Cross-border ecommerce

What are the Implications of Brexit for Cross-Border E-commerce?

E-commerce in the UK is an unrivalled success story. Much to the ire of the high street retailers, the domestic e-commerce market is the largest of any country in the EU. British consumers shop more often and spend more than any others in Europe, with 86 percent of internet browsers making at least one online purchase in 2017.

Unfortunately, a little-known phenomenon called Brexit could be the potential stumbling block that threatens to bring the e-commerce success story to a shuddering halt.

What will Brexit mean for domestic e-retailers?

That’s undoubtedly a question that will have crossed the minds of e-commerce operators across the UK. You’ve worked your backsides off to create a successful and profitable e-commerce business. You’ve risen to the top of the search engines, have received endless positive reviews and established yourself as a trusted retailer. Now, something you have no control over threatens to undo all your hard work.

  • Will Brexit affect your sales overseas?
  • Will you have to comply with new regulations?
  • Will UK shoppers buy more goods from domestic sellers?

These are all very good questions. Unfortunately, with the ongoing Brexit turmoil, we don’t have solid answers for you as of yet. However, what we do have is opinions and predictions from the experts at the European eCommerce and Omni-Channel Trade Association (EMOTA) to hopefully bring you some peace of mind.

EMOTA is the European federation that represents online retail across Europe. We asked EMOTA a few questions about the potential implications of Brexit for cross-border e-commerce and sales within the UK.

What does a no-deal Brexit mean for online sellers?

Currently, a no-deal or ‘hard Brexit’ seems like the most likely scenario. In that instance, we expect to see serious disruptions in cross-channel trade as all products have to pass customs, product conformity procedures and other potential hurdles. The likelihood is that it will cause long delays for customers who are waiting for their parcels to be delivered. More problematic still is likely to be the issue of returns. With return rates of up to 50 percent in some product categories, the likely delays could lead to dissatisfied customers and a serious downturn in sales.

What are the implications for cross-border e-commerce in Europe?

In the months following the EU referendum, many UK online retailers actually saw an increase in sales as a result of the falling pound against other major currencies. However, according to the IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index, there was a slowdown in online sales towards the end of last year, with delivery volumes lower than forecasted.

The trouble is that if shoppers are looking for the lowest price, UK retailers will always lose out to China. Moreover, EU shoppers also have to pay customs duties on goods from the UK, and in some competitive product categories such as clothing, these fees can be high. That can negate savings that EU customers might have made due to the weakening of the pound.

Which regulations will be affected?

Many important pieces of EU legislation affect cross-border e-commerce, including the recent GDPR rules, the Consumer Rights Directive, cross-border parcel delivery, a directive banning geo-blocking and more. The UK will not change EU laws that have been accepted and made into national laws, which will make life easier for UK e-commerce businesses. Over time, it may also be the case that domestic legislation is introduced that will be advantageous to British firms.

What are the biggest challenges facing online retailers?

The biggest challenges facing UK e-retailers in a post-Brexit world are undoubtedly the duty and delivery issues. While larger operators will be able to solve this problem by opening fulfilment centres in Europe, smaller operators will struggle until the terms of Brexit are ironed out and it’s business as usual once again.

Helping cross-border businesses thrive, whatever Brexit brings

At Linguistica International, we are dedicated to helping British businesses trade overseas, whatever the future brings. Call 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your translation, transcreation, copywriting, proofreading or telephone interpreting requirements.

How Catering for Minority Languages will Drive Online Sales

How Catering for Minority Languages can Drive Online Sales

English has long been the lingua franca on the web, but as more and more of the world’s population go online, that dominance is diminishing. The proportion of online content in English has shrunk to around 30 percent, while Chinese, Spanish, German and French content is increasing. In fact, between 2000 and 2010, Chinese content grew by a whopping 1,277 percent. But that’s not the growth area we’re interested in.

With global populations increasingly participating online, new audiences are being created who do not speak the 10 most commonly used languages. This is creating an opportunity for what marketers like to call ‘quick wins’.

The growth of online minority groups

Every day, around a million people go online for the first time ever. Much of the English-speaking market is already online, which means that many of those new browsers are minority language speakers. The Indian market is a prime example. In India, a mind-blowing 450 languages are spoken across the country. Although all of those languages are not spoken by an equal proportion of the population, they still represent an opportunity for astute online businesses that are willing to cater for their linguistic needs.

In India, Netflix offers its content in English and Hindi, which are the country’s two most commonly spoken languages. However, local competitors have been able to steal customers away by offering their services in languages such as Tamil and Kannada. Although they are considered to be minority languages, they are still spoken by tens of millions of people.

Tremendous untapped potential

One of the main benefits of targeting speakers of minority languages online is that very little competition exists. The online market in English-speaking countries is saturated with websites that already target those consumers, which makes it time-consuming and costly to produce content that will be able to compete. In much less established online marketplaces, you could create a native language website that jumps straight to the top of the search engine rankings for your key terms and generates traffic instantly.

However, that’s not to say there aren’t also challenges associated with this approach. These new audiences are likely to be novice internet users, which means that their specific needs can be hard to cater for. They may also be based in countries that are difficult to reach in terms of getting your products to their door. For example, in Iran, there are year-on-year internet growth rates of over 130 percent, but trading in such a market could be tremendously complex.

Significant rewards for those willing to take the risk

Despite the costs and complexities associated with targeting minority language markets, for those businesses that are willing to take the risk, the rewards could be huge. The key is to cater for the target market by using native-language content that’s culturally appropriate and engaging, which is precisely where we can help.

At Linguistica International, we can translate and transcreate your existing copy into minority languages, or use our copywriting service to create original content that grabs the attention of your target market. Call 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your requirements with our team.

Businesses exhibiting at international tradeshows

How to Prepare your Business for International Trade Shows

The digital revolution has led many businesses to turn their back on the tried and tested offline marketing techniques they once relied on in favour of online campaigns. While spending on newspaper and magazine advertisements, brochures and events has fallen, the amount earmarked for social media, pay-per-click, SEO and email marketing has soared. But offline marketing is still a contender.

For companies looking to go global, international trade shows can be an excellent way to raise your profile and create brand awareness in a new market. One of the key benefits of trade shows is that they are usually industry-specific, so you can exhibit your wares directly to your target market. The result can be new leads and direct sales opportunities.

But getting ready for the big day requires a lot of work, particularly when you’re going to be exhibiting to some of the industry’s leading lights. Here’s how we think you should prepare.

1. Localise display stands

As soon as your place at the tradeshow is confirmed, you need to think about getting assets like display stands, banners and brochures ready. You don’t need us to tell you that turning up with your straplines and core messages in the wrong language is probably not going to get you very far. Where possible, you need to localise your display stand to meet the preferences of your target market. This includes the translation of everything from audiovisual content to messages displayed on video walls, LCD screens and any other tech you have for the event.

Digital content should also be translated and localised ready for the show. Interactive tablets are often used by exhibitors at international trade shows to help customers learn more about the products and services on offer. Language options should be provided so the audience can access content in a way that suits them.

2. Get print materials on point

The next job is to make sure any take-away information you have is translated and localised for international customers. It doesn’t have to be quite as big a job as it may sound. For example, it could be that you give out your business card as a way for interested parties to get in touch. In that case, it’s useful to have your job title translated and ensure contact information is presented in the right way. Don’t assume that customers will know how to add the correct country code to your phone number to get in touch.

3. Communicating in person

Your display stand and print materials will now look the part, but when interested customers ask you about the products and services on offer, you could have a problem. Thinking about how you will communicate face-to-face with international customers before an event of this kind is essential.

If you have speakers of the target language in your team then make sure you take them along. If you don’t then the fact that so many people speak at least a little English and your marketing materials have been translated will certainly help, but at least learn a few greetings and key phrases in the target language to show that you’ve made the effort.

If you operate in a technical industry, it could also be worthwhile hiring an interpreter for the day with specific experience in your sector. Their knowledge of the key concepts and terminology in the local language could be invaluable.

4. Before and after the event

Before the big day, you should think about how you’re going to promote your appearance at the event and book meetings ahead of the show. Creating a localised landing page on your website that targets event specific keywords could be a good start. It should include details of the event, the location of your stand and a booking form, all translated into the target language of course. Social media updates and email marketing campaigns can also be used to engage customers before the show.

Your final consideration is how you’ll follow up with any new contacts you make at the show. Will you use email to follow up with leads, in which case, will you need a translator? Perhaps a phone call would be more appropriate, and if so, will you need a telephone interpreter so you can discuss the customers’ requirements?

Get all the help you need

At Linguistica International, our professional translation, transcreation and telephone interpreting services will get you ready for international trade shows. Just call 02392 987 765 or email for expert assistance from our team.

Localisation considerations - International shipping and payments

International Shipping & Payments: The Final Localisation Hurdle

As a translation agency, we hope you’ll forgive us for spending much of our time discussing the importance of talking to your customers in their native language. Professional translation is just one of several elements in the localisation process. When selling overseas, there’s much more to consider than simply getting the wording of your website or marketing content right.

Localisation is defined as the process of adapting a product or content to a specific location or market. Depending on your offering, it can involve any number of elements which include but are not restricted to:

  • modifying graphics
  • adapting the design
  • changing the format of dates, addresses and phone numbers
  • converting local currencies and units of measurement
  • meeting local regulations and legal requirements

But two elements of the localisation process that can be left behind is the provision of a range of international shipping options and being sensitive to local payment preferences. You can overcome this final localisation hurdle by researching the best shipping carriers in each market and giving your customers plenty of choice about how they want to pay.

International shipping considerations

  • Where you’ll ship to –Your first consideration is to think about where in the world you’ll ship to. Your website’s analytics are an excellent way to gauge the level of interest from overseas markets, as are direct requests to sell to those markets. You should also think about which non-domestic markets will be a good fit for your business and the costs involved in shipping to those countries.
  • Shipping rules and regulations – Understanding the country-based shipping rules and regulations should be a key part of your international shipping strategy.  They will help you manage your customers’ expectations and determine how long shipping is likely to take and the costs involved. You should then update your website to make sure the costs and delivery times are clear. You should also think carefully about the packaging. You may need to add extra padding or choose more robust packaging options when sending products abroad.
  • The returns process – Returns are becoming an important part of online retail, with customers often ordering more products than they need and expecting to be able to return the items they don’t want for free. Third-party fulfilment and returns management companies can help to reduce the logistical headaches involved, although you will have to carefully consider the associated costs.

International payment options

  • Forms of payment – Another essential localisation consideration is to think about how your overseas customers will pay. Preferred payment options differ around the globe, so you may need to expand the solutions you offer for new markets. For example, mobile wallets have become an extremely popular form of payment, particularly in markets like India. Pre-paid credit cards are also becoming more widespread, so it’s important that you take the time to understand how people like to pay overseas.

These stats from Woo Commerce help to illustrate the point:

- In Germany, 46 percent of payments are made by online bank transfer
- In the Netherlands, 60 percent of payments are by made by direct debit
- More than 50 percent of payments in the Czech Republic are cash on delivery

  • Taxes and duties – It’s likely that every country you sell to will levy a tax on the goods sold. The most common tax is VAT, which is charged by most of Europe, China, India, Canada and much of South America and Africa. Before selling internationally, it’s essential you understand the VAT rules in that country and take the necessary steps to register and file your returns.
  • Allowing customers to pay in their own currency – Just as customers like to buy products in their native language, they also value the comfort and convenience that comes from paying in their own currency. Only accepting pounds sterling (GBP) is the simplest approach – certainly in terms of settlement and accounting – but it could cost you customers. Choosing a payment gateway that allows foreign currency transfers could be a wise business decision.

Localisation expertise from Linguistica International

We offer an international localisation and transcreation service to engage overseas customers and compel them to act. Call 02392 987 765 or email to find out how we can help.

Multilingual email marketing

Why Multilingual Email Marketing Matters in 2019

Firstly, before we delve into why a multilingual email marketing campaign could be the driving force behind the expansion of your business this year, we’d like to wish all our readers a happy 2019! With the Christmas break over, business owners across the UK will be looking for new ways to take their business to the next level, and we think multilingual email marketing is a cost-effective way to provide the impetus you need.

Every year, new technologies come along and transform the way we communicate with existing and potential customers, but email is still the most effective.

A study by the ecommerce software firm Monetate found that 4.24 percent of visitors make a purchase due to email marketing, compared with 2.49 percent of visitors from search engines and just 0.59 percent from social media. The average value of an order from an email customer is also three times that of a social media visitor. So, while it might be old hat by modern standards, email marketing still pulls in the crowds.

The easy way to start selling to foreign markets

There are numerous benefits associated with multilingual email marketing when compared to other methods of communicating with an overseas audience.

The cost is one of the most compelling benefits. Rather than spending money on pay-per-click adverts or sponsored posts on social media, you can create a single email that can be sent to thousands of potential new customers. The only cost you’ll have to consider is the creation of the email itself, including its translation into the target language. You may also have to think about how you’ll acquire the email addresses of prospective customers if that’s something you don’t have.

Email marketing also provides a high level of conversions and gives you the certainty that your marketing messages are sure to reach your target audience. That’s something other media, such as social media ads and other digital marketing methods, may not deliver.

How to create a great multilingual email marketing campaign

1. Familiarise yourself with the most popular email marketing tools

If you’re planning to send out emails en masse, it’s well worth exploring some of the most popular email marketing tools such as MailChimp and Benchmark. They make it much easier to design visually appealing messages that will capture the attention of your target market. You can also automate much of the process and measure the success of your campaigns against a range of metrics.

2. Create personalised messages

A good marketing email will address the recipient by their name and use friendly and informal language. If you are targeting prospective customers in more than one foreign market, you must adapt the language, the format, the images you use and even the colours to meet the cultural expectations of every audience.

3. Use professional translators

It should go without saying that if you plan on sending emails to thousands of customers in a new market, you must use professional mother-tongue translators to make sure that every message is word perfect. Any mistakes you make will damage the trust of consumers potentially irreparably and have a lasting impact on sales.

4. Segment emails for every customer

If you plan on taking multilingual email marketing seriously, it’s essential you segment the campaign based on the objectives of your business (e.g. launch a new product, build loyalty, create a subscribers list etc.). You must know exactly which emails have been sent to customers and when to create a cohesive campaign.

5. Measure the impact of every change you make

You will not create the perfect multilingual email on the first attempt. It takes time to create messaging that optimises open rates and conversions. Even something seemingly as simple as the subject line will have a huge impact on whether the email is opened and read or immediately trashed. Measuring the effect of every little change will allow you to fine-tune your email to create a cost-effective conversion machine.

How can we help?

Is 2019 the year you turn your small business into a growing international operator? At Linguistica International, we’re ready and waiting to translate your multilingual emails into more than 200 languages. Call 02392 987 765, email or try our quote generator today.

product labels

Multilingual Product Labelling Tips to get Your Goods Over the Border

Selling your products overseas is a fantastic opportunity, but it’s not a walk in the park. Expanding into new markets often comes with a number of requirements that differ from region to region.

Multilingual product labelling is one requirement that businesses have struggled with in the past. Non-compliant labels can lead to shipment delays that leave your products and your customers in limbo and cost your business money.

To help you expand into overseas markets with ease, we’ve compiled a number of multilingual product labelling tips, including common product labelling problems and the fixes you can put in place to ensure your products make it over the border.

1. Translated labels must be accurate

A translation error on a product label is more than just a mishap. Instead, it’s a barrier that could keep your products out of new markets and even potentially expose your business to legal liability.

Given the potential severity of the consequences, translation errors are surprisingly common (as you can see from these disastrous examples), particularly when businesses choose to cut corners with Google Translate. All it takes is a very simple mistake for a business to land itself in very hot water.

product labelling mistake

As an example, one business translated the ‘may contain nuts’ warning on its UK packaging to ‘Peut contenir des noix’ for the French market. The problem was that ‘noix’ translates as ‘walnuts’ and not the generic tree nuts that many people are allergic to. You don’t need us to tell you how serious that error could have been.

2. Labels must contain relevant allergen information

Food allergies are a hot topic these days and rightfully so given just how serious the impact of failing to label products properly can be. Food labelling regulations are designed to ensure that businesses provide customers with information to keep themselves safe.

The trouble is that labelling laws vary by country. In the UK, the fresh food labelling laws are soon expected to change as a result of the recent and tragic Pret a Manger case when Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died after eating an unlabelled baguette containing sesame seeds.

Sesame seeds are actually a good case in point. In the United States, sesame seeds are not required to be listed as an allergen. However, they are in Europe, Canada and Australia. With so many different regulations in play from one region to the next, it’s easy to see how allergen information could be missing or improperly listed for particular markets.

3. Labels have to be compliant

There are all sorts of product labelling compliance issues that businesses need to be aware of. For example, in the EU, there are universal standards for font sizes to ensure all fine print can be read. Multilingual product labelling makes compliance even more of a challenge because the more markets you enter, the more rules there are to comply with.

The fix: Accurate and compliant over-stickers

Fortunately, there is a simple fix you can put in place to resolve some of these common multilingual product labelling issues.

If you do make one of these common multilingual product labelling mistakes, we can produce compliant over-stickers that can be used on your products so they can be delivered without delay.

The process is simple:

  • We translate the original label into the target market’s language. We can even create multilingual over-stickers if your products are destined for a number of different regions.
  • You can then check the labels are compliant in your target market.
  • The labels are desktop published and printed before being stuck to your products.

The expert assistance you need

At Linguistica International, our team is on hand to create accurately translated product labels and over-stickers to meet the most demanding deadlines. To discuss your requirements, please call our team on 02392 987 765 or email

Technology is saving endangered languages

How Technology is Saving the World’s Most Endangered Languages

We often hear of the plight of the latest animals that have been added to the list of endangered species, but rarely do we take the same interest in languages.

According to UNESCO, there are an estimated 7,102 languages spoken around the world today, of which 2,301 are spoken in Asia and just 286 in Europe. Of all those languages, around 2,000 are spoken by fewer than 1,000 native speakers, which places them firmly into the endangered category. But while the loss of languages is nothing new, the rate at which languages are dying out is greater than it has ever been before, with 3,500 languages expected to become extinct by the end of this century.

Why are languages dying at an unprecedented rate?

Historically, there are many different reasons why languages die out. Civil conflicts, natural disasters and world wars are all responsible for the loss of indigenous languages. In the 21st-century, the loss of languages is more likely to be the result of native speakers dying out or shifting to another language.

A common example of language loss in action is migrant parents who pass on their native language to their children, who in turn go on to favour the dominant language of the country they live in to avoid socio-economic disadvantages and even discrimination.

The internet has long been considered one of the primary contributors to language loss. It relies on just a handful of dominant languages (primarily English, Mandarin and French), which prompts people around the world to abandon their own languages in favour of those that are popular online.

Technology to the rescue

Although the internet has been part of the reason why so many languages are endangered, it is also helping to save them. The Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages is one not-for-profit organisation that is working passionately to protect these languages. It publishes scientific papers, conducts linguistic fieldwork and equips locals with the resources they need to document their own indigenous languages and create online talking dictionaries.

Another initiative working to preserve indigenous languages around the world is The Endangered Languages Project. Partnered by Google, the web platform encourages language enthusiasts and professional linguists to sign up and upload language samples in text, audio and video format to a huge database with a simple search function.

The online language-learning platform Duolingo has also diversified its offering in recent years to help contribute to the preservation process. It is focusing on Native American languages such as Navajo and is encouraging thousands of young people to learn the languages of previous generations.

Africa fights to retain its native tongue

In Africa, many native languages are no longer being taught in schools in favour of English, French, Portuguese and Mandarin, with the hope of ensuring a better socio-economic future. Of course, that comes at a cost, with many younger Africans losing their grasp of the continent’s 2,144 indigenous languages.

To tackle this, younger Africans are using technology to empower parents to teach their children indigenous languages. YouTube is one platform that’s being used to create tutorials that teach parents the importance of passing their language on and how to teach their children effectively.

With smartphone adoption on the rise, African entrepreneurs are also creating voice-based messaging apps that allow people to communicate in their native tongues. With literacy rates still a problem in some parts of Africa, this allows people to communicate in a modern way without snuffing out indigenous languages.

There’s no such thing as a minority language at Linguistica International

At Linguistica International, we can translate, transcreate and produce original copywriting in more than 200 languages around the world. Call 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your requirements with our team.

How Google Trends can help you understand new markets

Understanding New Markets: How Google Trends can Help

If you’ve recently entered into an overseas market, then understanding exactly what’s going on in terms of the interests and preferences of that market is essential. It’s likely you’ll have to conduct some comprehensive market research, which will be both time-consuming and expensive. But these days there’s a much faster and cost-effective alternative. You can make use of a very handy, completely free-to-use tool called Google Trends.

What is Google Trends?

Google Trends is an online tool that allows you to see how frequently particular search terms are entered into Google’s search engine over a given period of time. You can identify spikes in search volume and change the category, industry, country and language to provide valuable insights into specific geographical areas.

Those insights can help you generate content ideas for new markets based on the most searched terms and give you a better understanding of the vocabulary that local consumers use when searching for the products and services you offer. This can form the basis of your keyword strategy.

Google Trends and your keyword strategy

If you’re entering a new territory, then your keyword strategy will have to be revisited. Some businesses make the mistake of simply translating their existing keywords into the local language, but this can often lead to crucial mistakes in phraseology and vocabulary.

Many overseas markets not only speak different languages but also have different cultural norms and are at varying stages of development, all of which can impact the terms used to search for certain products. Google Trends will allow you to identify exactly which native language terms are used most frequently.

As Google is the most popular search engine in most countries around the world, Google Trends will be able to inform your keyword strategy in many different markets. However, it’s a different story in China, where Baidu is the most popular search engine. Thankfully, there’s a similar tool for Baidu too.

Google Trends and content creation

Another area where Google Trends can be an enormous asset is when creating your content strategy. By understanding what terms your customers are searching for and when, you can create content at the right time of the year that’s based on the search terms consumers use and their topics of interest. It will also provide insights into the aspects of your services or products that consumers want to know more about. You can then create content, such as how-tos, which provide the answers.

Google Trends also gives you the ability to identify seasonality in specific industries and markets. That can be really helpful when planning a content strategy a year or more in advance. You can identify topics that consumers take an interest in at particular times and make sure you have relevant content ready and waiting to be published to grab their attention.

Create keyword-targeted content in your customers’ languages

At Linguistica International, our mother-tongue translators can help you create unique content in your customers’ languages that’s targeted at specific key terms. Find out more about our copywriting and transcreation services and call 02392 987 765 to discuss your project with our team.

The cost of translation

The Cost of Translation: Pricing your Project

The cost of translation work is not something that’s particularly easy to define. Every project is different, so we have to provide a tailored quote to meet the particular needs of each client. There are a number of factors that we consider when drawing up a quote that provides excellent value for you but also allows us to create the quality translations we’re known for.

While we can’t provide you with a one-size-fits-all price, we can explain what we’ll take into account in order to give you a better idea of the cost of translation. Here’s our guide…

1. Project requirements

The scope of translation projects can vary hugely, so our first step is to always make sure we have an accurate idea of the work involved by asking the following questions:

  • Is it a translation, transcreation or copywriting project?
  • What type of document is being translated?
  • What are the target languages?
  • Does the document have to be reformatted or redesigned to accommodate the translation?
  • Is there any technical terminology?
  • Is any other work involved?

2. Source and target language(s)

At Linguistica International, we have a network of professional and experienced mother-tongue translators who can provide translation services in more than 200 languages. However, when it comes to pricing a project, not all languages are equal. For example, translating an English source document into Spanish is comparatively low-cost because of the availability of translators. For less common source and target languages, the cost will usually be more. As a simple rule, the more uncommon the language pairing, the higher the cost is likely to be.

3. Purpose of the copy

The purpose of the text is central to establishing the cost of the translation. For example, translations in industries such as law or medicine – where highly technical language is involved – will require specialist skills, and complex regulations may need to be met.

The type of writing involved can also make a difference to the price as it may need to be localised (i.e. adapted for specific cultures) and the content may require extensive transcreation to keep its meaning and impact in the target language intact.

4. Deadline

Quality translations take time. We are always happy to meet demanding timescales, but turning a large project around quickly may require additional translators and proofreaders, and that will affect the cost.

5. Quality control

Not every translation project requires the same level of quality control. There are a number of steps included in our quality control process but not all of these will necessarily apply to your project so we will adjust the price accordingly.

6. The source material

In some cases, the source material we’re provided with – whether it’s a document or audio file – requires work before it can be translated. If corrections need to be made to the source document, or the clarity of an audio file makes it more difficult for our transcriptionists to understand, the project may take longer and will likely cost more.

Just give us a call

Want to know more about the cost of translation? We can provide a quick quote for your project in minutes. Just give our team a call on 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your requirements.

E-commerce translation tips

E-commerce Translation: 5 Tips for International Websites

Once you have an e-commerce website that is performing well in one country – let’s say it’s the UK – you’d be surprised just how easy it is to replicate that success overseas. Opening your business up to new markets through e-commerce translation is an excellent way to boost sales and increase your bottom line.

If you plan on moving into another English-speaking market then you’ll still need to make some cultural adjustments to your site. By simply taking a look at a few e-commerce sites in the UK and the US, you will see just how big a difference there is. But what if you want to expand into a new market in the EU, or perhaps China or India?

Studies have shown that people prefer to buy products online in their own language. In fact, 72 percent of consumers admit they are more likely to make a purchase once they have obtained information about a product in their mother tongue.

Given this native-language bias, what can you do to ease the transition of your e-commerce website into non-English-speaking markets?

1. Look like a local

Your e-commerce translation should start with the domain name of your store. More and more search engines are favouring websites that have a domain that’s local to a particular market. For example, in the UK, a US-based website is less likely to rank highly in the search engine results. The solution is to find the most appropriate domain extension for your locale. For example:

  • .au – Australia
  • .de – Germany
  • .it – Italy
  • .jp – Japan
  • .br – Brazil

Furthermore, finding a hosting solution in the local market will provide you with an IP address that will help your site appease the search engines’ local bias.

2. Use a content management system that supports global content

Maintaining your e-commerce website becomes increasingly difficult as you add more languages to your site. The key is to use a content management system (CMS) that is ‘global-ready’ so it can streamline updates across multiple languages and maintain a smooth workflow. A CMS that is compatible with Unicode support will allow you to add all characters in every language so your e-commerce translation goes without a hitch.

3. Let customers choose their own language

With multiple languages spoken in many countries around the world, you’d be wise to provide a drop-down menu that allows customers to choose the language they want to buy in. That puts them in control of their shopping experience right from the start. Automatic language selectors based on IP addresses restrict customers and could cost you the sale.

4. Create culturally sensitive product descriptions

It’s not only the languages that are spoken that differs between markets. Everything from sizing and measurements to currencies and the format of dates need to be taken into account. Similarly, product images should be carefully considered. While certain images might be appropriate in Western markets (for example, pictures of women in short sleeves), they will be completely inappropriate in the Middle East.

5. Make translation quality your priority

There are a number of translation apps and automation tools out there, but if you really want your translation to strike a chord with your local audience, it’s essential that you hire a professional translator. The translator will ensure that everything from the metadata to the product descriptions and key messages are not just translated but are localised to meet the preferences of a local audience.

Google penalises websites for inaccurate translations, and customers will not buy from a site that doesn’t ring true, so opt for a professional translator every time.

Expert translation for your e-commerce store

Here at Linguistica International, we work with a team of 200 mother-tongue translators that deliver word-perfect translations to give your e-commerce store the global edge. Email or give us a call on 02392 987 765 to discuss your requirements.