Running an international eCommerce empire sounds great, but successfully cracking several international markets is not very easy. Your first challenge is to build an online presence in each target market, which requires a translated website that is both optimised for international SEO and human users in each market.
Then, you have to convince each target audience to buy from your online store and this requires the right mix of website translation, multilingual marketing and customer service that will keep them coming back for more.
Here are seven crucial eCommerce translation tips every multilingual store should keep in mind.
Become a local brand in every market
The challenge for international eCommerce stores is to build a relationship with consumers that makes the brand feel local to every market audience. Amazon does not really feel like a US company; it’s just Amazon. Likewise, H&M does not feel particularly Swedish when you are used to seeing its retail stores on different high streets across many countries around the world.
This is the aim international eCommerce brands should have and it takes a comprehensive mix of translation and multilingual marketing strategies to make it happen.
- Use professional translators: eCommerce sites are already vulnerable to duplicate content penalties and the safest way to avoid these with multilingual sites is to get professional translation – never rely on automatic translation tools.
- Hire international SEO experts: Running a multilingual website is one of the most complex things you can do from an SEO perspective so make sure you have some international SEO expertise on your side.
- Do your research: To find out what makes each audience tick and how they engage with brands like yours.
- Localise your website: Make sure the non-language aspects of your website are optimised for each target audience – e.g.: date formats, contact details, etc.
- Localise your content strategy: To make sure you are addressing the unique interests and needs of each target audience.
- Multilingual customer service: Ensure that you have a robust customer service system to help customers from every market enjoy the best of your brand.
- Multilingual marketing: From social media and paid advertising to branding and customer reviews, you need effective marketing strategies tailored for each market.
We tend to think of eCommerce brands as websites and, while this may be true to some extent, it limits the perception of eCommerce translation.
You are not simply translating a website. You have to adapt every aspect of your brand to the linguistic and local needs of each audience to the point where you are no longer a “foreign” brand or an outsider – to the point where you are an everyday name in their lives.
eCommerce translation isn’t easy
eCommerce websites are some of the most complex when it comes to optimising for search engines and user experiences. Large sites are always more difficult to manage and the more product pages you have, the more work you have on your hands.
In fact, the only thing more difficult than managing an eCommerce store is running a multilingual website and trying to do both is probably the biggest challenge you could take on.
To overcome these challenges, you need the right expertise with comprehensive experience in eCommerce translation, international SEO, multilingual marketing and a range of other skill sets. At the same time, you also need the right tools in order to make this workload manageable, including translation technology, technical SEO tools, reporting, analytics and more.
By bringing all of these elements together, you will have everything you need to turn your eCommerce brand into an international name.