E-commerce is soaring

E-commerce has taken the market to new heights, and the marketplace gets bigger every day as more and more people get online. At the end of 2014, total global e-commerce sales hit $1.5 trillion, and for the first time ever, Asia-Pacific has overtaken North America as the world’s biggest market.

The sales potential is staggering. Worldwide, e-commerce sales growth is predicted to be in the double digits through 2017 at least, and by 2018, it’s expected there will be $307 billion in cross-border transactions online. The top five markets for e-commerce growth include China, worth $540 billion predicted growth in 2015, the UK, worth $177 billion, Germany, worth $48 billion, India, worth $22 billion, and Italy, worth $18 billion.

So what languages will make translation worth your while? English has the most online users, with 800.6 million. Next is Chinese with 649.4 million users online. There are 222.4 million Spanish speakers online along with 109.6 million Japanese speakers. Portuguese, German, Arabic, French, and round out the top ten languages used on the Internet. (Internet World Stats, 2013).

How can your business capture some of this revenue?

By doing two things.

First, 75 percent of customers say that they prefer to purchase products in their own language. With the right translation, you aren't a big company half a world away from them anymore. You could be a little shop just down the street. So translation in all areas of your site, from product descriptions to user reviews, is key. This will consequently elevate the customer’s user experience at your website, and ultimately trigger them in purchasing your services.

Second, predictions indicate that the biggest growth will be in non English-speaking markets, and studies indicate that 52 percent of non-English speakers only buy in their own language. It’s not enough just to make sure your site is available in English. Multiple languages have to be available to get the most benefit and profitability from the market. You will be able to grow your brand globally and position your company with higher international competitiveness.

5 Steps to Creating a Global E-commerce Website:

1. Find a translation agency. Having one source for all your translation needs is key for consistency. An inconsistent website will confuse and turn off consumers. Inconsistency will also ruin your SEO strategy. Tools like Translation Memory and working with a glossary can automate this process to make translating hundreds of pages simple and consistent, while saving your precious time and money. But tools can’t do it all. In order for tools like that to work, you need to have native speakers who can set the tone and help you navigate cultural nuances within the language.

2. Optimize content in multiple languages. Non-English speakers are 6 times less likely to buy from an English-only website. An English-only website says to customers, “We don’t value your experience.” It’s so important that 56 percent of shoppers said having information available in their own language was a more important purchasing factor than price. Let that sink in.

3. Don’t stop with your marketing. It’s great to get people to your site, but to ensure a sale and great customer service, everything has to be translated flawlessly—not just your pitch. From the product descriptions to the user reviews to customer support, expert translation ensures a smooth customer experience from homepage to checkout.

4. Make it easy to switch languages. Your interface should make it easy—and obvious—how to switch from one language to another. Keep the language options front and center so the customer knows you care about—and cater to—customers wherever they are.

5. Keep design in mind. Different language options mean different lengths of text. What lines up neatly in one language might run long in another. Keep your design clean and allow extra room so that your pages look fresh no matter what language, browser, or device they are viewed in.

No matter what your business, you can benefit from the worldwide reach of translation and SEO in as many different languages as you can imagine. With the services of a translating service like WritePath, you can keep your branding consistent while you reach new customers all over the world in their native environment.