You’ve undoubtedly seen websites with options for different versions available in multiple languages. In a lot of cases, the localized version in your own language may seem stilted and unappealing, and often poorly translated. Branding and marketing are essential in any language and any market. If you’re not able to make a good impression on your customers in a foreign market, or make your site easy for them to understand and use, then what’s the point of selling in that market at all? You’d be wasting money maintaining a service that people disinterested in.
The process of expanding into foreign retail markets begins with having your website translated and localized into all target languages and locales, so that local customers in those countries can navigate with ease. You figure it’s a simple first step: compile the text from your current website and run it through Google Translate, and you’ll be all set, right?
Not quite. Even if machine translation could offer a perfect, word-for-word translation of your content (which it can’t), there are many more factors to consider when translating your site besides just the words on the screen. Here are five points to consider when localizing retail websites for foreign markets.