Statistically foreign brands are more likely to invest in translation. And it’s justifiable - they translate websites to English to enter the international market. However, for the last 10 years, US merchants have discovered the power of localized content which is more attractive to local customers. That’s why eCommerce website translation has become one of the major focuses, not only for world-known brands but also for small businesses with an aspiration to enlarge their boundaries.
Still there are some concerns regarding the website translation, as multilingual content doesn’t always guarantee success. Today, we’ll try to figure out how to do translations effectively and how to make these translations work for your eCommerce business.
Why Translate Your eCommerce Website?
Nothing can harm your business more than a misunderstanding. You can agree that you barely will buy a product without having an idea of what it is for and how it should be used. According to our research, around 67% of online buyers claim that comprehensible information about the product in the local language is more important than the price. Although English is an international language, 75% of the world’s population doesn’t speak English at all. That’s why it’s important to offer multiple languages on your website, especially if you have a foreign target audience.
There are a lot of benefits you can get if translate a Shopify store into multiple languages:
1. Increase your presence in the international arena
eCommerce leaders are mostly globally–oriented. It means that they are not only selling for international markets but also presenting their websites and campaigns in different languages. It contributes to many customers perceiving multilingual stores as serious professional brands that are customer-oriented and technically skilled. The level of trust in such brands is much higher than in foreign and single-language websites.
So, if you want to increase brand awareness and improve your reputation, eCommerce website translation may be the thing you are looking for.
2. Reach new audiences
Language barriers dispel a lot of potential customers, especially if you sell globally. Shoppers appreciate viewing needed information in their local language. It gives them a sense of security that their purchase will be completed. They can clearly see that the content of the website is targeted to their region and, what’s more important, they understand all the needed information about the order.
It’s one of the best contributions merchants can make to boost sales. It’s clear that new audiences equal increased sales. Finally, eCommerce is the best sphere to forget about boundaries and focus on acquainting new customers all over the world.
How to Do Translations on Shopify?
The most effective and unchallenging way to create multiple language versions of your Shopify store is by using a translation app. Shopify App Store offers a wide range of translation apps. But how can you choose the best one?
Well, here you should take 3 major factors into consideration:
1. Features - good translation plugins offer multiple useful features, including checkout, image, and 3rd party translation apps, auto-detection mode, glossary, and customizable switchers. You don’t want to experience limitations on the number of words or page views, because it’s super inconvenient and usually annoying. Also, it’s good if the app is Shopify native language API compatible because it will work with fewer disruptions and more fluently. Finally, the app should provide multiple translation methods (manual, automatic, machine, and human), and support a lot of languages and dialects.
2. Quality - it’s difficult to identify an app's quality without using it. That’s why you can try free trials or a free plan. You can also explore reviews in the Shopify app store. In addition, make sure the app has 24/7 support to resolve any issues quickly and with minimal time losses.
3. Price - the majority of translation apps offer a variety of pricing plans, so, you can choose the one that suits your business the best. If you have any doubts, start with a free trial or free plan. It will cost you nothing.
When the app is chosen, you can start translating and designing your multilingual store.
4 Tips to Make a Successful Multilingual Site
When starting to work on eCommerce website translation, there are a few tricks to employ to achieve bigger success. Let’s look at some of them.
Tip 1: Do research and build a strategy
It’s important to research the market before entering it. Cultural and legal sensitivities can play havoc with business. That’s why good research and data-driven strategy are essential before and during website translation.
When you are ready with the list of products your new target audience can be interested in, you will need to decide which parts of the website content you want to translate. For example, you will need to translate the Contact page, while some blogs related to specific countries do not necessarily need to be translated.
Together with translation, consider content localization. Some images can be perceived as obscene by a foreign audience, or some colors can evoke traumatic events for the nation. In this case, your translation app should allow you to change images for specific languages and cultures. It will help you avoid misunderstandings, and adjust your store content to be attractive for the target audiences.
Tip 2: Use different translation methods
When you have certainty in what markets you want to enter, you will need to choose a translation app that will meet your needs. We have already mentioned the criteria that a good translation software should have, so, now it’s time to recommend to you an app that matches all these criteria and offers even more.
Our partner LangShop is a translation solution that supports 241 languages and dialects. On top of that, it also allows users to translate their whole eCommerce website, including checkout, images, dynamic content, and 3rd party apps. The app is not only a language translator but also a currency converter solution. This makes it a must-have app for going global and reaching foreign customers with maximum effectiveness.
What’s also important is that LangShop offers four different translation methods:
- Machine AI translation allows users to translate website content with one click. It’s performed by multiple translation sources based on a neural machine translation system.
- Manual translation is a good way to edit the translation to improve its quality.
- Pro translation is a translation performed by Google and DeepL Pro.
- Agency Translation is performed by professional human translation agencies and is distinguished with the highest quality.
Although you can stick to the one translation method you find more suitable for you, we’d suggest you mix different ones. For it, you’ll need to divide your content according to its significance and viewability. This way, you’ll have a smarter strategy over your translation expenses.
For example, product pages and a home page are the most significant and viewable pieces of content that can be translated by professional human translators. About Us and landing, pages can be translated by one of the pro translation drivers. The quality of this translation is still high. Blog and other pages you can translate using machine AI translation and edit it using the manual translation feature. Don’t forget to set terms and brand names on Glossary, so no mistranslation could happen.
Tip 3: Design translated content appropriately
As we have mentioned above, not all images or colors are perceived by foreign audiences the same as by local ones. That’s why you should think about this sensitiveness when designing every language version of your store.
But not only cultural sensitiveness should be taken into account. It’s not a secret that sometimes the translation is much longer than the original phrase. Consequently, it’s important to control the layout and content of different website language versions.
The font and encoding can also become a stumbling point on the way to a successful multi-language website. As different languages have different default sizes and are supported by different encodings, it’s important to choose the one that will produce readable and comprehensible results.
And, finally, you’ll simplify customers' lives and improve website UX if you add country-specific options. It can be currency auto-detection based on the shopper's location or a filter by inventory locations. All these can make your Shopify store easy to use and contribute to better conversions.
Tip 4: Don’t forget about SEO
SEO is crucial to driving organic traffic to your store. It also needs much attention when translating a website into multiple languages. Search engines should understand that this particular content is relevant for this country's users, that’s why hreflang tags, translated URLs, and meta tags are a must for any multilingual stores.
The right multilingual SEO strategy can attract qualified traffic and increase sales within foreign markets significantly.
Bonus Tip and Conclusion
We can’t let you finish reading this article without reminding you to think about the future. Even a well-translated eCommerce website can become obsolete and completely irrelevant if not updated translations constantly. For big stores with hundreds of products, we recommend enabling the automatic translation of newly added products and collections. The rest can open a translation solution, and update translations at least once a week to keep content up-to-date and add necessary customization.
Now, you know how to do translations for your eCommerce website to enter global markets and reach success. Extend your business worldwide to boost conversions quickly!