An eCommerce site can be tricky to localize since it’s an ever-evolving piece of content. You need to be able to regularly update descriptions and add new products, so the eCommerce translation services you employ must be dynamic, continuous, and as autonomous as possible—otherwise, the manual work will eventually become unmanageable.
Many eCommerce platforms come with some tools to simplify the localization process, but often, these are limited to using machine translation or manually uploading content. It’s essential to add in a platform that permits continuous updates for an ever-evolving library of content to improve the localization process.
Understanding the Capabilities of eCommerce Platforms
Your store’s platform plays a big role in determining the ease of eCommerce translation services. In some cases, it provides ample localization support; in others, it’s less robust and more manual. Most companies work off of one of the top four platforms—WooCommerce, Squarespace, Shopify, and Wix Stores.
This popular platform controls nearly one-third of the market, with a total 28.92% market share. WooCommerce is designed specifically for WordPress, which is likely what makes it so popular. When it comes to language integration, it offers the same features that WordPress does through its plugins. While this isn’t an end-to-end solution, it provides a good jumping-off point for translating content.
Squarespace started as a website-building platform before eventually growing into the eCommerce sector, now holding a 20.48% share of the market. The comprehensive platform allows for sales of both digital and physical products, but does have its shortcomings—localization support is limited on the site, and pages will mostly need manual setup with prepared content.
This popular, well-known platform draws in many beginners, accounting for 12.34% of all eCommerce websites. Shopify was specifically designed to simplify the eCommerce setup process. It offers a wide range of templates (both paid for and free) for customizing stores. Shopify provides a reasonable amount of support for localization and even includes a testing platform for previewing translated content before its live rollout.
4. Wix Stores
Wix was originally a user-friendly plug-and-play blog space, but has grown into an excellent eCommerce solution, controlling 4.64% of eCommerce market share. Wix Stores offers a built-in, user-friendly translation tool that autogenerates translations in 26 languages. Languages not covered are displayed in English.
These are four of the most popular eCommerce platforms, but there are still other well-known solutions like Magneto, Weebly, and Monster Commerce to consider. While most offer some level of multilingual support, it often evolves into a manual process that requires a lot of intervention. This is especially challenging in an eCommerce space where content can be quite dynamic.
The Keys to Managing eCommerce Translation Services
Successfully managing eCommerce translation services doesn’t stop at picking the right linguists; there are three vital areas that project managers need to target in order to ensure their eCommerce platforms can support a multilingual process:
- Robust architecture: The infrastructure of your platform is the main building block for your localization project. You need to consider how your shop will integrate into other programs, especially when it comes to the funnels that connect your translated work to your content. You also have to look at your search engine optimization and if it will still work on your newly translated site. Without a robust architecture, you’re unlikely to succeed in a multilingual approach.
- Continuous localization: In an eCommerce environment, time is money. Every day that a new product isn’t on your site is a lost opportunity for revenue, so your localization process must be continuous. With a comprehensive platform, a change on your original site would automatically trigger jobs for linguists to create content in the other languages. When these translations are complete, they would automatically post where appropriate. Using a continuous localization process will help eliminate the manual steps involved that could make this task far too time-consuming to manage effectively.
- Accurate content: Descriptions inform buying decisions. If you’re using a basic machine translation service to manage your descriptions or any other written content, you could adversely impact those decisions. If not translated correctly, your content may mislead your customers, creating a negative brand perception that will stagnate sales. In some cases, this can even open you up to liability in the form of false advertising. While you may consider some of it as purely promotional, the accuracy of your written content is paramount.
Seamlessly managing eCommerce translation services requires the use of a robust localization management platform that can connect your marketplace to live translators that understand your brand. Through this, you can establish an architecture that supports a multilingual format, content accuracy, and continuous updates. This allows your brand to reach international audiences while streamlining the localization process.
December 15, 2020