Updated: Oct 26, 2021
Today, most online sellers are on popular online selling platforms like Amazon (or are considering this instead of building their own custom e-commerce platform).
Love them or hate them, such platforms undeniably offer sellers the perfect possibility to reach a massive international audience extremely easily. However, as digital platforms, they come with a series of specific requirements and guidelines that sellers need to comply with in order to reap their benefits.
We are all more than familiar with Amazon, with its unmistakable international presence: From Italy to France, from the USA to Japan, there are multiple versions of this popular platform (generally, one different domain per country). Each channel therefore serves a different market and, as such, needs to satisfy different localisation needs. This means that in order to grow your business, you will need to translate your Amazon listings.
Translation means inclusiveness (and more business)
Although English is widely spoken throughout most of the world, it does not mean that it should be used in all contexts. In some cases, such as when it comes to online selling, providing a service or promoting a product in the target language will prove much more profitable.
In fact, when evaluating whether to buy a product, users want to clearly understand the features, the warranty terms and any other additional details relating to the item. If English is not their mother tongue, the copy should therefore be in their native language. In most cases, there is a strong link between in-language content and the possibility of a consumer making a purchase; after all, approximately 70% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language.
No, Amazon Translate will not provide a suitable translation
... and the same goes for non-professional translators. Unfortunately, this platform (like many other popular e-commerce platforms) is full of poorly-translated product listings, boasting a great deal of amusing (sometimes even offensive, like in the case of the spectacular translation fail that marred the launch of Amazon.se) titles and descriptions. Not only is accuracy crucial for conveying an understanding of the product on sale, but, obviously, it also demonstrates professionalism and quality, and helps you achieve a higher ranking on the platform.
Keywords are key: they need to be localised, not literally translated
Having your product on sale on your target Amazon marketplace will not automatically drive sales for your product on a foreign market. In order to succeed, you will also need to use appropriate Amazon keywords that are specifically relevant to your target audience.
A professional translator – with experience in the digital marketing field – will be able to select and use the most efficient keywords. Literal translation of the source keywords will not increase your traffic and could, potentially, penalise your business.
Remember that you will have local competitors
Although competitors will differ based on the kind of product your company sells, do not forget that you will be competing with local businesses that master the target language. Why would you choose to shoot yourself in the foot by opting for badly written copy?
Since you will probably be making significant investments in order to sell abroad, it is vital that you do not underestimate the importance of word choice in writing… it will benefit your business in the long-term!