Growth In Online Shopping Needs Effective eCommerce Localisation

onJanuary 4, 2017

inTranslation Tips

E-Commerce Localisation

Christmas and the New Year are over, and with them the highest volume of online shopping, but this seasonal drop won’t mask the overall annual increase in internet buying which seems to just keep on rising. Online shopping, of course, is not confined to national borders. It has a global customer base, but that’s something which is intimately connected to effective localisation.
Localisation is still a term which isn’t understood very well by many businesses. It is confused with translation. Of course, if your ecommerce business is reaching out to international buyers who speak a language different from your own, you will need to use a professional translation service to translate your website into the major languages used by those customers.
But localisation means more than just translation and, in some cases it doesn’t even involve language translation itself. Think about this scenario. You have an Australian based business that has now launched an online sales arm. You are intending to target the U.S. / Canadian market, which is much larger than the Australian one. The combined population in North America is well over 300 million, 15 times as large as the Australian one. And they all speak English, right? Wrong!
Both Spanish (in the U.S.) and French (Canada) are important secondary languages, even if English is well understood throughout. The first step naturally would be to find a good marketing translation service to adapt your online site so that both these language options are available. The chances of a potential consumer buying from you are definitely higher if they can read about your products and how to purchase them if the information is in their first language.
But is Australian English the same as U.S. or Canadian English? Are the cultures exactly the same? Is the humour and social preferences the same? The way your website and products are displayed needs to take into account those differences, even if the same language is used. That’s where effective localisation specialists come in useful. They are basically professional translators who understand the nuances of the target languages, even if they are using the same language!
If you are unconvinced, think of the reasons why Amazon has become one of the world’s largest online retailers. It accounted for nearly 321% of all online sales over the 2016 Cyber Weekend. Amazon crafts its sites so that they are localised for its different markets. That includes graphics, colours, language, layout and the products themselves. They are specifically geared to satisfy the choices of customers in the main markets that Amazon deals with.

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