With eCommerce Expo 2022 back in London this year, from 28 to 29 September at the iconic ExCeL London, we wanted to mark the occasion with a dedicated post to e-commerce translation.
In this article, we are looking at some of the most important reasons modern retailers need e-commerce translation – from the online store itself to every aspect of the customer journey experience.
E-commerce translation is a specialist language service that translates pages, content and resources for online retailers. The first stages of e-commerce translation normally centre around the website itself but retailers also have to consider their wider inbound marketing strategies and online footprint.
Here are some of the most common examples of e-commerce translation:
- Website translation
- International SEO
- Product pages and product descriptions
- Content marketing translation
- PPC ads and landing pages
- Marketing e-mails
- Social media translation
- Customer support content
For e-commerce brands, a website is the centre of their business model, but no matter how great a website is, there is very little use for it if it does not attract the right visitors. Online retailers need an effective marketing strategy for every target market and this requires ongoing translation for a variety of content types.
Now that we have clarified exactly what e-commerce translation is, let’s discuss some of the most important reasons modern retailers need this language service.
The primary function of e-commerce translation is to build a multilingual online store ready to attract and convert customers from each target market. The word “build” is used intentionally here because it is not simply just a case of translating one page into multiple languages.
To make each language version of your website visible in search engines (and accessible to users), you have to develop a separate site for each language audience and link them together at the domain level. This requires careful, strategic development and code optimisation to deliver an intuitive experience across every language version and maximise search visibility.
Without search visibility, e-commerce brands and businesses in general will not be able to generate the organic traffic they need in order to build long-term success. When a website is fully translated, the next step is to ensure that the right language version of each page is ranking for the relevant queries in each target language.
This sounds simple enough, but it is important to consider that search habits can vary and that translating English keywords does not necessarily give companies and e-commerce brands the same phrases that people are using in their own language when looking for their products and services online.
That’s why it is important to find the exact queries target audiences are using (in their language) and optimise web pages accordingly.
Ultimately, e-commerce translation is about maximising profits and this means website visitors need to be converted into paying customers. Consumers buy from brands they feel they can trust and the quality of your translation needs to be so good they cannot even tell that the page was translated in the first place.
In regards to keywords, one of the key things to consider is that language audiences may have different priorities and respond to different messages. Direct translation may not always be enough to convert every target audience and adapting certain pages to inspire purchases might be required.
Like all retailers, e-commerce brands have to do a lot of promotion to maximise sales throughout the year. They need to promote new products and produce ranges, potentially adapt lines for each season and almost certainly promote special deals for seasonal events like Black Friday and Christmas.
Of course, these promotions need translating for each language audience but, once again, translation may not be enough. The seasons come with very different weather patterns around the world and not all cultures celebrate the same events.
Multilingual customer support is essential for providing quality experiences to every target audience. When eCommerce businesses and retailers put great effort into winning customers from every language market, they need to focus on how to hold onto them and keep them buying in future.
Providing extensive multilingual support on eCommerce websites, via online chat functionalities, chatbots, translated FAQs etc., on social media and (where possible) phone support for more pressing issues, really helps achieve customer retention and builds trust in your brand.
Many online retailers make the mistake of using automatic translation tools like Google Translate or WordPress themes with auto-translate features. If this is the only translation process chosen or implemented, this is simply not going to achieve the five outcomes discussed in this article and it’s going to be very difficult to generate a good ROI in any foreign-speaking market.
Feel free to contact us if you want more information about the kind of e-commerce translation process that will deliver results.
If you are also attending this year’s eCommerce Expo at ExCeL, get in touch with our eCommerce consultant, Elvira Baracco, who will be at the event, ready to discuss any translation needs you may have.