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Translating an eCommerce site is a huge step towards attracting multilingual visitors but compelling them to stay is a whole different ball game. Today, your internet audience expect an online shopping experience tailored to them from start to finish. If there is a single hitch at any point of browsing, add to cart, or payment, your potential client may get cold feet. Here are our top tips to ensure buyers hit that “Place order” button.


1. Transcreation

eCommerce is deeply rooted in marketing copy, which is often punchy and exciting in the source language but might translate poorly due to cultural and linguistic differences. For this reason, we suggest transcreation for eCommerce sites to best create an authentic experience for your users. The difference here lies in the details: rather than strictly translating your site, our goal would be to recreate the tone and style of your brand voice in the target language. Going the extra mile could be the difference between an international visitor bouncing and pressing “Add to cart.”

Consider this blog post, it’s full of idioms and English specific internet terminology. Translating “getting cold feet” or “add to cart” word-for-word could be disastrous for a French or Chinese reader and could create distrust in our brand.


2. Localize photos

Photos are essential to an attractive, functional eCommerce site, but using the same photos for all language versions of your site isn’t best practice. This may be the most simple solution on this list: highlight the products that your Korean customers like most on your Korean site, Spanish top-sellers on your Spanish site, etc.

The goal of your translated eCommerce website is to make sales and generate loyalty in a target audience, so don’t sell yourself short by pushing products they’re less interested in.


3. Multilingual SEO

We cannot stress this enough: you should not be translating your SEO campaigns. Multilingual keyword research is vital to a successful online marketing strategy. Direct translation will never work because odds are, that’s not what your ideal customer will be searching. Moreover, the way people search for goods and services varies not only language-by-language, but regionally. Take, for example, searching for this baked good:

A French user may look up “pain au chocolat,” “chocolatine,” “viennoiseries,” “petit pain,” “croissant de chocolat,”or “couque au chocolat,” all depending on which region they are in. To hit your ideal customer, you have to do some research.

Mitchell Thomas

Author Mitchell Thomas

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