Multilingual eCommerce Strategy: Want to Increase Your Profit? Here’s How

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 21/06/2022 | 11:17

According to w3Tech, 62.1% of online content is in English, even though 16.2% of the world’s population are native English speakers. Because of this, many eCommerce businesses are missing an opportunity to attract more customers if they make it multilingual.


In a survey by Unbabel, about 69% of global consumers reported that brands should offer customer experience in their mother tongue. It saw that by creating a multilingual eCommerce led long-term benefits, such as customer loyalty and increased profitability.

If you want to learn more about how you can enhance your eCommerce business, we’ve gathered some advice from professional translation agencies on how you can prepare it for your international customers.

So, let’s get started!


International eCommerce Sector in 2022

The international eCommerce market is worth 4.9 trillion USD, and it is expected to have a 14.7% compound annual growth rate in the coming years from 2020 to 2027. The pandemic caused the adoption of eCommerce to skyrocket, and it’s noted that this trend will continue Post-Covid.

In our research, we listed below a couple of data and trends in the international eCommerce market that you might be interested to learn more about:

  • 71% of online Shopify purchases were done via mobile in 2021. (Shopify)
  • ‘Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)’ marketing has significantly increased. For example, 30% of Australia’s working population has a BNPL account. (Shopify)
  • Meanwhile, in Japan, BNPL is said to have improved Japan’s cross-border shopping experience. (Shopify)
  • 63% of shoppers said the main reason they shop online is the free shipping. (Oberlo)
  • 81% of customers do online research before they buy a product online. (Oberlo)
  • Purchases are going global. 71% of online shoppers reported buying products from an eCommerce site outside their country. (Forbes)


The data presented shows great potential for eCommerce businesses to go global and enter new markets with fewer competitors.

However, when planning to expand internationally, many eCommerce businesses fail because they fail to work with marketing experts and make their platforms more appealing to their international customers. Later on, we will explain why collaborating with a translation agency and implementing a multilingual strategy for your eCommerce business is the best approach when going international.


Why Having a Multilingual eCommerce is Essential if You’re Planning to Go Global

A multilingual eCommerce strategy isn’t optional but an absolute necessity if you’re planning to expand internationally, which is why you should consider partnering with a translation agency or language experts specializing in your target market. There are several reasons why this is the case.

First of all, most people find it more convenient to read and purchase products in their native language. The European Commission’s survey stated that 82% of consumers reported that they would be less likely to purchase products if it’s not in their native language, even if they were proficient in English.

Even if you’re highly proficient in English, you will often have to mentally translate the text to better understand it.

Another reason why creating a multilingual eCommerce strategy is beneficial to your business is because, in the long term, it will drastically affect the customer experience of your online shoppers, from content marketing to purchasing the product and seeking customer support. As we all know, poor customer experience leads to fewer returning customers, which is detrimental to your business.

Lastly, creating a multilingual eCommerce strategy personalizes the experience of consumers as they make their purchase decisions. When implementing your multilingual strategy to your pre-existing eCommerce model, you will have to consider multiple factors, such as your target market, your target audience’s native language, and their cultural preferences.

For this reason, many businesses collaborate with a translation agency as they will need linguists and business and marketing experts who specialize in the market they want to enter. It’s also why we looked for professional translation agencies who could give some advice on how to prepare and strategize your eCommerce for the international market.


Translation Experts’ Tips for Building an eCommerce Strategy for International Users

In writing this article, we knew we had to seek the insight of professional translation agencies specializing in multilingual eCommerce for the global market. These experts were chosen due to their years of expertise in managing and building eCommerce strategies for businesses worldwide.


Tomedes – All Markets Have Gaps. Find Them.

“The reason why many eCommerce businesses fail to expand globally is that they failed to do their market research. All markets have gaps. During your research, you should find them and provide aid for these gaps,” Tomedes Translation Agency’s Chief Marketing Officer, William Mamane, told Business Review.

William explained that establishing credibility in an international market takes time. By assisting your customers in overcoming local market gaps, you’re differentiating your business from the rest as it affects how you will market your brand and operate for your target locale.


Text Master – Optimizing Multilingual Content

“Google favours content that is optimised for the country’s SEO, so now considers literal translations as duplicate content. The unique content you can produce with a translation agency will set you apart from your competitors while also enriching your SEO performance,” Emmanuel de Saint Jean from Text Master said.

Emmanuel stated that translating content word-for-word only serves to break barriers. But it doesn’t consider the cultural preferences of your international customers and the SEO side of content marketing. It’s something that you have to take into account when creating and optimizing multilingual content for a global audience.


Ingenuiti – Gamify Your eCommerce to Achieve “Flow”

Johnny Hamilton from Ingenuiti explained that anyone planning to gamify their eCommerce business should try to achieve “flow,” coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihaly to describe the state of mind when we’re fully immersed in an activity.

“As the difficulty of the task or content increases, so does the skill level required. The space where they are commensurate to each other is the space called flow. People learn better when they get to and stay in this state,” Johnny said.

When deciding to work with a translation agency, it’s best to collaborate with one that understands the vision of what you’re trying to accomplish and provides insight on what to include or disregard to enhance it.


Word Bank – Storytelling is How We Communicate and Perceive the World

Jonny Simpson from Word Bank told us at Business Review that over 90% of consumers want to learn about a business’s personality and values. By creating content that customers enjoy, you make your brand memorable and, in turn, increase its value.

“The primary goal of a story is to create an emotional connection with your customers. Conversely, the main purpose of translation is to convey the meaning of words from one language into another. A translator’s role is to choose the most accurate word in their language, not the most impactful. Partnering with an experienced agency that already has an established network is the quickest way of ensuring the best results,” Jonny explained.

Another reason why you might want to consider hiring a translation agency is that they can provide fast turnaround and high-quality content that will speak to your target audience at a personal level.


Final Thoughts

Most of the world’s online content is already in English. It’s about time that eCommerce businesses start thinking about how they can best cater to international users that align with their cultural and linguistic preferences. Hopefully, the advice from these professional translation agencies will help you start building your multilingual eCommerce strategy.

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