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Foolproof E-commerce Content Localization Strategy to Go Global

Author: Andreea Balaoiu

Foolproof E-commerce Content Localization Strategy to Go Global

E-commerce content localization entails the rendering of the entire content of an online business’s web platform and/or app, such as product descriptions, marketing material, legal texts, the design, and graphic elements or auxiliary material such as blogs, in-video, or social media content into the languages of the target markets and geographies, aligning the content with the cultural, legal and commercial environment of the locales.

As previously touched upon in our E-commerce Localization: How to Engage your Online Shoppers blog post, e-commerce customer engagement, and conversion rates are KPIs (key performance indicators) that depend not only on the type and quality of the products sold, but are also strongly related to the user-friendliness of the website and the overall user experience. To max out on these performance metrics, defining and implementing a comprehensive e-commerce content localization strategy is of paramount importance.

The language used on an e-commerce platform is a key-factor influencing conversion rates, as pointed out in a study by CSA Research, suggesting that most people’s purchases are made in their native language.

This is backed up by a European Commission memo highlighting that only 33% of EU consumers are willing to buy goods and services in another language and pointing out that two-thirds of Europeans are unlikely to make online purchases unless the web store is available in their native language.

So, what are the main steps in devising a foolproof content localization strategy that will sky-rocket your e-commerce platform’s conversion rates?

1. Pinpoint which elements of your E-commerce platform require thorough localization

It all starts from the basics—the homepage, which essentially is your e-commerce endeavour’s business card and the first content hub any cold audience will land on before jumping into the funnel to become a lead or customer. It goes without saying that after thoroughly localizing the homepage, all other category and product pages, including all product descriptions and brand content, also need to be tackled.

Additionally, e-commerce managers and marketers often overlook very important pieces of content such as legal documentation, the terms and conditions, the about us page, delivery information, FAQs, information about the payment options, customs or VATs, contact forms, returns and warranty guidelines, order status, the privacy policy, etc. A thorough e-commerce content localization strategy would entail prioritizing these exact texts just as much as the storefront marketing content, as these represent the basic knowledge shoppers would most likely tap into before making up their minds about a purchase.

The shopping cart and the entire checkout flow, including all notifications, validation and error messages, input placeholders, tooltip messages, information on VAT and any other applicable taxes and charges, discounts, gift card and coupon content, as well as the CTA buttons (Calls to Action), such as ‘Pay’, ‘Confirm’, ‘Go to Checkout’, ‘Place Order’, are also very important elements that require localization, particularly as they convey direct calls to action, as well as relevant next steps guiding the entire user journey, from consideration to conversion.

After the e-commerce exact text localization hurdle has been cleared, the ‘magic’ truly starts to unfold, with all marketing and PR related content, such a customer-facing communication, newsletters, push notifications, banners, special offer prompts, in-video content, and last but certainly not least, creative and informational blogs. Depending on geography, locale, and e-commerce industry, the more thorough the e-commerce marketing content localization is, the better results it will yield in the long run, in order to compellingly deliver a message, offer, or incentive for purchase.

2. Ensure SEO (Search Engine Optimized) Content Localization

The SEO information (meta descriptions or meta titles) on an e-commerce platform absolutely must not fall too far behind the storefront product or marketing content.  In our recent blog post, we defined the meta description as what Internet users see in their search results. Meta titles and meta descriptions are what truly boost multinational sales on your e-commerce platform, influencing how fast, frequently, and easily shoppers from your target countries (using search engines in their native language) are able to find your site.

Besides simply making sure that the meta descriptions are available in the required language, it is important that the translations be done by an SEO-minded linguist to ensure that the SEO terminology within the localized descriptions corresponds to what people typically search online.

3. Familiarize yourself with the specific country rules and regulations of the target audiences

This roughly translates into nailing what consumers want and need when browsing your e-commerce platform in a specific target region and what the relevant level of formality or directness is with which to approach them within the localized versions of your e-commerce platform.

According to a Harvard Business Review article presenting the results of a Common Sense Advisory survey conducted on a sample of 2,430 web consumers in eight countries: 72.4% of consumers said they are more inclined to purchase a product with information in their own language, while 56.2% of consumers mentioned that having direct access to information in their own language or desired tone of voice is more important than even price.

The Japanese market is by far one of the most relevant examples of why understanding the specificity of the target markets for your e-commerce content localization success is so important.

According to Statista, Japan ranks third in terms of GDP (gross domestic product), having the third-largest consumer market in the world (

However, the biggest challenge in penetrating the Japanese market is understanding the cultural background and etiquette, in comparison to Western standards, in order to optimally render your e-commerce content localization. Due to their English proficiency being amongst the lowest in the world, Japanese audiences gravitate towards a localized e-commerce experience, which inherently needs to reflect the level of formality standardly employed in their society—such as the use of keigo, or the formal form of written or spoken discourse.

4. Localize e-commerce user-generated review content to amplify customer experience & brand trust

According to Power Review’s most recent blog post, Survey: The Ever-Growing Power of Reviews - PowerReviews, over half (57%) of shoppers read reviews while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores to assess potential purchases, while 98% of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions.

A successful e-commerce content localization strategy will certainly not overlook user-generated reviews, which are instrumental to solidifying the foothold of a specific brand in a new market, making it more trustworthy and look more established within that geography, inherently contributing to a higher conversion rate and new purchaser influx.

5. Ensure a fully localized customer experience

Ticking all the relevant boxes of an e-commerce localization strategy may not be the easiest task to achieve, but the results are certainly worth it in the long run. If you are serious about engaging your customers with your site and giving them a truly localized experience from start to finish, your customers are more likely to come back for more and recommend your website to others.

Depending on the e-commerce platform you’re using, adjusting your approach to localization through a tailored customer service journey with the help of developers, e-commerce marketers and sales strategists will certainly pay dividends. Establishing localized e-commerce live chats or email support systems delivered in the client’s languages will not only provide streamlined customer service, but also instil trust and improve the CRR (customer return rate) for target audiences who prefer to consume e-commerce content in their own language.

The Bottom Line

We have defined e-commerce content localization as the rendering of the entire content of an online business’s web platform and/or app, such as product descriptions, marketing material, legal texts, design and graphic elements or auxiliary material such as blogs, in-video, or social media content into the languages of target markets and geographies, aligning the content with the cultural, legal and commercial environment of the locales and have concluded that e-commerce plays a defining role in today’s sales ecosystem, with more and more businesses seeking to enter new markets and compete for supremacy in their respective markets.

In addition to making sure that your online store is easy-to-use, has multilingual functionality, above-average site speed, SEO-optimization, cross-device accessibility, clear UX (user experience), a streamlined checkout flow, and a variety of convenient and secure payment and delivery methods for your goods and services, it goes without saying that boosting the sales through a well-rounded e-commerce content localization strategy guaranteed to deliver a multinational customer experience in their native language should also be top of mind.

AD VERBUM ranks highly in the e-commerce content localization landscape, offering a streamlined process including project scale assessment, source content extraction, and implementation of client feedback, leveraging top-notch e-commerce minded native linguists, state of the art translation technologies, and a TEP workflow guaranteed to ensure quality at every step of the localization process. Of course, ticking all of the above-mentioned boxes is also achieved through a well-established internal Translation Quality Assurance processISO-optimized and streamlined to cater to a wide range of needs and stringent requirements. By tailoring our efforts to the specific needs of every single customer and following up on our performance, we ensure that the services provided are of consistently high quality and enhance the overall customer experience. Contact us today for help boosting your sales with high-quality e-commerce content localization.

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