as a reference point in Chengdu.


Location based push notifications

Just like Pokemon Go, you too can personalize your push notifications based on the location of the user. For instance, you could use push notifications to let your player know of those who have just joined the game from a nearby location or are already beating down his score. Stimulating the competitiveness and curiosity to know who it is, will definitely bag you an app session.

Another example of location based push notifications is Foursquare. It leverages the communication channel to update the user about what others are doing, saying and indulging in.

foursquare push notification

Also read: 7 examples of push notifications that will bring your players back to the game

User activity feeds

Encourage your players to share their milestones on in-app activity feeds. Let them take a look at each other’s accomplishments in the game, where and how they achieved them so far. This will help you nudge players to try their hand at the same tactics and at the same time stimulate the competitiveness between them. You could also use activity feeds to monitor how your players are gaming, and offer location specific tips that will help him get further in the game.

Also read: Benefit of activity feeds in games

In-app chats

Again quoting Pokemon Go as an example here! The players who were so engrossed in getting more pokemons than others in their circles, also started to interact with each other to share tactics. Using chat apps they exchanged tips, tricks and other messages with one another. Incorporating in-app chats helps you keep these players looking for networking, within your game. This increases their app sessions and their length as well.

Also read: Benefits of in-app chats in games

Support pages

Another way to localise the experience your game offers to players, are through your support pages. Ensure that your support pages and others link through to a localised site that help your players access information in their native language. This helps you resolve user issues before your players get disengaged from your game.



Over to you

App localisation isn’t an easy process. There are very few developers who have successfully implemented local elements in their apps and expanded globally. It requires developers and marketers to fully understand their target market, the opportunities available to them and the research the elements they need to localise.

What we suggest is that you prioritize the locations you want to take your game to first. Taking a step by step approach will help you execute effective localisation.

Have you localised your app yet? We’d love to hear your experience and tips on app localisation!