GTE Localize

Essential Things You Should Know When Performing Your Indonesian Website Localization

Posted by Chloe G. on May 21, 2022.

To conquer the Indonesian market, companies need to perform Indonesian website localization to make it fit for Indonesian customers.

Every region’s language is shaped by its culture and customs, making it difficult to understand the genuine core of the language while translating it. This issue also arises when localizing a website for the Indonesian market.

In this article, we will go deeper on why you have to carry out Indonesian website localization and how to have an effective strategy for that process.

Why is Indonesian Website Localization Important?

Before going into the key tips for a successful Indonesian website localization project, let’s look at the 3 reasons why translating your website into Indonesian is an essential step in your expansion plan.

#1. Indonesia is a multilingual country

The Best Way To Perform Indonesian Website Localization

Indonesia has the highest percentage of people who can communicate in at least 3 languages, making it a trilingual and bilingual country.

There are approximately 700 languages spoken in Indonesia, grouped into 9 categories (national language, indigenous languages, regional lingua francas, foreign/additional languages, legacy languages, religious languages, English as a lingua franca, and sign languages).

Among them, Indonesian – a standardized variant of Malay, is the country’s official language. It is estimated that nearly 94% of the population speak Indonesian, but only 20% of Indonesians speak it as their first language. Meanwhile, Javanese (one of the country’s indigenous languages) is the most generally spoken main language, with over 30% of the people speaking it. Sundanese, Madurese, Minangkabau, Buginese, and Palembang are the next significant indigenous languages in Indonesia.

That is to say, if you want to make a positive impression on your customers, you should interact with them in the language they are most comfortable with.

#2. Indonesian has a low English proficiency


In terms of English proficiency, Indonesia lags behind Malaysia, Vietnam, and other countries in the region, according to a poll conducted by an international education organization.

In 2016, Education First’s English Proficiency Index (EPI) which ranks nations based on their language ability, put Indonesia in the “moderate” proficiency group with 52.91 points. In 2021, Indonesia’s EPI rating is still at 80. Those mean if foreign businesses wish to engage with Indonesian audiences, carrying out Indonesian website localization is a must.  

#3. Indonesia is A Big Online Market


Recent data from Statista shows that Indonesia is one of the world’s largest online markets, with over 171 million Internet users. In July 2021, the country’s online penetration rate was above 70%. In 2022, approximately 210 million Indonesians have access to the Internet, and this figure is expected to reach 240 million by 2025. By having your website localized for Indonesians, you can reach out to a huge source of customers, grow your brand and increase sales.


Key Things to Deliver The Best Quality Indonesian Website Localization

Now let’s look at 3 useful tips for achieving excellent Indonesian website localization in the Indonesian market.

#1. Conduct market research for the Indonesian market

As Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s most densely populated country, the COVID-19 outbreak has caused significant long-term economic loss, requiring businesses to pivot their strategy and reorganize their plans to accommodate customers’ wants and market developments that are changing. 

During the pandemic, Indonesian consumer behavior showed signs of moving toward online and contemporary buying, with an emphasis on health, home delivery services, and e-commerce platforms. The COVID-19 outbreak also reduced the size of customers’ shopping baskets, with food and beverage category shares decreasing by 4%.

As a consequence, before you work on Indonesian website localization, you should conduct thorough market research to avoid unexpected problems.

#2. Study your target group carefully

The ideal strategy to address the Indonesian population’s diversity is to provide tailored content for each location.

Indonesia has the world’s fourth-largest population, which accounts for over 3% of the total population of the world. This presents a unique challenge for companies desiring to enter the market: one method may work in Jakarta but not in Surabaya.

According to a McKinsey & Co. study, geographic location has a significant impact on customer behavior. People in Surabaya are twice as likely to ask friends and family for product suggestions, especially for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). This means that companies looking to reach Surabaya should employ word-of-mouth marketing as one of their marketing channels.

Meanwhile, people in Jakarta are more progressive and independent when it comes to product selection. As the largest urban center in Indonesia, Jakarta citizens are more aware of the goods/services they need. They typically find relevant information by reading online reviews from reputable content creators and websites. As a result, influencer marketing and search engine marketing/SEO brand websites may be effective if you want to target this area.

As such, different places will have different audiences with different behaviors. You must study your target groups and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Tokopedia is an excellent example of a localized marketing effort. In 2021, Tokopedia launched the Waktu Indonesia Belanja (WIB) campaign, which roughly translated as Indonesia Shopping Time. The WIB campaign’s promotional content contains local customs and traditions.

WIB is an easy-to-remember campaign name since it is also the acronym for one of Indonesia’s three time zones, Western Indonesian Time (Waktu Indonesia Barat). The video has received over 39 million views and is one of Tokopedia’s most eagerly awaited promotional campaigns.


Tokopedia’s Waktu Indonesia Belanja (WIB) campaign

#3. Use influencer marketing  

Indonesia has a large number of influencers in many fields, such as technology, cosmetics, fashion, health, fitness, etc. Influencer marketing has been used by hundreds of firms, including Shopee and Tokopedia.

There is a reason why brands are boosting their influencer marketing budgets. According to statistics, 51% of Indonesians believe that online recommendations from influencers are more trustworthy than sponsored advertisements. For product reviews, Indonesians look for reviewers who are genuine, reachable, and relatable. 

Some businesses take bigger leaps and partner with celebrities and idols. Working with Korean idols in advertising has shown to be incredibly effective for brands like Tokopedia. Their most recent video collaboration with Weekly, released in early February 2022, has been seen over 400,000 times in just two weeks.

Therefore, you can consider cooperating with influencers to create content to increase your chances of reaching your Indonesian target consumers.

Pick GTE Localize for your Indonesian website localization

Emerged as one of the most important digital markets in Southeast Asia, with growth rates that are on par with China, Indonesia is a lucrative market for international businesses. To effectively create and maintain your online presence in this archipelagic country, you have to get your website localized for Indonesians. This localization process is not easy to go, but it will pay off. If possible, you should partner with an experienced localization company like GTE Localize.

The Best Way To Perform Indonesian Website Localization 8

GTE Localize is one of the best translation companies on Goodfirms that has a thorough grasp of Indonesian culture, popular media channels, and SEO strategies. We promise to provide you with Indonesian website localization services that are well worth your money.

Here are some values that we offer our clients:

  • Native Indonesian translators with over 5 years of experience in building and promoting your Indonesian websites; 
  • The latest technologies used on all Indonesian website localization projects, including CAT Tools, Localization Management Platforms, QA Tools, Self-built ERP, and more;
  • A competitive rate, starting at $0.06/word;
  • A 12-month warranty for our Indonesian website localization services;
  • No hidden costs after signing our contract.
  • All file formats are supported.

To promote Indonesian website localization services, or to get a free consultation from our Indonesian localization specialists, please contact our team.

Let’s download our must-read white paper on website localization tips here.