Nov 07, 2019

4 eCommerce Localization Challenges & Their Solutions

Being an eCommerce brand gives you great exposure globally. It positions your products or services in front of an audience that comprises diverse people – geographically, linguistically, and culturally. However, this diversity calls for a necessary localization measures on your part.

In the previous article of this series, we discussed what we can learn from the mistakes of famous eCommerce brands. One of the mistakes they made was only translating their websites or product listings instead of localizing them.

When it comes to eCommerce localization, cutting corners never wins. A truly localized eCommerce experience makes your customers’ lives easier by helping them scan information quickly, compare prices, and make an informed buying decision. On the other hand, a half-hearted attempt at localization can result in dissatisfaction among your customers along with increased complaints.

Understanding your customers’ language and culture and then, adapting your interface to suit their preferences is easier said than done. Localization, whether it’s for a small business listed on Amazon or an eCommerce enterprise, brings a lot of challenges.

1. Localizing design

The common process of designing an eCommerce website involves designing all elements keeping in mind any one particular language. Hence, translating the content in multiple languages and trying to set it in the same design, causes technical design issues.

For instance, ‘buy now’ in French is written this way – acheter maintenant. As you see the French translation is taking up more space than ‘buy now’. So, the size of the button will need to be increased for the French website. Similarly, languages that are read from left-to-right need a localized design.


Solution:

Look for an eCommmerce translation and localization provider that offers a bouquet of services like:

  • Translation into your target languages
  • Website and design localization
  • Customer experience (CX) localization


This way the provider will collaborate and communicate with various translators, linguistic experts, and UI/UX designers to help to create a consistent, localized experience.

2. Exporting translated content

In a typical translation and localization process, you or your team will be required to share, export, and view a lot of files. After approving the content, you’ll be importing this translated content into the platform or system to create a new page or component or update the previous one. In certain cases, your team might also need to convert files in formats compatible with the platform they’re using for the project. For instance, Amazon accepts only tiff, gif, jpeg, and png files for images.

As you might have guessed by now, this process can be extremely tedious and consumes a substantial amount of time. Exporting files and importing translated content doesn’t just add to the amount of time your team spends on each project but also increases the chances of errors while constantly making changes to the content.


Solution:

The best solution is to collaborate with a translation and localization services company which updates the translated content directly in whichever tool or CMS platform you use.

Another solution for this challenge is to integrate your content management system (CMS) platform with a translation management system (TMS) to eliminate the need for exporting and importing files.

Translation-management-system


3. Maintaining multiple versions of content

If you manage localization projects for an enterprise or are dealing with multiple teams involved in one project, you know exactly how difficult it is to maintain a huge number of files. Add to this the fact that there will most certainly be different versions of one file – for different formats, to reflect the changes made after many rounds of feedback, or for different platforms.

For instance, a specific translation file might go to an in-house linguist or professional for verification and then the product team which ensures all facts and figures mentioned in the content are correct.

When these versions are exchanged via email, your team ends up spending a large amount of time and effort in saving and finding files.


Solution:

Firstly, choose a localization provider that offers diverse services. Collaborating with different providers for each project will only make it more cumbersome for your teams to manage all the content.

Choosing an eCommerce localization provider

Secondly, a translation management system is also a great way to manage content, approve/reject content, maintain file versions, and track progress of multiple projects – all in one place.

4. Updating translations periodically

Whether its product pages or product descriptions on eCommerce sites like Amazon, you will want to update the content as and when it’s needed. From introducing new features to changing prices – you’ll have a requirement of translating the updated content.

Whenever this happens, eCommerce brands have to repeat the entire process of translation and localization, including reviewing translated content and updating it in a Content Management System (CMS) platform.


Solution:

To make your team’s life easier and ensure a seamless process, provide CMS access to your translation provider. This way, they’ll be able to update content on the platform directly, along with getting it reviewed while it goes live.

Conclusion

eCommerce localization is easier said than done. If you’re starting from scratch, it’ll involve researching about the linguistics and cultural diversity of the target regions, choosing a localization provider, and building a great localized experience for your customers.

Before you begin your journey of localizing your eCommerce platform, identify the these challenges in time and solve them with the help of a translation and localization service provider.      

 

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Aarohi Pathak

Aarohi Pathak

Aarohi Pathak is the Senior Content Writer at Translate by Humans. A former English literature student, she believes that the world's best stories are yet to be written. Given a choice, Aarohi happily wears the copywriter's hat and combines words that drive action. She has previously written content for finance and insurance, FMCG, and technology industries.

When she's not writing, Aarohi spends time collecting mugs, reading, and checking TV series off her 'to watch' list.

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