E-Commerce Localization

The Internet has not only contributed to the elimination of borders in communication. It has also changed the way we sell and buy. The global network has enabled us to use products and services that for many years had only been available to local customers. Although the purchasing process has been facilitated, there are still certain barriers that hinder our access to foreign products. E-commerce translation, although complicated, is certainly necessary.

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E-commerce translation pays off

People running an e-commerce business often believe that a store description in English is a sufficient nod to international customers. However, the statistics are brutal: by communicating solely in English, you reach only 36.5% of your potential global customers. Translation of product descriptions into 11 languages can attract 88% of all Internet users. However, you do not have to translate the content of your store into so many languages – English, Chinese, Japanese and Hindi are enough to reach one half of all global recipients.

Almost one half of Europeans (42.5%) admit that they do not buy products or services that they cannot read about in their language. Translating online store content will allow you to reach new customers at a relatively low cost, in particular considering the forecasts: international online sales are set to grow by as much as 15% in 2018 alone.

Translation of product descriptions – is it enough?

Descriptions of your products or services would seem to be crucial from the customer’s point of view. So, it is necessary to translate them. However, e-commerce translation is not merely translation as such – localization is equally important.

Localization and translation of online store content should always go hand in hand. Localization is not only a simple translation, but also an adaptation of the content to different cultural conditions. Thus by localizing your online store you show the customer that you care about offering them the best shopping experience. This mainly involves conversion of currencies, units of measurement or general adjustment of the purchase path to the customer who speaks a different language and who was raised in a different culture.

Localization also includes the source code, layout and graphics of the website. This is particularly important when expanding into markets that are culturally and linguistically distant from our own, where customers use a non-Roman alphabet.

Another vital issue in the e-commerce industry is SEO – i.e. adjusting the website to enhance its position in search results. If you have never considered translating descriptions in terms of keywords and the requirements of various search engines, it is high time to start.

How to choose an e-commerce content translator?

Translation of product descriptions, marketing content, contact forms, regulations and other legal documents should be done by translators with relevant experience. In fact, each of the above-mentioned materials should be translated by a different translator.

Moreover, if you sell products and ship them abroad, you also need translation of labels or manuals. Such materials, in turn, require knowledge of technical terminology.

Localization of source code, mobile application or video tutorials is the next step on the way to a perfectly localized and translated online store. However, it is also necessary to select appropriate experts for those processes.

Therefore, the best solution in this situation is cooperation with a translation agency that has already implemented similar projects. The agency will provide high-quality translation of content, regulations, localization of software, multimedia or e-learning materials.

Case Studies

  • Client
    The Ellos Group is a leading e-commerce group in the Nordic region, specializing in fashion for women, fashion for men and home decor products. The group includes the brands Ellos, Jotex, Stayhard, and Homeroom.
  • Scope of work
    Ellos Group, based in Sweden, operates in the Nordic region and markets its products in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. To constantly provide their customers with attractive offers, Ellos is in need of language services with very quick turn-around time. Since 2013 Summa Linguae provides Ellos with translation of products descriptions, SKUs, website content and marketing materials. We also created technology integration solutions to make sure the translation process goes smoothly and the content is automatically implemented in the Ellos’ systems.
  • Project’s details
    • Industry: e-commerce / fashion / home decor
    • Languages: Swedish → Norwegian, Danish, Finnish
  • How we did it
    – Given the needs of Ellos are quite big, we came up with two separate processes: one for the product text and one for other content.
    – We receive files for product text translation twice a day and they are automatically analyzed by our translation platform. After the translation is done, the files are delivered to Ellos’ CMS and implemented there.
    – There was another process developed for ordering translation of the website content. As there are many employees ordering translation at Ellos, we created a dedicated webform with the most popular features. This form is also connected with our translation platform so the content is imported automatically.
  • Effect
    “Ellos publishes an average of 150 new products on a daily basis for our own 4 brands and over 700 other brands that complement our own collections. The combination of Summa Linguae’s automized translation solutions and specialized translator teams allows our customers to find product information in their own language the minute the products are available.” – Henrik Ström, Marketing Production Manager, Ellos Group
  • Client
    A US – based worldwide e-commerce marketplace connecting millions of subscribers with local merchants by offering activities, travel, goods and services in more than 28 countries.
  • Scope of work
    As our Client is present across 28 countries, they receive queries from customers via e-mail in various languages. To ensure effective communication, they wanted to understand and respond to these queries in the same language, within a few hours. For this, Summa Linguae Technologies was approached.
  • Project’s details
    • Industry: e-commerce
    • Languages: English → German (Swiss), Spanish, Dutch, Polish and Japanese
  • Challenges
    • Dynamic exchange of files in varied timelines
    • 24*7 support
    • Very short turnaround of less than a few hours
    • Support in rare language – dialect
  • How we did it
    – A project management team was designated for coordination of the entire project. A single point of contact was assigned for 24*7 communication. – The team sourced native translators specific to the dialect as required by the Client. – Given the time sensitivity of the project, a translator and a back-up translator were designated for each language of this project. – Web-based documentation was utilized to ensure smooth exchange of content with the Client within the projected timelines.
  • Effect
    We efficiently managed and supported the entire process of email support for the Client while meeting quick turnarounds. With our multilingual e-mail support, our Client was able to respond to customers’ queries in their native languages. Not only did the Client receive a Stevie Award in recognition of their excellent customer service, but they also have become renowned worldwide for their quick customer support.
  • Client
    Click&Go – an Irish holidays booking platform.
  • Scope of work
    • Marketplace type of website localization
    • Localization of content in XML files that allowed further smooth import to the Client’s CMS
  • Project’s details
    • Industry: e-commerce / travel & hospitality
    • Languages: English → Polish
  • Challenges
    – Dynamic exchange of files in varied timelines. – Very short turnaround. – The project required technical knowlegde when it comes to working with the XML files AND marketing savviness while translating the website content. – Working directly within the Client’s CMS system.
  • How we did it
    – A project management team was designated for coordination of the entire project. A single point of contact was assigned for easy communication. – Two step verification was introduced to ensure the content’s best marketing quality. – IT specialists were engaged in overseeing the technical aspects of the project. -The project required very close cooperation with the Client that included: access to their CMS, code analysis, the process of delivering the files and integration with CMS.
  • Effect
    We efficiently managed and supported the entire process for the Client while meeting quick turnarounds. With our fit-for-purpose solutions and the engagement of multiple team members, Click&Go successfully launched its platform on the Polish market and is now working on strengthening their position in the international travel and hospitality industry.

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Contact us now to get started with e-commerce localization at Summa Linguae Technologies.

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