eCommerce Localization – How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes

eCommerce Localization – How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes

Although English constitutes the default language of the internet, it isn’t the only one. Not when the number of regional internet users is on a continual rise. So, out of the billions of internet users globally, an English website may help you reach only a quarter.

Now, 25% may still seem an impressive number. But what about competitors? In a space already overwhelmed with the competition, how do you ensure you get your share? How do you intend to thrive and excel in the other potential regional markets of the world?

An exceptional offer or two during a particular season may drive people to your website. But what happens after the offer ends? In the highly competitive eCommerce space, if you fail to impress a prospect, he is less likely to come back to you, let alone building brand loyalty.

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So, what is that will help you hold people onto your website, and encourage them to come back when they’ve got to shop something? One of the most effective ways to do so is eCommerce localization.

That is because language is one of the most significant aspects of every business, and eCommerce isn’t an exception to it. In fact, language plays an even more critical role in eCommerce, as your website is the only way you can reach people and interact with them.

eCommerce localization helps you reach a more significant chunk of people through local language web content and therefore qualifies you for a higher number of leads and regional business.

But then, do you only translate your website, sit back and relax to see wonders taking place? No. eCommerce localization is a continual process and must evolve with time. It packs several essential factors to consider that help you earn a competitive edge.

A lot of eCommerce websites limit themselves to translations, and which constitutes the most critical mistake associated with eCommerce localization. But there are a few others as well. Knowing them is crucial from the viewpoint of avoiding them and increasing the likelihood of success. So, here we go.

5 Common eCommerce Localization Mistakes and How to avoid them

Avoiding these common eCommerce localization mistakes is the first step to becoming an exceptional, successful, and a consumer-oriented eCommerce player.

1. Ignoring the Significance and Difference in Words!

Although the language is a critical element of localization, and a lot of it revolves around language, people tend to ignore the most significant aspect of language, and that is words.

A particular language, style of writing, script, and words are factors you must consider while designing your website’s local language page. It is because every language is different, and so are the words that make up for it.

For instance, English is different from Arabic. The words, script, formation of sentences, all of them vary. So, a website layout that works well with English, may not necessarily work in the case of Arabic.

Similarly, a Hindi webpage or Japanese one for that matter will demand a different layout from that of English, or other languages that follow different scripts.

But remember, the same script doesn’t necessarily refer to the same call to action buttons, page design, spacing, etc. For example, English and German use the same script. But, a lot of German words are more extended than English ones.

Now, how to avoid this mistake. Make sure you know the language pair you are dealing with. For instance, if it is English to French, identify the appropriate alternatives and how will the translated word arrangement affect the appearance of your website.

Hiring an expert localization company keeps you away from such hassles and mistakes. Localization experts know how the dynamics of website localization work, and hence deliver better results.

2. Ignoring Linguistic Variations and Cultural Insensitivities

Remember, you are dealing with a global audience. The French that the North African French-speaking is different from that of the French that Congolese people in Africa use. Both of them have several regional variations. Similarly, the French that Togolese speak varies from the Mauritian counterpart.

Often, eCommerce websites don’t recognize or ignore these linguistic variations. They step in a particular language market without studying these variations, and which is why they fail to connect.

Despite the offers they’ve got, many regional online shoppers turn a blind eye towards them as the website does not speak the local variant appropriately, or the language doesn’t make enough sense.

The best way to avoid it is by understanding these regional differences in the same language. Adequate research from the business perspective, competitor study, and an understanding of the local consumers help you avoid such critical mistakes.

The same is the case with cultural insensitivities. A sentence, for instance, may imply something funny in a particular culture. But the same sentence may mean something else, perhaps, serious, or even offensive in another cultural setup. Ignorance towards the cultural aspect proves a turnoff.

Such mistakes and ignorance are impacting enough to drive people away from your website. The results, you can imagine. We don’t have to specify them, do we?

3. Starting Straight Away without sorting out IT Challenges

A lot of them out there are smart and sensible enough to begin localizing their eCommerce website. But perhaps they aren’t sufficiently prudent to think of the IT challenges they may encounter while localizing their website and their effect on the website’s performance.

Did you know, approximately 60% of internet users never return to a particular website if they’ve had a bad experience with it? IT-related errors that eventually reflect on the user interface are among the many reasons that dissuade users from such websites.

Consider the example of Unicode while creating an eCommerce website or mobile application. Localizing content from one language to another involves the use of symbols and letters that may differ in form from each other. Your website will not display them appropriately, and in the manner, the users expect, if you don’t apply the Unicode.

It results in an unusual experience for the users, as such mistakes impede the reading process, and users eventually close the website to move onto another.

The solution to avoid such mistakes is to talk to IT specialists and understand all the possible and apparent challenges on the IT front. Resolving these challenges will help you keep unpleasant user experiences at bay, and deliver a user-oriented localized eCommerce website.

4. Considering Speaking a Language and Translating into the Language the same Skill Set

Great if you’ve got a multilingual team at disposal. In fact, you must! But, being able to speak a language, and translating content from another language into it is different, and a specialized task.

It is here that a lot of companies go wrong. They think of spoken and translation skills as the same. People learn and develop spoken skills over a while, and after continual interaction, but translation is an entirely different area. Translators undergo extensive linguistic training, understand the culture of the region, and acquaint themselves with various nuances of the language.

Besides, translators offer a range of other services such as DTP, subtitling or transcreation, voice-over, etc. and which you may need while translating various aspect content form of your website.

Apart from the above, the most experienced and sensible translators also understand consumer psychology and may have a marketing perspective that leads to commercially beneficial translations.

Now, how to avoid such a mistake? Simple! Don’t consider speakers of the language and translators as the same. Translators are critical from the perspective of technically, linguistically, and culturally accurate translations. So, hire a team of experienced translators to keep away from translational inaccuracies, and errors related to it.

5. Not Testing the Website Thoroughly

Testing is as critical as every other aspect of localizing your eCommerce website. At times, sites go live, and owners only realize technical errors, when the analytics show up results such as high bounce rate, users abandoning the website owing to insufficient cart size, etc.

Bad experiences such as an incorrect call to action button, a wrong currency unit, or an inappropriately translated piece of content may spoil the shopping experience. An eCommerce website failing to deliver a seamless shopping experience proves incompetent and loses the market.

The only to avoid such a mistake is to test every aspect of the website thoroughly. Remember, the technicians, translators, and every other individual involved in the projects contribute relentless efforts towards the success of the website. But they may commit mistakes, and which may take a toll on the website’s performance. So, the key is to test the site and only then letting it go live.

Filose – The Best eCommerce Localization Partner

As one of the leading eCommerce localization companies, Filose offers an extensive set of translation and localization services and amasses years of experience within the eCommerce localization space.

The company employs the best of localization resources, translators, and technical specialists that facilitate translations into over 100 Indian and foreign languages, and on any CMS such as Magento, Joomla, Shopify, WooCommerce, etc.

If you are an eCommerce company looking forward to localizing your website to match the needs of your targeted local market, Contact Filose on +91-20-49007800 or email to

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