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How to reach customers globally with multi language eCommerce

One of the keys to success when it comes to eCommerce is reaching a global audience. Therefore, by gearing your site up from the get-go for multi-language support, you can appeal to customers from all over the world. The challenge, however, is in the translation process.

There are a few things to consider when translating your eCommerce site. The first is cultural differences. What may be acceptable or popular in one country may not be in another. You’ll need to make sure that your translations reflect the cultural norms of the target market.

Another thing to keep in mind is how words are translated. In some cases, a word may have multiple meanings depending on the context it’s used in. Translators will need to know the context of the words they’re translating in order to use an appropriate translation.

Another thing is technical. Technical terms have specific meanings in certain fields so you’ll need to make sure that your multi-language eCommerce site uses the correct terminology. If you don’t, it could cause confusion among customers who may find themselves unable to purchase because of a word used improperly. It’s also important that the native language you have translated into is consistent across all of your site(s) and digital assets.

Another challenge to multi-language eCommerce is spelling differences between countries. In English for example there are various ways of spelling words depending on where you come from in the world. These different spellings will need to be accounted for on your eCommerce store if it is to be successful.

If you’re simply translating into languages for the sake of it and they aren’t your primary markets then your eCommerce experience may not prove as effective as you’d like. It’s important before gearing up for multi-language support, to make sure it’s going to benefit your eCommerce site.

Of course, multi-language sites also require a separate sub-domain (if you’ve built the site structure correctly and not on separate domain names), as well as geo-targeting URL software e.g. if you live in Germany you are served immediately with the .de extension in the native language, this will increase costs, but not as prohibitive as developing individual sites for each language on unique domains. If you were to do this across two languages, it would mean, two sets of SEO, PPC hosting, and support costs but the name a few.

You’ll need to think about who will use what type of languages on your site – information, registration forms, shopping carts, checkout pages, etc. If you’re selling internationally, multi-language eCommerce is likely to be important for your nonnative speaking and reading customers, that said some areas of the site could remain the same – e.g. product descriptions can remain in English while the rest of the site gives the user the option to language toggle if desired.

The first step for multi-language eCommerce success is to find a reliable translation company that has experience working with multi-language eCommerce sites and who knows what they’re doing when it comes to the process of translating an eCommerce multi-page website into multiple other languages (e.g., Spanish, French). A good translation company should also include search engine optimization (SEO) for multi-language eCommerce sites to help them rank in the local search engines.

Once you have a translation company in place, it’s time to start translating your eCommerce site. Begin by translating your home page and making sure that all of your language content is accurate. Once that’s done, move on to translated versions of your product pages, category pages, and other important pages on your eCommerce site. As you translate your online shop, make sure to keep an eye on how it’s performing in terms of traffic and conversions. If you notice any dips in traffic or conversions, it may be indicative of something wrong with your translations which will need to be fixed.

Launching an eCommerce site that caters to an international clientele can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and planning, it can be a successful endeavor.

Follow the tips outlined in this article and you’ll be well on your way to achieving multi-language eCommerce success!

Qasim Majid About the author
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