Multilingual Ecommerce: Why Take Your Products Global with Shopify

Multilingual Ecommerce: How to Take Your Products Global with Shopify

August 30, 2021 | by Lianda Dadlana

As an ecommerce retailer, you’re always looking for new ways to improve your products, retain happy customers, drive traffic and convert more sales. Luckily, Shopify offers you a world (literally!) of opportunities to reach those goals.

For example, cross-border selling has become increasingly popular, with 68% of people saying they’re comfortable with the idea of purchasing items outside of their country. Cross-border ecommerce has become so common that the international market skyrocketed to €881 billion ($994 billion) in 2020. According to this article, this increase was seen as a half-decade of impressive growth.

This right here is an opportunity for retailers to step outside of their comfort zone. 

While it might sound easy to start selling in other countries, your success hinges on a variety of factors. In fact, a large part comes down to the platform you use and how it makes scaling your content a dream or, in most cases, a nightmare.

Take Shopify, for example. Store owners have confirmed that having a multilingual store doesn’t have to be challenging. This platform allows businesses to either set up a global store manually, using a theme that’s multilingual-friendly. Or by feeding your multilingual store content through a third-party app like Plytix PIM.  

Example of Shopify's dashboard with multilingual options

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If you’re still wondering why it’s important to have a multilingual store, here are some benefits. Our opinion? Bite the bullet and leap ahead of your competitors. 

1. Become a trusted online brand, globally 

When a new visitor lands on your website, you want them to feel at ease. The type of ease they feel when engaging with a familiar webshop or brick-and-mortar they’ve purchased from before. While they’re already reluctant to trust you, having basic product information such as a title, description, professional images, and any other useful information in their native language, gives them a sense of security. When content resonates on a language basis, you’re already one step ahead.

Think about it; if you choose to sell your products online in Portugal, it only makes sense that you’d accommodate these shoppers' needs. According to a survey done by Common Sense Advisory, 75% of non-English speaking online shoppers prefer to purchase a product from a website that uses their native language. 

It makes customers feel comfortable enough to finalize a transaction, as they’re able to understand what is required and what to expect from their purchase. 

2. Be seen as a brand that puts its customers first 

People use different languages to shop online.

Even though English is the most spoken language, only 25.9% of users use English on the internet. Now, what does that tell you? You’re only targeting a small group of customers. Add your competitors into the mix—and it gets tougher. Not only are they selling similar products, but they have a multilingual store too! 

To attract new customers, offer shoppers convenience and a good customer experience. These successes are achieved through a multilingual store. Convenience is your customers being able to purchase and go through the customer journey in a language they understand and feel comfortable with. Customer experience, however, comes into play when you make the website easy to navigate. In this case, it must feel as if they’re using a localized web store.

Example of the switch option between Shopify global stores

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With a multilingual store, you’re no longer just seen as another brand; you’re seen as a brand that goes above and beyond to make things easier for your customers throughout their purchasing journey. Customer attention is a never-ending battle, so you want to create a positive association when it comes to your brand.  

3. Reduce bounce rate and improve conversion rates 

We know a high bounce rate can be discouraging. And trust us, it’s a pain point for your customers too. While it may not be for the same reasons, to them, it means your content isn’t meeting their expectations. A low(er) bounce rate can potentially mean more sales. Customers will spend more time navigating your product pages, and users who once left due to a language barrier, are more likely to return.

According to a 2014 survey titled Can’t Read, Won’t Buy, we learned that “75% of respondents from 10 non-Anglophone countries preferred shopping in their native language.” The same study showed that 60% of consumers rarely (or never) buy from English websites. If you’re still skeptical, ask yourself why they’ll choose your brand instead of other ecommerce platforms if they can’t read your content and understand what you’re selling. Whether it is competitive pricing and promos, easy delivery options, or your unique product that brought them to your site, the product won’t make them stay. But having an option in their native tongue will. 

4. Customers will come to you for a change 

As much as you would prefer to go to your customers through sales channels like comparison shops, social media commerce, or online marketplaces, you also want them to come to your web store. Having a multilingual store not only improves the shopping experience but also helps you rank better. When you translate your ecommerce website into a specific language and follow localized SEO practices, your new customers will see your products when searching in their country. 

Take your Shopify products global with Plytix PIM

We know how time-consuming selling in multiple languages can be, especially when it comes to product data. If you’re still using a bunch of spreadsheets and haven’t adopted a product information management system (PIM), it won’t get easier. While using spreadsheets for your product data may have been doable (we’re not sure how) when you were only selling in English, it won’t be anymore.

Instead of struggling to manage your Shopify content for multiple languages, invest in the right tool. A PIM system can simplify the translation process and make it easier for your writers to store variations of content in one place.  

Now that you’ve seen the benefits, PIM for Shopify will make your content management a breeze. If you’re interested in centralizing your content on a global scale, see what's the best PIM for Shopify with our ultimate buyer’s guide.

Download our FREE ebook to help you choose the ideal PIM provider

Lianda Dadlana

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