What’s bubbling on the surface
Asia, in general, has been described as a mobile-first market, with plenty of people have gained access to the Internet via devices like their mobile phones and their tablets. For some, it is their first time on the internet through these hand-held devices. While this region’s hand-held approach is proving to be quite the incentive for e-commerce, networking, and gaming establishments, it has to be remembered that the region leads the global digital infrastructure in mobile phone subscribers and the largest number of wireless internet connections.
Take, for instance, Carro, a Singapore-based online marketplace that expounds a platform for the buying and selling of cars. It understands that the company is better off with the continued focus on its surrounding region, which is playing host to a digital market with high potential and a 600-million strong fanbase of mobile-centric behavior. As opposed to jostling with the westerners, for market share, it aims to achieve lockdown on the immense traffic seen on mobile, most of whom use the platform for research before deciding to part with any form of currency.
“If we win those (new expansion) markets do we double down on Southeast Asia, going into Vietnam, Myanmar, and other major markets in the region, or look to Japan, the UK, and other big countries?” – Aaron Tan, Carro’s CEO.
The answer lies with Temasek’s and Google’s belief that a burgeoning young population (70% under the age of 40), easy access to the Internet, and increased availability of products online are proving to be the gateways for South East Asia’s Internet Economy to take off.
European-origin companies are still floundering to figure out what is best for Asia’s mobile phone users, while also prioritizing technology to become more personal and intelligent, according to co-founder and CEO of Truecaller, Alan Mamedi.
His app, incidentally, is focused on the needs of people who want to procure information on caller identities from its massive and rapidly expanding database. The app came out back in 2009 and has found itself more popular in India than in Europe or the US, where most mobile plans are post-paid and can afford the knowledge of caller identities. With this knowledge, it made sense for its revamp to include new search functions and better manageability of all calls and contacts. The latest version of Truecaller also claims to be much easier on memory consumption, great for developing Asia and her millions of new mobiles entering the data-sphere.
While Asia is booming on the mobile front, App Store Optimisation (ASO) expert Steve P.Young has opined that app developers who invest in money and time to translate their content and keywords according to the language of their target audience(s), would see a significant reason to experience success much sooner than their peers.
Asia would love (or rather, in need) apps to put themselves in their shoes more than anything else – knowing their problems, needs, and preferred solution. By being encompassing in its localization, apps will be shooting for the stars by becoming astronomically relevant – something big brands believe in, and so should smaller establishments.
Localization isn’t a trend, it is a well thought out strategy.
As an afterthought:
Ask a robber why they rob a bank, and they’ll tell you: “because that’s where the money is”, the same question can be asked about mobile, and the answer is quite simply: “because that’s where the consumers are”.