What Is Retail Translation & Why Is It Important? 

Published on August 31st, 2022

retail translation

With the right online setup and a translation strategy, retailers today can sell to customers around the world and connects with their key target audiences. However, international retailers are not the only companies that benefit from a multiple language audience reach. In this article, we define retail translation and explain why it is so important to both companies selling their products nationally and internationally.

What is retail translation?

Retail translation describes a subset of services that help retail brands translate every aspect of their business. In today’s online world, retailers can connect with markets around the world and audiences from every language background, but this requires a depth of translation services tailored to the unique needs of modern retailers.

This can include:

  • Website translation
  • Product description translation
  • International SEO (including SEO optimisation)
  • Marketing translation
  • Advertising translation
  • Software localisation (POS, mobile apps, etc.)
  • Multilingual customer service
  • Catalogue translation
  • Packaging translation
  • User manual translation
  • Store translation (signage, posters, etc.)
  • Legal translation
  • Financial translation

Which of these services you need, depends on the nature of your retail business and goals. For example, if your retail business operates only online or you only have physical stores in your national market, but would like to sell internationally online, then the most suitable option would be to focus on translating the digital experience of your business for each target language market.

If however, you also have physical stores overseas or want to expand internationally, then you would need to develop a multilingual customer experience, both online and offline.

Also Read: Retail translation: what to expect in 2022

Why is retail translation important?

Any retail company with multiple language market reach needs a robust translation strategy. Obviously, this is crucial for getting your message out to every language audience, but let’s take a look at some of the practical reasons why retail translation is so important:

  • Growth: Targeting a wider set of language markets can drive your growth, and in turn, increase revenue.
  • Competition: Each new market brings new competitors (international and national), so you need flawless translation to compete.
  • Brand image: Retail translation services allow you to manage your brand image in each language market by ensuring your message is received as intended.
  • Reach: An effective translation strategy expands your reach (and the effectiveness of this reach), whilst helping you open up to new exciting markets.
  • Relevance: A comprehensive retail translation strategy will increase the relevance of your brand and marketing messages across each market, so every campaign speaks to your prospects on a deeper level and inspires purchase intent.
  • Sales: Developing a brand that engages each language audience on a deeper level will make your marketing messages stronger, and help avoid potential language friction that could prevent sales.
  • Customer satisfaction: National customer experiences boost engagement and satisfaction while helping you to deal with any issues faster and more effectively.
  • Retention: Happy customers buy more, more often and develop a loyalty that keeps them coming back to your business and retail products.
  • Customer value: With higher customer retention, you can increase the lifetime value of each customer, which generates a higher ROI on marketing and translation spend.
  • Reputation: Retail translation helps you manage your brand reputation in each market and improve customer experiences, which will boost your brand’s profile where it matters most.

The above is aimed at retailers selling internationally in foreign-language markets, but these are not the only companies that need to consider the benefits of implementing retail translation in their business.

Retailers that only operate in their home country, have to also consider the fact that the world is becoming more multicultural and globally connected, and that tourism brings people from all over the world to travel destinations.

If you’re a London-based retailer, for example, you have a lot to gain from translating the in-store experience with millions of French, German, Italian and Spanish tourists (to name a few) visiting the capital every year.

Likewise, London in particular, has long been home to millions of international residents and long-term visitors (students, working holiday visa holders, etc.), many of whom are non-native English speakers and rely on retail stores just as much as national buyers do.

International visitors and residents also rely on the internet during their stays overseas, so online retailers should also consider translating their website and online experiences to support a range of language audiences.

Can retail translation help you sell more products?

Obviously, companies selling their products internationally benefit the most from having a comprehensive translation strategy. That being said, it is important to understand the demographic shifts resulting from increased tourism and multiculturalism that brings different language audiences to the same locations.

Increasingly, companies that only sell locally can benefit from translating the shopping experience to cater for visitors and non-native speaking residents.

If you are currently looking to expand or revise your retail translation strategy, get in touch with us by completing the form on our contact page.

Posted on: August 31st, 2022