swissrent’s focus on convenience and a commitment to broadening our audience have led to expanding our language set to include Chinese and Italian.
The decision for localisation into Chinese came after we attended the WWSE in Beijing, and based on our experience there, we decided to go ahead with launching the swissrent brand into the Chinese market for 2 reasons.
The first being in cooperation with local travel agents and tour operators to invite their customers to Switzerland for the original ‘Alp’ experience, and to become aware of the swissrent brand and our local dealers at home in the Swiss mountains.
The second to bring the swissrent brand and it’s long-term know-how and convenience tools into China; especially around the Beijing area and the Chongli district (the chosen site for the winter Olympics in 2022). Thus Chinese was a no brainer to facilitate executing this strategy.
The broader audience at home
The choice for localisation into Italian was more geographically obvious and perhaps something we should have done sooner. Complimented by Italian, we are now pleased to be able to offer all 4 ‘official’ languages of Switzerland on our platforms.
Context is king
Finding great translators, especially in Chinese, was so crucial. There are so many ways to explain the same thing in any language and understanding the context of even the shortest of strings was a very important part of our process.
It’s not just all about the text and content!
On top of all of this optimising and formatting of space to accommodate different character sets, as well as having enough color and contrast in our design, was key.
Actually the translation itself turned out to be the easiest part.
Not to be underestimated — Online and in-App.
Localisation requires a lot of effort and coordination, and shouldn’t be underestimated. For us it included the following key steps:
576 different rental item strings — across all of our swissrent dealers
5 PHP files for ‘global’ strings throughout our Content Database
349 individual Key Strings for the swissrent App
317 individual Key Strings for the swissrent Website
33 content pages including SEO in all languages for Titles and Descriptions
Backend/Frontend programming changes
Frontend graphics and icons
The next step for our localisation into China will perhaps include the integration of popular payment services like WeChat Pay and AliPay into our Ecosystem. This will be evaluated over the coming months.
We will also bet expanding our Newsletter services to include Italian and Chinese so we can enjoy communicating better with a broader subscriber list.