It appears to be quite easy: “If the Chinese consumers are my target audience, do you need to have a mandarin language version of our corporate website?” The answer is pretty strightforward.
If you present your website in mandarin to the Chinese, you will be considered to be a more relevant business – at least you are able to convey the right message to these individuals and gives the impression that you do care. But this doesn’t mean that these people wouldn’t buy from you using an English language version.
It’s good to know that Singapore has a population of 5.7 million people, according to Singstat.gov, 32% of them speak ONLY mandarin (https://www.singstat.gov.sg/-/media/files/publications/cop2000/census_2000_advance_data_release/chap4.pdf). Furthermore, there are nearly 1 million Chinese nationals living and working/studying here in Singapore. We can safely assume that this 32% are made up of people below the age of 80, have a computer and shop online – And a good portion of this number could turn into your customers.
Before you think about setting up a WeChat account to go after the Chinese audience, have you considered getting about simply translating your website? Think again about whether you need to translate your website into mandarin to target these audiences.
The Chinese consumer is relatively underserved in Singapore – Few websites are designed with mandarin as an alternative language and this gives a huge opportunity for these businesses to win in terms of Local Search Engine Optimisation – You can get ranked for mandarin keywords relatively easier compared to English due to a lack of competition for these language-specific keywords. You are losing out if you simply rely on the visitor to turn on Google Translate to understand what your business offers.
If you rely on Google for web traffic, just the increase in organic inbound traffic should be enough to justify having a separate offering for them. You can be sure that a good portion of these people do use Youtube, Google, and Facebook when they travel overseas.
Finding out which language your website visitors are accustomed to
You can use Google Analytics to check where your website users are located. You simply need to have Google Analytics installed.
Audience > Geo > Language
When you get to the “Language” tab, you will detailed information about your visitors. You will know how many of these visitors surf the web in Chinese. Such information can help you make important conclusions and bring you to the right decision on whether to invest in having a good translation for your website.
At Otaku, we offer a comprehensive package for reaching out to the Chinese consumer both in Singapore and overseas. Do check out http://scgl.sg/chinese-copywriting/ if you are serious about targeting these affluent and underserved communities.