eBay backs British Exporters through Translation and Localization Tools

eBay backs British Exporters through Translation and Localization Tools

To help the British businesses in their export efforts, e-commerce giants eBay have launched tools and solutions to help overcome barriers to entry including language translation.


According to Anna White in an article on the website of the Telegraph, eBay has started an initiative to help promote UK businesses on their website.

By establishing online shops for UK companies on foreign versions of the marketplace eBay will try to put British businesses in the spotlight.

Of course, eBay has some work to do before this plan can actually be carried out. The texts present on the English eBay pages of the companies must be translated, but this won’t be much of a problem as White states that eBay has its own translation tools for this. Moreover, the payment system eBay uses, PayPal, can easily deal with payments in different currencies, she says.

For sellers worried about putting their faith into machine translations, eBay has basically stated it takes all responsibility for any errors.

“eBay Buyer Protection will continue to apply to listings on eBay.com as it does today. If a buyer requests a translation using the translation service, and something is translated incorrectly resulting in an eBay Buyer Protection claim (but the original listing was correct) then the seller will not be responsible for the error.”

Dr Adam Marshall, the British Chambers of Commerce’s director for policy and external affairs, says that British companies must overcome a number of hurdles before they can tap into new markets. They will have to deal with foreign languages and customs rules, for example. Marshall also states that some companies are simply afraid of what they do not know.

eBay’s Tips for Exporters

In order to make export to new regions even easier, eBay has also created a top five of the best export tips for British SMEs.

According to eBay, White says, UK businesses that wish to enter foreign markets must:

1. Seize all opportunities: in fact, eBay believes many UK companies are ready to export long before they take their first steps in the international market.

2. Research the demographics of their British shop: this way, companies can decide which market to target first.

3. Keep an open mind when it comes to their target audience: according to eBay, 81% of all SMEs that sell their products on the online marketplace have customers from five or more countries.

4. Accommodate foreign payment methods: after all, if people cannot pay for your products, they can’t buy them either.

5. Review their shipping methods: every region has its own shipping standards, eBay says: in Europe, for example, people expect a 3-5 day delivery, and tracking is considered standard in the US.

A company that has reaped the fruits from eBays efforts to help UK companies has been Mountain Warehouse. This outdoor pursuits retailer from the UK entered the online marketplace mid-2012 and opted for international shipping at almost the same time.

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And this has led to amazing results, White says: after all, exporting across the globe means their target audience has grown from 18.5 million UK citizens to 124 million people!

This expansion means that Mountain Warehouse can sell their products, which are season-related, all year – according to White, 2013 was the first year that the company could sell ski outfits in July since its establishment in 1997.

So, could you use eBay to go global?

Emma Tidey
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