If you’ve ever worked with or built a multilingual website, you will know that there are many things to think about. As well as designing and structuring the site and sorting out the domain name, translating the text should also be high on your list of priorities.
But while you’re busy with the first few points on the list, there’s a risk that language management will slip lower down. In the world of e-commerce, your website is your sales tool and it’s important to have thought from the outset about which languages your different target groups speak ‒ both now and in your vision of the future. After all, it’s been scientifically proven that customers’ inclination to buy increases by 25% if the information on the website is available in their language.
What do we mean by availability?
It’s all about availability. Even if you haven’t set up a delivery structure in a particular country, it may be worth having that country’s language on your website. Your products will then be available in the country and you’ll soon discover the sales potential of the local market.
Your website should be available to all markets included in your future vision. You should therefore optimise all language versions of the site according to how local users search online. This is called search engine optimisation.
Another question is which web tool to choose for your website. My advice is to choose one of the big tools that offer good language management support, such as EPiServer or WordPress. This makes it easy to export text for translation from the site with a few mouse clicks, and then re-import the translated texts just as easily.
If you have a large range of products, using a PIM (product information management) system will make life easier. If you want to find out more about what this involves and how you can work with languages in a PIM system, you can read my blog posts What is PIM? and PIM and SEO.