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10 Reasons Why You Need a Multilingual E-commerce Website

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Everyone is proud of their own language but how would you feel if this pride cost you hundreds, thousands or even millions of pounds in profit? Well that can happen if you stick to your national guns and fail to look globally for customers.

The growth of the internet has placed businesses in a position where international trade is virtually on their doorstep. However we live in a world where there isn’t just one uniform language and that’s a key fact to accept.

Do you really want to lose customers simply because they can’t understand what your website says?

Of course you don’t, so here are ten reasons why you need that ecommerce website translated right now.

1: Don’t be last decade

The world has changed so much over the past couple of decades. It’s only a matter of time before English speakers will, in terms of internet use, become the minority. While you’re digesting that little shocker think how it will affect your business. Do a bit of research and find out in which parts of the globe the internet is undergoing a period of growth and then consider targeting them. It’s a case of getting in there at the early stage, build a relationship and ride the train to success.

2: You won’t break the bank

That dream of global success isn’t dependent upon thousands of pounds or even hundreds of man hours. Getting your website translated and international ready isn’t overly expensive. With minimal investment and effort you could be soon speaking to a world of new customers. It’s not as scary as you think so leave these fears behind.

3: Get in first

Don’t you hate it when you see your competitor has done something you had been thinking about for months? If your competition has translated their website then you’re losing ground in the race to international success. If they haven’t translated their site then get in there now and lead that race right from the start. Whichever it is, now is the time to start.

4: New languages = New customers

A new language on your site will bring you new customers. Imagine just how many more people would be able to read your site if it could be read in Chinese? Add in Spanish, French, Arabic and a few others and soon your site can start communicating with the majority of the online world. Every additional language brings with it in a whole new audience, a whole new world of opportunities.

5: Watch sales figures rocket

It’s estimated that every language you add to your site could potentially increase your sales by 40 – 100%. Remember that some languages such as French, Spanish or Portuguese are used in many countries throughout the world – see all that exploring by Magellan and co was worth it in the end.

6: Be discovered

When you need to find something do you use anything other than a search engine? Well most of the world is the same. Having your website in foreign languages helps you rank in foreign search engines that locals use. Remember Google doesn’t rule the world. Your website will help you, your product or service become discovered by others.

7: Prove you’re an international business

You say that you want your business to have international recognition so go out and prove it. Show your clients you are speaking international languages and they will realize your international credentials. All helps to prove your worth as a global player.

8: Create trust

How would you feel if you had to do all your business in French, but you really knew your French wasn’t up to scratch? You won’t feel comfortable in what you’re doing but all that disappears once you start using your own English language again. So just imagine how secure your overseas customers will feel when they can learn about your business in their own language.

9: Demonstrate care

What are you doing when you add another language to your website? Well you’re showing the users from that new country that you’re thinking how best you can help them. OK you’re also thinking about the profits you can make as well. If they think you’re caring about them they’ll stick with you and buy your products.

10: Show cultural sensitivity

A properly designed multilingual website can break down potential cultural barriers. Overseas customers can stay in their comfort zone rather than trying to work out just what it is that your website is trying to tell them. Culturally-informed usability is never a bad thing.

About the Author

This article was written by business contributor Neil Payne.

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Author:Neil Payne

The Globial International Business Team researches, analyzes, and reports on all things related to global trade and business.


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One Response to “10 Reasons Why You Need a Multilingual E-commerce Website”

  1. December 1, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    Indeed, unlike traditional retailers, eCommerce businesses have the extra benefit to source its revenue from other distant markets. To ignore language issues is seriously limiting the potential of these sites. Not to mention that US & China are the two biggest eCommerce markets right now, and they sport two completely different language, so multilingual eCommerce website is definitely a necessity in today’s globalized world.
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