Article

Frank Van den Berg
Frank Van den Berg 14 April 2015
Categories Ecommerce

'Lost In Translation'- Is Localisation The Most Misinterpreted Word In International Ecommerce?

Whilst localisation remains pivotal for any company looking to experience international e commerce success, its true meaning is often misunderstood; dramatically reducing overseas conversion rates.

Whilst localisation remains pivotal for any company looking to experience international e commerce success, its true meaning is often misunderstood; dramatically reducing overseas conversion rates.

Localisation is the process of converting a foreign website so that it appears to be of native origin for the user.

The main objective is to make the consumer trust the website,increasing the chances of the customer making a purchase.

Translation of the text is a starting point. Cost of translation ranges from 4 pence per word to more than 15 pence per word, and ‘buyer beware’ you get what you pay for. Too often do we come across literally translated text that does not make sense in context. For instance the word Cart (as in the check out facility) is common in the USA, but in the UK the word to use is basket. Then there is the need to optimize the use of words to reflect common relevant search terms in a country. You need local expert advice on (the optimal density of) these search terms before you start writing.

Localisation goes way beyond an effective translation. In effect, our website transformation check lists contain at least another 25 factors to get right, ranging from local payment methods, to price listing conventions (e.g. did you know that in France normal prices are often written in red?), local telephone numbers and return addresses, legal requirements, data fields for effective check outs etc.

What happens if the site is not localised effectively? Customers will start asking questions: a contact telephone number in another country will make customers wonder what the costs of the call might be and whether they will be able to communicate effectively with someone which might speak other language. A return address in a different country will soon raise questions about the likelihood of actually getting your money back.

Another often made mistake is in the format of the data input fields in the check-out process, meaning that some customers can not fill out their correct address. As soon customers start asking questions they do not focus anymore on buying your product. How often have you been wanting to buy something on a website, but decided not to because it ‘did not feel right’?

For more international e commerce insights and overseas sales support visit the Salesupply website: www.salesupply.co.uk

Read More on Digital Doughnut

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
7 Things Every Company Website Should Include

7 Things Every Company Website Should Include

What elements to include in your company website? This is the first question you should ask yourself before you start designing the site. We’ve shortlisted the following essential elements every business website must have to effectively engage with customers.

simon walker
simon walker 20 February 2017
Read more
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Designing The Data Management Infrastructure Of Tomorrow

Designing The Data Management Infrastructure Of Tomorrow

Today, more than ever before, organisations realise the strategic importance of data and consider it to be a corporate asset that must be managed and protected just like any other asset.

Ronald van Loon
Ronald van Loon 22 February 2017
Read more
10 Awesome Examples of Great Referral Programs—That Rock.

10 Awesome Examples of Great Referral Programs—That Rock.

Referrals are increasingly forming part of a successful marketers' toolbox. But what constitutes a truly successful referral program? We took a closer look at some of our favourites.

Angela Southall
Angela Southall 17 February 2017
Read more