Top Translation Tips For Foreign Language Retail Sites

If you have a successful retail website then you will likely understand the hard work that goes into creating and maintaining your site. If you’re looking to expand in to new markets, where the official language differs from your current website then you need to be prepared to put in the same level off effort as you did originally. You may not be building from the ground up this time but you certainly need to deliver your brand and product message consistently in new languages, and still allow for different local attitudes, phrases and buying habits.

There are many elements to consider when creating a successful retail website so from our experience we’ve put together a guide on the most important aspects of retail translation services, and how to get website localisation right first time.

Attract traffic by researching multilingual SEO

Regardless of whether retailers have a physical high street presence or are solely online, if people can’t find your outlet you’re not going to make sales, regardless of your fantastic prices or outstanding customer service (more on this later). One of the most important aspects of people finding you online are the keywords that your customers are searching for and whether your site is optimised for those searches. In order to target the correct keywords you need to understand your audience; their age, gender and language will all affect the ways they search online.

Experience of the way your demographic talks and behaves online will help you avoid many of the more common mistakes, such as assuming one successful search term translates literally when it doesn’t. Good translated text will integrate the SEO keywords naturally into the website localisation, so a human translator is almost always the best option.

Making a good impression

Like it or not your customers are judgemental! Research has suggested that people will form an opinion in one twentieth of a second as to whether they like what they see or not. So if your site isn’t localised with the correct content, tone and layout you could find your site is counteracting all your hard work. Sensitivity to the new language that also incorporates house style will help you strike the best of both worlds, and an experienced translation and localisation company will help you achieve both.

Product descriptions

With recent search engine updates penalising websites for duplication of content it can be very difficult for retailers selling the same or similar products to keep reinventing the wheel. However if your descriptions don’t give potential buyers the information they’re looking for they’ll quickly find some other retailer that will. Get your website localisation right and you’ll achieve a lot of conversions, get it wrong and you’ll be processing a lot of returns.

Great customer service

74% of people would buy again from the same brand if the aftersales care is in their local language.

When customers are buying online they want to feel like their needs will be supported if they have questions about the product or services. Even with today’s technological advancements, some people like to interact with a real person as it gives them a point of contact should they need it. If customers are making the move to buy online you want offer them the same leave of reassurance; and this starts with speaking a language they understand. Good translation that is agreeable, accurate and on brand will help make sure all your customers go away happy.


For more statistics like this download our whitepaper:Value of language in eCommerce white paper
The Value of language in eCommerce


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Adhere to local conventions

In some countries it is common to combine languages online. Familiar phrases may be in English, while the native language is chosen for more detailed body text. Adhering to these conventions when implementing your translation will help give you credibility with your new audience, who will spot those kinds of details in seconds.

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