14 August 2018
Translation of product descriptions – customer searches for product descriptions on a tablet

In your online shop, you convince your customers with appealing product descriptions. But currently only in one language. Because a translation is time intensive and the added value is low... right?

Here you will discover the positives a translation of your product descriptions can offer and how to keep the effort involved within limits.

First positive: higher turnover

Customers are more likely to buy a product when the respective descriptions are available in their own language, even in today’s globalised world, where many people speak or at least understand multiple languages.

In the Flash Eurobarometer survey undertaken by the European Commission, 42% of Europeans revealed that they never search for or buy products or services online in any other language than their own. For people who only occasionally use the internet, this percentage was actually higher, at 48%. Therefore it makes sense to have your product descriptions translated.

Also think about young people or the elderly, who haven’t mastered the respective foreign language or have no knowledge of it at all. If you only offer your texts in one language, you’re missing out on these potential customers.

Even with a good grasp of foreign languages, customers feel much more welcome and directly addressed by texts in their native language. Additionally, they will find the information they are looking for faster in their native language – practically at a glance.

The desired information isn’t just found faster but is also understood. And are there any customers who want to take a gamble when ordering an item? The majority of customers want to know precisely what they are buying.

If you consider and accept all these factors, you’ll also increase your sales opportunities.

Second positive: fewer problems and questions

A translation? That seems like a lot of work. Behind the rise in sales, there is another hidden positive: requests for support, questions and linguistic problems about your online shop are reduced because your texts are understandable for your foreign-language-speaking target audience.

Taking product descriptions in the fashion industry as an example, your customers can read exactly which neckline a top has or whether the jacket has buttons or a zip fastener. Even details that aren’t easy to recognise in the product photos can be described precisely in the text.

Thanks to localised sizes, your customers will exchange fewer products in your online fashion shop because they will order their clothes in the right size. That raises their satisfaction: your customers receive their desired items in the correct size and don’t have to wait for a replacement to be delivered.

Third positive: more website hits

When using search engines, potential customers use their native language. Only after they are unable to find desired results do they try in a foreign language. However, SEO terms can’t necessarily be translated literally into other languages. A search using a literal translation of a term which is common in one language is unlikely to return results in another language.

Customers who need to search in a foreign language are therefore unlikely to find what they’re looking for. That is because they simply translate the correct search terms from their own language and don't know the corresponding foreign-language SEO terms. On the other hand, an online shop in a foreign language is optimised for search engines in the respective language.

If you have your product descriptions translated into your customer’s’ native language, it’s easier for them to find your website.

So as you can see: translating product descriptions is essential for your online shop.

And the good thing is that, thanks to optimised processes, translations aren’t as time-consuming as you’d think.


What could a potential translation process of your product descriptions look like?

  • Go with a translation office. The benefit for you: you don’t have to find multiple translators for every single language. The translation office takes care of everything: finding appropriate translators for your project and target languages, coordinating and briefing the translators, complying with your requirements and style guides and punctual delivery. Another benefit: for questions and problems you have one point of contact and don’t have to get in touch with multiple people.
  • As a client, you make your texts available to the translation office or your online shop service provider can work directly with them. This is enabled by various, very individualised processes. For example via an interface (API), preparing the files with an FTP server or simply sending the texts via e-mail.
  • Thanks to the use of Translation Memories, repetitions and similarities are recognised before the text is translated. Depending on the percentage of similarity, previous translations will be suggested to the translator. This increases the translator’s efficiency and ensures consistent terminology – and thus creates a better appearance for your brand regardless of the project.
  • You receive the completed translations as agreed: the texts can be uploaded to an API or FTP server or sent to you via e-mail. Depending on the size of the file, it could also be possible to use a cloud server.

Your advantage: because of the reduced editing time, new products are available sooner in your foreign-language online shops. And your international customers are just one click away from purchasing.


The work you invest is kept within limits

So don’t delay! Make the product descriptions in your online shop available to customers in their native language and profit in three ways:

1. higher turnover,
2. fewer problems and questions and
3. more website hits.