How to make your app localisation successful in Mexico

Discover best practice tips and app localisation strategies to reach more users in Mexico

130 million people live in Mexico, making it one of the 10 most populated countries in the world. Its capital, Mexico City, is also one of the world’s largest cities, and home to around 20% of Mexico’s population.

Average income in Mexico is almost $18K. The country offers a great environment for businesses too: some 45% of the population is under 25, and more and more digital services are now becoming available. Together with credit cards, Google Pay offers alternative forms of payments such as gift cards, carrier billing, and Paypal – which is helping more users buy their favourite content.

Let’s take a closer look at 7 key factors that will help you decide whether now is the right time to expand your app or game in Mexico.

1 Popular game and app categories


Typically, strategy, action, role-playing games (RPG) and casual genres generate the highest revenue for developers. Notable trends right now include the rise of eSports (Mexico is the 4th largest audience in the world for these) and also games as a service, including LiveOps and events localisation, and advertising on mobile.

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Entertainment, dating, education, and social app categories often perform well in terms of downloads. Other app-related trends include the growing use of subscriptions; an increase in the number of fintech startups; plus a significant rise in apps focused on delivering goods.

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2 Pricing

In markets like Mexico, a minimum price of US$1 for IAPs (in-app purchases) is generally seen as too high. You might want to consider a more appropriate amount of around 5MXP, as this will help you localise the price point and reach more people at a price they can afford. You’ll find more details about that here.

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Another recommended best practice is ‘charm pricing’ – for example, 9.99MXP or 19MXP. And definitely avoid ‘odd pricing’, as shown below.

Example: ‘Odd pricing’ will discourage users in Mexico from buying your app or game.

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Mobile app subscriptions are the fastest-growing business model used in Google Play (Mexico) at the moment, so it may be worth considering this approach for your app or game.

Lastly, Google Play also supports tax-inclusive pricing in Mexico. That means the prices shown to users on search and detail pages must equal the amount paid at the time of payment. Therefore all taxes (including VAT) must be included in the price. You can find more details about that here.

3 Device optimisation

Most users in Mexico own mid- to low-end devices with up to 2GB of RAM. This limited storage – and the cost of data – naturally makes them a little wary of APK size. As such, aim to reduce your APK install size to below 40MB for apps, and 65MB for games.

Another thing to bear in mind is that people’s access to data may be limited by cost and network coverage. As such, many users in Mexico rely heavily on Wi-Fi, making apps with offline content more desirable.

Another way to optimise your app experience for the Mexican market is to try and keep your ‘from cold’ startup time to 5 seconds or under. That will help ensure users don’t get frustrated from waiting, and end up abandoning or uninstalling your app.

4 Transliteration

We recommend using Latin American Spanish rather than Argentinian or Spain Spanish, as the different words and pronunciations will feel out of place to Mexican users.

The Mexican style of communication is also fairly informal, so consider using “tú” instead of “usted” when referring to “you” in your listing, app content, and marketing messages.

If possible, avoid using machine or direct word-for-word translations too. While machine translations are quicker to produce, you’ll still need a linguist to review the new content and potentially rewrite certain phrases so they’re contextually correct.

Example: Here, the English word “skin” was incorrectly translated to “pieles” which literally means “human skin”. The correct translation is “diseños” meaning “design”

Developer: Mazari Games
Developer: Mazari Games

5 Font, layout, and user interface

When translating to Latin American Spanish, be aware of new text string lengths affecting your design and display. Make sure the translated content still fits within the UI and has a clean layout. Avoid reducing the font size to make the text fit, as it will likely become illegible.

Example: A newly-translated word that overflowed onto the next line, and how it was corrected

Developer: nWay Inc.
Developer: nWay Inc.

Use font types that support the full library of Spanish accents (á, é, í, ó, ú, ü, ñ) and punctuation (¿, ¡). Letters with accents should not use different fonts.

Example: Comparison of suboptimal and optimal use of font

"(C) 2019 MARVEL. (C)2019 NEXON Korea Corp. All Right Reserved"
Developer: NEXON Company
"(C) 2019 MARVEL. (C)2019 NEXON Korea Corp. All Right Reserved" Developer: NEXON Company

6 Culturalisation

Adapting your app to fit cultural and social norms will help show Mexican users you’ve designed it with their needs in mind. Also, avoid references to sensitive topics like political or historical events, or any depictions of violence. Lastly, take into account seasonal moments that play a key part in Mexican culture – such as Día de Muerto (Day of the Dead).

Example: Using seasonality to customise and promote events.

Developer: Supercell
Developer: Supercell

7 Mobile app user acquisition strategy

There are 3 main ways to acquire new users in Mexico.

First, developers that have passed the app localisation review can get featured on Google Play – which, when done at a very local level, can be a great way to attract new users.

Second, developers can use ads and deep links to drive traffic. For example, social media and YouTube are popular ways of doing this.

Finally, you could try offline advertising, such as live events and conferences – for example, eSports. Typically though, out of home advertising is only used by a small number of developers, and an increasing number of education apps.

8 Sources

World Bank