If you think that online shopping has nothing to do with language, think again. In a world of booming cross-border shopping, language is everything. Have a look at these stats:
Based on these stats, it is reasonable to conclude that translating product descriptions is the most important part of ecommerce translation.
When ordering new language versions of product descriptions, you want those translations to present benefits and to employ the latest SEO and voice-optimisation methods. For this to be successful, it is advisable to use an SEO-savvy translation agency who can provide linguists aware of optimisation best practices in their markets and languages.
But different data reveals two even more important e-commerce sections that you should translate first: navigation and reviews.
Translating the navigation structure is vital for the efficiency of your ecommerce (it includes tags and categories, therefore influences your search and filtering options) and should be performed by human linguists provided with professional guidelines and reference materials so they can put tags etc. in context.
Reviews, on the other hand, are much less specific. Their sentiment is the most important message to convey, and this can be easily done by a machine translation engine – and then reviewed by a human linguist.
There are, however, several other issues encountered by cross-border e-commerce customers that are only loosely related to translation.
Though the inability to find products can be linked back to poor tag translation, most of the aforementioned situations are related to localisation. Localisation is the adaptation of a service or product to a new market and, while it often includes translation, it also covers other aspects, such as accepted payment or delivery methods.