8 Best Multilingual E-commerce Strategies to Improve your Website

8 Strategies for Improving Your Multilingual E-Commerce Website

In today’s age of boundless information, the global landscape has transformed into a vibrant marketplace. Consumers have become more demanding than ever. If your e-commerce business operates in multiple countries or target audiences speaking different languages, you need to have a multilingual e-commerce website to reach the worldwide market.  

Multilingual communication is crucial to increase the size of your customer base. It is an essential step toward broadening your target audience and reach.

  • According to CSA Research, 76% of online customers prefer to buy in their native language, while 40% said they would never buy from a website in another language. 

Keep reading to learn about multilingual e-commerce, its benefits, and eight effective multilingual e-commerce strategies to improve your website’s sales.

What is a Multilingual e-Commerce Website?

A multilingual e-commerce website enables customers to buy your products in their local language. This website should be easy to read and available in multiple languages. 

If you want to grow your business, you must allow individuals to access and purchase from your online store, which should not be limited to English-speaking users. You must develop a multilingual e-commerce solution to meet customer demands and expand your business abroad.

A multilingual website can expand your customer base to numerous countries and regions. Your customers will feel more comfortable and confident shopping in their native language.

The Benefits of a Multilingual e-Commerce Website

1: Reduce bounce and improve conversion rates

According to the CSA’s “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” report, 72.1% of customers spend all of their time on websites in their native language. Maintaining a multilingual site ensures foreign buyers visiting your site are less likely to exit immediately.

  • Technical SEO reporting: Keep track of technical SEO concerns such as broken links and crawl errors to ensure that search engines can correctly index your website, thereby increasing organic traffic and lowering bounce rates.
  • Conversion funnel analysis: Examine the conversion funnel to discover drop-off spots and optimize the user journey, which will lead to higher conversion rates.

2: Launch a competitive advantage

A multilingual website helps enhance cross-border e-commerce sales, which could be critical as we transition to an e-commerce-focused retail environment. 

Improves brand perception. Demonstrates a dedication to inclusivity and worldwide reach, enticing international customers.

Efficient content management: Multilingual CMS incorporates translations, making it easier to update material across several languages.

3: International SEO

The goal is to index your site in SERPs, indicating that you’ve optimized everything for foreign SEO. This involves having your entire website translated, including the metadata. 

Once this is completed, your website will be structured in such a way that search engine bots can simply analyze it, resulting in a higher ranking on result pages! 

Multilingual E-Commerce website can target high search engine rankings for your target language and location. You can track website traffic and performance in many languages to better understand your audience and enhance your approach.

Customer Centrism

In multilingual e-commerce, customer centrism isn’t just about offering translated content—it’s about truly understanding and responding to the particular requirements and preferences of customers from multiple cultures and languages.

Dynamic Language Detection: Based on the IP address or browser settings, you can determine the user’s language and deliver the relevant language version quickly.

Content Personalization Tools: Use AI-powered personalization engines to adapt product suggestions, search results, and marketing messages based on user language and previous activity.

5: Improve brand image

Website translation and localization services can boost your reputation while also strengthening brand trust. This improves your global reputation.

Use the same fonts, styles, and formatting throughout all language editions. This results in a consistent brand experience, even across multiple languages

Use translation management systems (TMS) with translation memory functionality to maintain consistent terminology and brand voice throughout the text.

Multilingual E-commerce Strategies

1. Translate product information and descriptions

The first step is to translate the descriptions and details of your products into the languages of the markets you want to reach. Translating your company’s content into different languages allows you to reach new markets and potential clients. 

This covers all product names, descriptions, technical specifications, and instructions. Use professional translation services to ensure accuracy and consistency in all languages.

Best Practices

  • To support all characters and languages, use the UTF-8 encoding.
  • Use hreflang tags to tell search engines which language version is most appropriate to each user.
  • Make sure your website is compatible with various character sets and font styles.

See the two images below. How the site has used the same banner in different languages.

Benefits of Translating Product  Description

  • Increase your business’s revenue and reputation.
  • Reach a global audience 
  • Facilitate the sales process and encourage action.
  • Educate the audience

2. Localize websites and online stores

Localization extends beyond translation. E-commerce localization is the process of tailoring your online store’s content—including product names, descriptions, checkout pages, blogs, and even payment options—to the context of your various regions. 

This means you’ll tailor your web business to your specific target market.

Localizing your website and online store allows you to create a consistent customer experience and build trust with clients from many countries.

E-commerce localization encompasses:

  • Localizing content 
  • User interfaces localization
  • UX localization—including modifying payment methods, delivery options, functionality, user journeys, and more
  • Customer service localization—providing help in local languages
  • Marketing localization, among other things.

For instance:

Example 1: Pepsi made its debut in China with the tagline “Pepsi Brings You Back from the Grave” rather than “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life.

Example 2: Mercedes-Benz entered China as “Bensi,” which means “rush to die,” and KFC told its Chinese customers to “eat their fingers off.

3: Offer multilingual customer support

It is critical to create client trust and credibility by offering customer care in multiple languages. It requires phone and email help in several languages and clear instructions and directions for non-native speakers. 

To deliver high-quality customer service, consider hiring multilingual support workers or working with a professional translation agency.

Best Practices for Implementing Multilingual Customer Support

  • Make sure you know what languages your customer speaks.
  • Set up a Multilingual help desk with Support Channels
  • Setup of Multiple Language Self-Service Channels.
  • Localize your website.

4: Use professional translation services and tools

Professional translation services and technologies can help you succeed in multilingual advertising to overseas customers. 

For example, employing translation memory technologies to store translations will save money over time. Work with trusted translation providers that have previous experience with e-commerce firms.

They include everything from automated translation services to entire solutions for managing and optimizing multilingual material.

Important Features of Multilingual Tools

  • Capabilities for accurate translation
  • Localization Characteristics
  • Efficient integration with website platforms
  • Translation is done in real-time, including manual editing and customization options.
  • SEO Optimization for Several Languages
  • A user-friendly interface

Some useful tools include Weglot, Linguee, DeepL Translator, and Transifex. The best eCommerce Multilingual & Translation Tools.

5: Understand local cultures and customs

Language is more than just translation. It’s also important to grasp local cultures and practices. Humor, idioms, formality, tone, and other language features must be examined and adapted based on the target market. Make sure to hire translators who have experience in the target market and understand the local culture.

The best option is to collaborate with freelancers or translation experts who can create high-quality, localized content.

Here are some suggestions on how to do that:

  • Conduct research: learn about the customs, culture, and language of the location you’re targeting. This can help you better understand what type of content will appeal to them.
  • Write for your audience: Consider who you’re writing for and the language they use. Avoid using jargon or too technical terminology that they might be unfamiliar with.

6: Maintain consistency across all languages

Multilingual consistency is the practice of ensuring that content, messaging, and branding aspects in many languages are consistent, coherent, and accurate. 

This means that you have to align translations with the source content and keep consistent terminology, style, tone, and overall communication strategy across different languages.

Here is how to maintain consistency in multilingual communications

1. Begin by Creating a Style Guide 

You must establish a comprehensive style guide that contains requirements for grammar, punctuation, tone, formatting, and specific words or phrases. 

This rule should be followed consistently across all languages to ensure a consistent voice and branding.

2. Translation Memories

Translation memories are segmented databases containing previously translated items in a specific language pair, which can be reused and recycled in future projects.

Advantages of employing Translation Memories (TMs) include

  • Consistent voice and tone.
  • Improved collaboration among translators, reviewers, and project managers
  • Improved version control.

3: Hiring a language service provider (LSP)

LSP expert can help maintain multilingual consistency and provide the following benefits:

  • Quality assurance techniques that have been established and proven.
  • Access to tools and resources can help you optimize your costs.
  • Quick translation turnaround
  • Capability to scale swiftly while maintaining a reasonable project pace
  • Long-term cooperation and continuing assistance

4. Keep communication channels open

If you are the primary point of contact for translators, you must communicate all criteria and objectives. Comments are a vital part of the process. If you can provide comments on translations, share insights into audience reception, or suggest refinements, this can empower translators to fine-tune their work and improve the consistency and quality of future translations.

7. Test and optimize translations

To make sure your translations are effective, test and optimize the necessary translations. To do so, do user testing to ensure that the translations are clear and easy to understand. You can also utilize A/B testing to assess the efficiency of various translations and optimise for the best results.

There are some factors that you can evaluate while optimizing—

  • Check whether the URLs have been translated.
  • Examine the font and see if it’s readable in more advanced languages.
  • Check to see if the meta descriptions for your products or content have been translated.
  • Use hreflang tags.

8: Subdomains vs. Subfolders

Each language version and recipe should have its own unique URL. There are three basic techniques here: use subdomains, domains, or subfolders in the URL. When it comes to authority, creating subfolders is the ideal method. 

You do not have many domains competing for the same keywords, which causes link dilution. Links to the same domain would establish more authority than links to each subdomain.

The major three approaches are

  • Example.com/en (recommended for SEO).
  • en.example.com
  • Example.no, example.dk

For example, Amazon employs several country-specific domain names for various domains.

  • USA – Amazon.com
  • Germany – Amazon.de
  • UK – Amazon.co.uk
  • Japan – Amazon.co.jp, etc.

Final Thoughts

A multilingual website can provide numerous benefits to online businesses and retailers. The major one is expanding your business internationally and enhancing sales by attracting new clients. 

The above tips will help you create a multilingual e-commerce website. Before creating a multilingual e-commerce website, examine a variety of factors, including which languages and currencies to employ, as well as how to operate your business lawfully in multiple countries. 

Take your time and care to develop a strong plan, and continue with caution.

Enhance the global reach of your multilingual e-commerce website with the unparalleled expertise of our e-Commerce SEO services.

In this guide outlining key strategies for improving multilingual websites, we emphasize our company’s commitment to best practices specifically tailored for multilingual e-commerce.

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