In the 21st century, websites no longer simply share information with readers. Instead, they have become hubs for businesses to transact commerce with customers and other businesses. For any business that is expanding into global markets with multilingual audiences, there are many benefits to localizing your website. Specifically, eCommerce localization will allow customers and businesses to complete transactions accurately and authentically, benefiting the customer experience and increasing the businesses success in international markets.
These eCommerce transactions can take place between businesses, consumers, and a single business and consumers. Depending on the type of business, eCommerce transactions can include everything from online shopping and online auctions to internet banking and electronic payments. When a business decides to grow its audience to include other businesses or consumers from around the world, it becomes necessary to localize a website, allowing these eCommerce transactions to take place smoothly.
Enhanced Customer Experience
A non-localized website will feel foreign at best and confusing at worst to international consumers and other businesses. Since a website’s main purpose is to be a platform that allows a company to grow its reach and increase its business, it makes sense that websites should be as user-friendly and authentic as possible. Skilled eCommerce localization does exactly that.
Given the fact that approximately 70% of Internet users are non-native English speakers, translation is necessary. While machine translation options like Google Translate have grown in popularity, they cannot provide the quality translations that professional human localization offers. Since Google Translate does not have translation memory, users receive words and phrases based on approximate matches. This often leads to comical or even insulting translation errors. Translation memory, on the other hand, is used by a team of skilled translators who are not only familiar with the language, but the culture of the audience. When a website is localized, the text is not just translated, but the entire site is transformed. Translators take into account foreign currency, colloquialisms, metric values, international shipping, and even consumer behavior patterns and preferences. In doing so, the user experience is enhanced and tailored to the multilingual consumer.
Any business knows that breaking into international markets can be a challenging process, so localization grows a businesses reputation effectively. After a website has been localized, businesses can begin growing their worldwide customer base. With accurate product descriptions written in a way that feels tailored to each customer, buyers feel confident in doing business through that website. In fact, the Common Sense Advisory indicates that 75% of people will not make an online purchase unless information about the product is written in a language they understand. Localization invites an increased amount of click-throughs and conversions, turning more viewers into customers. Once customer confidence grows, so does customer loyalty and the businesses reputation; positioning the business to become a key player in the global economy.
Additionally, localization allows businesses to be consistent with their branding and accurate with their messages despite linguistic and cultural differences. Certain color schemes may elicit positive reactions in various cultures and negative reactions in others. Professional translation teams can also ensure that branding issues—like Gerber, which literally translates as vomiting or sickness for French speakers —are avoided. By fostering strong customer relations and preserving the integrity of the brand, localizing your website provides undeniable benefits.
Final Thoughts on eCommerce Localization
As more companies look to become players in the global market, website localization and eCommerce localization are essential aspects of a company’s business plan. A team of skilled translators can adapt any website to meet the needs of multilingual speakers around the world. In doing so, the customer experience is enhanced and the business will reap benefits for years to come.