There is an increasing expectation that in a digital world, access to all services and products should easily be available online. Studies suggest that the decision making process is easier and more enticing when the content is localised to the native language of the buying audience.

How big is the market?

The e-commerce market is rapidly growing. Online retail enables a quick and easy process of purchasing and exchanging goods or services worldwide. 4 in 10 purchases are now made using only an online channel for searching and buying[1]. As well as this, e-commerce revenues in Asia Pacific amounted to 877.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 and are expected to grow to over 2.33 trillion U.S. dollars by 2019.[2]

Evidently, buying products and services online is a favourable method of shopping in today’s society, due to the convenience and immediacy. It is clear that to remain competitive, having a user friendly e-commerce site is key.

What is website localisation?

When reviewing your digital audience and the user journey through to purchase, one of the challenges which can potentially hinder or impact on the decision making process is not sharing the content in the native language of the potential customer. Website localisation is a translation solution that makes a customer’s experience that little bit easier to access your products or services and commit to a sale.

There’s more to website localisation than simply translating the core content from one language to another. Localisation involves adapting your website to accommodate for specific cultural preferences, taking into account context, graphics, presentation and phrasing and content translation. Localisation is one of the first steps to international e-commerce success and is required when your business is looking to effectively communicate and provide services for other countries and in other languages to your native one.

Why is e-commerce website localisation important?

It is important to acknowledge the impact that e-commerce website localisation could potentially have on your sales. Research shows that globally 72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy a product if they receive product information in their own language. Additionally, in Europe alone, studies show that 42% of Europeans will not buy a product if the description is not in their language.

It is clear there is a major link between the accessibility of a service and the amount of potential sales. In order to stay competitive amongst other companies, your website must be fully localised and accessible to all your target audiences in their native language.

The case for cultural relevance

Cultural relevance and sensitivity is also a major element when getting started with e-commerce website localisation. It is vital to consider cultural preferences when localising your website, to ensure any country or product specific sensitivities are evaluated ahead of international market expansion. Including this as part of the localisation process will prevent any unnecessary confusion or negative press as a result of sharing sensitive or inappropriate information to your new international audience.

Cultures across the globe greatly differ in regards to what is considered as appropriate content. What may appear to be completely harmless in your native language, may cause deep offensive to another culture. This could be anything from phrases and words to colour and images – they are all important aspects to consider when making your goods and services culturally appropriate.

 thebigword works with a variety of clients and industries to help perfect their website localisation. We have extensive knowledge of website and e-commerce localisation and how to mitigate risk and manage international growth plans. Find out more about how our website localisation services can help you and your business.