When expanding into new markets, online retailers have to adapt the store to local needs, and translating the website is on the top of the list. It allows entrepreneurs to provide a highly personalized content and speak the customer’s language.
While 55% of the websites are written in English, there are slightly over 20% of English speakers worldwide. At the same time, 56% of the Common Sense Advisory respondents stated that language is more influential than the price when it comes to purchasing.
Selecting a translation/localization service is a must-have for a cross-border retailer. However, it requires weighing various alternatives. It is crucial to realize that the localization is a cycle and not a one-time project. There will always be new texts, updates, and projects to localize.
There are two core ways to maintain the process: machine and human translation. In this article, we will take a closer look at the former one, and it’s most important aspects.
Shopping Cart Integration
Before anything else, retailers check whether the translation software is integrated with the shopping cart and other sales channels they use. Why? First, integration with shopping platforms enables translation tool to seamlessly collect and post translated content. Second, it can keep websites in sync and tracks changes in the near real-time.
There are two ways to perform integration: develop integration modules indoors for every sales channel (which is highly time- and money-consuming) or leave it for a third-party ready-built solution like API2Cart. Each time change will be made, the new content will be automatically collected and placed in the translation workflow. This will ensure perfect harmony between websites in many languages.
SEO keywords rarely happen to be the literal translation of their English equivalents. Therefore, SEO optimization is another essential feature a retailer would expect from the localization software provider.
Translating the content enables international search engines to index the content which eventually improves the organic traffic results. A localization service has to be able to analyze the most popular keywords at the national markets and then provide synonyms to the customer’s suggestions.
Localization usually suggests that a retailer conquers new territories. Thus, they will obviously need support in cross-border order fulfillment and delivery. A combination of a smooth translation and providing popular local shipping services is an ultimate key to success on the market of eCommerce localization.
Entering foreign markets requires adapting to the local financial and economic system. Make sure the localization service properly converts currencies and shows correct prices taking account of taxes. Also, it is important to have a localized checkout. This can affect the retailer’s income, so no careless mistakes are allowed.
Two things are to be discussed here. First, how close the localization company is to the retailer (never underestimate the power of personal contact). Second, which countries this particular localization service is targeting (holding native familiarity with local realities is vital for proper results). Moreover, the retailer would desire a 24x7 support or at least be thankful for such a bonus.
Often, retailers would consider a couple of localization market players and compare their pricing plans. They would be searching for the answers for some Qs like:
- Do they offer competitive per-word rates, or value-added services and consulting that warrant higher rates?
- Do they offer an appropriate and effective use of machine translation?
As they compare the options, they determine the most cost-effective choice. One important thing you have to be ready to clarify to your clients is that the eCommerce localization is profitable in its own time. It is rather a long-term investment, and you cannot guarantee flourishing purchases just because a retailer have decided to branch out. If done correctly, localization yields beautiful results but never overnight.
Turning back to the first paragraph, API2Cart can provide you with a unified API for more than 40 shopping carts and marketplaces for one price. This way you will be able to integrate with almost any eCommerce retailer that have chosen you as a localization service.