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 info@linguistica-international.com or give us a call on 02392 987 765 to discuss your requirements.