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5 e-commerce translation mistakes that are losing you customers

Published on December 23rd, 2019

In many ways, it’s never been easier to run an e-commerce business with tools like WordPress and Shopify allowing you to set up an online store within a day. The internet has also made it easier to reach customers on the other side of the world and you’ll even find themes provide automatic translation to convert your online store into a multilingual site at the touch of a button – perfect!

Sadly, translating an e-commerce website isn’t as easy as those applications make out, though, and building a multilingual store requires far more work than many appreciate. This leads to a lot of mistakes being made and, in this article, we’re going to cover five of the most common e-commerce translation mistakes that’ll lose you customers.

These translation mistakes hit e-commerce brands hard

If you’re already running a multilingual e-commerce site and you’re making these mistakes, they’re losing you customers. Probably quite a lot of them, too. On the other hand, if you haven’t turned your site into a multilingual store yet, avoiding these mistakes will save you a serious amount of time, money, stress and lost business.

It’s painful how many brands make these e-commerce translation mistakes, but they hit hard.

  1. Using automatic translation: Do not use automatic translation tools to translate your website into foreign languages – no matter how good developers make them sound on platforms like WordPress and Shopify. You’re simply not going to get the accuracy you need. Get a team of specialist e-commerce translators on your side who will help you craft compelling page content that influences buying decisions in every language.
  2. Getting keyword translation wrong: A lot of e-commerce brands make the mistake of translating their English keywords into other languages and targeting them as normal. The problem is, those translations aren’t necessarily going to match what users in other markets are typing in. More to the point, your foreign-speaking audience might have entirely different search habits, needs and expectations – so start from the beginning with keyword research in every language.
  3. Failing to localise your content: Much like keywords, you don’t want to translate all of your English content and assume audiences in other countries are going to engage with it. Different interests require different content and you should localise your strategy for every audience to match their unique needs.
  4. Not optimising your site for multilingual SEO: Multilingual SEO is a highly technical practice and far more complicated than optimising for a single language. Make sure you have the right language and search marketing experts on board.
  5. Sub-par multilingual marketing strategies: It doesn’t matter how great your translated website is if people aren’t seeing it and you need to create localised marketing strategies for each target market to maximise traffic, leads and sales.

As you can see, effectively translating an e-commerce website involves far more than the words on each page. Content is at the heart of everything in digital business and this means your translation process will be deeply ingrained into developing and optimising your website – as well as all of your marketing strategies tied to it.

Get translation right the first time

Getting your e-commerce translation process off to the wrong start can cause all kinds of expensive issues further down the line. For example, you might end up choosing the wrong website and URL structure, which prevents your content from ranking properly in search engines or you might develop your site in a way that makes it difficult to redesign, add new languages and optimise.

With multilingual websites, you really want to get things right the first time and you can find out more about this process by speaking to our team of e-commerce translation experts. Either reach out to us on social media or pick up the phone to speak to one of our team members.

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Posted on: December 23rd, 2019