Translation of Ecommerce Listings for Foreign Markets

Translation of Ecommerce Listings for Foreign Markets

Ecommerce competition is so fierce that excellent translation of ecommerce listings for new foreign markets should always be a priority for global businesses. Practically speaking, it should be done by professional linguists with thorough understanding of the target language. There are two main reasons. The first to address is, 1) search engine rankings; but just as important in the long run is, 2) credibility with consumers.

First, to optimize your ecommerce listings for search engines in new languages and foreign cultures, begin with key word research in the new, target language. It doesn’t work to simply translate the original ecommerce listings. Literal translations of the key words and phrases they contain are very unlikely to bring high search result rankings. People in different countries think differently about specific products, and so their online searches contain different words. An experienced, native linguist will discover exactly which words your target audience actually uses to search for products like yours. Those will be featured in their translations of your ecommerce listings.

Requirements for the composition of ecommerce ads for the most popular ecommerce sites are the same for most foreign markets. There are usually three parts:
1) title
2) bullet point highlights
3) longer product description

The “title” of the product conveys the brand, model, and product type, and is somewhere around 100 characters. The bullet point highlights list the product features, dimensions, materials, and care instructions, and there are generally four such points. In the third part, the longer product description uses full sentences to describe the product in a more conversational way.

The second vital issue to address in ecommerce translation is credibility with consumers. As an ecommerce consumer, have you had the experience of reading a flawed product description translation and feeling an instant loss of trust for the vendor? As savvy online shoppers, we are always seeking clues about the credibility of the vendor and the value of their product. This is as true in every country with online sales – the world is full of experienced Internet users.

The connection you make with an online shopper may be fleeting unless you win their trust. All elements of your ecommerce listings must have a native “voice” and convey a flawless understanding of the culture. In other words, ecommerce ads should sound completely natural and error-free to the demographic you are trying to communicate to.

It can seem counterintuitive to hire a professional LSP in order to save money. But in fact this is often the best winning strategy for success in foreign markets – mistakes become expensive very quickly. And when it comes to ecommerce listing translation, accuracy can be even more important than it is for some other types of advertising. This is because ecommerce listings are such a compact format, defined by detailed information on the basis of which consumers are making decisions, without other input. With ecommerce shoppers it’s likely that you won’t have a second chance to win them over with additional materials such as spec sheets and brochures.

If you do the work to achieve high search engine results, and your potential customers click on your listing and start reading, you’ve created a huge opportunity for yourself. Then your success will come down to customer enthusiasm for your product and trust in the information you’ve given them online. Online searchers are looking closely at these listings, so all details must be precisely translated in order that the honest value of your product is conveyed. A language service provider like Skrivanek with experienced ecommerce translation professionals can skillfully carry you through this process to success in dozens of new foreign markets online.


J. V. McShulskis