Report by Gabriel Karandysovsky. The original report was published in June 2020. It has been updated with fresh data in July 2023.
E-commerce is doing well these days, and it has been doing well since before the global pandemic. The period between 2020 and 2022 may forever be etched into our memories for the negatives, but it was also a period of unparalleled growth in the digital arena. It may prove to be that such growth will never be duplicated, but the underlying growth factors are undeniably still there. The number of people accessing the Internet worldwide continues trending upwards. What’s more, people’s online content consuming habits are shifting towards mobile devices they can use on the go. Social media is a mainstay of everyone’s lives, to the point where we are spending multiple hours per day scanning our feeds. Time people spend online is a hot commodity that is ripe for the picking, and businesses can leverage it to gain exposure, raise brand awareness, and, ultimately, boost their global sales.
Indeed, a conservative single-language strategy may no longer be a valid way of doing business in our increasingly interconnected world. That is, unless a business has a strategy focused solely on its domestic market, and assuming that market is limited to a single language.
That is the Underwear Effect, the term to describe situations where consumers are making their buying decisions during their (almost) most private moments, with their mobile phone in hand wearing nothing but their underwear. And what does cling to a person even more closely than his or her undergarments? Why, their language, of course.
This is why it is paramount for businesses to understand the importance of getting their message across to users in their native language, instead of only in English. That is the underlying raison d’être of this publication—to confirm or disprove the Underwear Effect, country by country, on a global scale.
Codename: Project Underwear, Nimdzi’s internal name for this study, is one of the most ambitious projects Nimdzi has undertaken to date. This is a global project, with surveys and data collection executed across more than 70 countries. The basis of our work is an end-user survey consisting of 25 questions, that we translated into 66 languages and carried out with native speakers living in those countries.
The resulting sample size is 9,209 individual replies, with data on the respondent's language, gender, age, and primary occupation, that allow for further segmentation of user preferences. The data collected is not brand-, product- or service-specific. We will be concentrating on macro trends when it comes to shopping habits and buyer language preferences, before answering the following questions:
Given the enormous quantity of data Nimdzi collected across a multitude of countries, we will be presenting to you a high-level analysis of how users interact with products and services online.
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