When a business expands, many routes lead into international avenues and a company’s potential when entering foreign markets can be significant. One of the most popular and simplest ways to expand into foreign territories is through online transactions, more readily referred to as eCommerce. By supplying goods and services through the internet, the access to international markets immediately increases. With the ambition of accessing international customer bases, the need to communicate appropriately in all business areas in target languages is imperative. eCommerce translation will almost always be required in order to cement success in another country, not only at outset, but for the longevity of the company’s operations. The growth of the internet and the continued plans for internet access in the most remote parts of the world has allowed businesses of all types to expand into international territories and in order for the company and customers to rest assured in their purchases and service levels, foreign exchange steps make a mammoth difference.
English may be a widely spoken language globally but depending on new customer bases understanding business material and eCommerce transactions in any language but their own leads to vulnerabilities, both for the firm and the customer. Around 18% of the world’s population speak English and although that may seem like a large figure, the remaining 82% could be potential customers for your business and penetrating this market will demand translation services. Any company who attempts to rely on English content in a foreign non-English speaking country is one that is less likely to succeed and absolutely will not reach their full potential. A firm’s attitude towards new markets and their approaches can be as important as the content itself and when a business translates information to suit a foreign target market, immediate confidence and professionalism is instilled. This is vital for both transactions with customers and potential partnerships with other firms within the target country.
Translation is especially important when a business depends on eCommerce as a customer’s confidence in online transactions heightens significantly when the terms and processes are available in their own language. What’s more, some products may not be available to foreign customers in their own country and being able to buy online from a business who has translated stock listings and transaction processes allows customers the chance to buy exciting, new and otherwise unavailable products. As a business owner of an eCommerce company, the necessity to understand buying trends and market changes is vital in order for the firm to thrive and for fluctuations to be met with success. eCommerce business holders must be able to track local purchase habits, national competition and relevant geographical influencers in order to predict the future of their trade. Through translating your own content, other businesses, marketing and press agencies will treat you as a legitimate business and extend such information as they would to national firms. Treating your target market with respect and local awareness will breed the same response from locals, allowing you to maximise your successes in a new country.
When you are competing with national firms offering the same or similar products and services whilst entering foreign markets, it is vital that you are not on a back-foot from outset. If a customer is presented with the opportunity to buy from a national firm in their own currency, whilst dealing in their own language as opposed to an international business that has not translated their material, the customer is much more likely to have confidence in the domestic brand. The availability and access to eCommerce has expanded significantly in the last few years, with many businesses recognising the cost saving benefits of dealing online and customers applauding the opportunity to purchase goods and services without travel and time restrictions. This has also meant that foreign online trading has boomed and a business who translates their online presence into international languages is one that is afforded the opportunity to tap into new and potentially more profitable areas. This is especially true of products that are seasonal or niche. For example, summer accessories may only be relevant to a UK market for a relatively short period, whereas a customer base in South American countries could be purchasing all year through.
A good place to start when translating eCommerce content is to review the leading competitor’s websites for your target country and compare their offerings with your own. One of the greatest concerns to a potential customer will be the safety and security of an online shop and so your web shop must be as secure, if not more so, than a competitor’s’. One of the ways to instill confidence in your international customers is to offer localised payment options for checkout completions. In countries such as the UK, credit card payments or payment platforms such as PayPal are the preferred method for completing transactions. However, in countries like Germany, customers more regularly prefer an open invoice system whereby goods are delivered by a business and an invoice is issued for payment post delivery. If an international business attempts to access foreign markets without an awareness of localised payment preferences and eCommerce dealings, confidence will be low, professionalism will appear weak and the firm is likely to fail. It is therefore wise to aim to mirror buying preferences in your international offerings or offer both options to the customer, thereby not eliminating yourself as a less reliable option to a national competitor.