Localizing Your eCommerce Website? Steer Clear From These 6 Mistakes

It has never been easier to establish a global eCommerce website. However, developing a large, devoted consumer base in different locations around the world is a formidable obstacle.

With the help of a localization platform, such as Phrase, you can navigate through this process easily. It’s a complete localization solution combining a translation management system, strong software localization features, and AI-powered machine translation capabilities.

In parallel to integrating a powerful localization tool into your digital ecosystem, you also need to make sure that you follow best practices to avoid costly mistakes. That’s why we have compiled a list of the most common mistakes that eCommerce businesses make during localization.

a man writing

Space and why it matters

Since one word in different languages can occupy varying amounts of space, the importance of localization and translation should be considered right from the very beginning of the process. As an illustration, the word “basket” in English is composed of only six characters, yet its equivalent in German contains a total of thirteen.

During the design and development of your website, you absolutely must take into account these differences in space. Failing to do so can destroy the aesthetics of your website.

Integration of links

a laptop and a notebook

When attempting to translate a website into multiple languages, the integration of links is a challenge, although this is not an issue when dealing with the website’s native language.

This is one of the most common mistakes that take place throughout the process of localization. Separate lines of code need to be written for each individual string on the website.

This way, the translators will have an easier time working with them and will be able to convert the website into any version that may be required.

Using only machine translation

The possibility of using machine translation is very attractive because it’s very quick and puts less of a strain on your team.

On the other hand, it is risky to rely only on machines to perform localization tasks adequately. They simply lack the human touch that is necessary when taking context and culture into account, particularly when it comes to casual conversation, idioms, jokes, non-standard language, and other such things.

The best solution, in this case, would be to have your content translated by AI first and then work with knowledgeable human translators or editors who specialize in your industry. This will give you the best of both worlds; you will save money and time as well as get the human touch in your content.

Missing the point

an angry girlThe practice of translating words literally, or word for word, is one of the most common errors that can occur during the process of localization.

Even though this may sometimes result in the correct meaning in the target language, more often than not, the meaning that the original text was supposed to convey is lost in the translation.

To stay clear of making this error, translations should be done by an expert in the target language. By doing so, meanings can be understood in their whole, which ultimately results in the selection of appropriate words for each and every message.

Offering a limited number of payment methods

In many regions of the world, a variety of payment options are regarded as being convenient, so businesses need to make them available to customers.

In North America, credit cards and PayPal are considered to be standard payment methods. On the other hand, consumers in Poland prefer making payments using PayU, customers in Israel appreciate utilizing payment apps such as Bit or Paybox, and people in Germany prefer to use Sofort as their gateway.

As a result, one component of your research into the market has to be an investigation into the various forms of accepted payment in each of your target markets.

Poor images

Although sometimes substituting images for text on an eCommerce website can make it easier for buyers in other countries to grasp what’s offered to them, this is not always the case.

When recreating an image that contains text, such as one showing food labels, books, or magazines, for example, using text that is appropriate for the target audience should be your top priority.

Images depicting scenes that are culturally incongruous, such as vehicles driving on the “wrong” side of the road, should be rotated on a regular basis. This was just an example, but it should help you understand the meaning behind it and its importance for the process of localization.

Final thoughts

The localization process isn’t a piece of cake. It demands your money, time, and effort. And to do it in the best possible way, you should avoid these common localization errors.

So, pay close attention to every step of the localization process and use a localization platform to speed up the whole process.

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