We live in a world characterized by more globalization than ever before, where reaching customers in every corner of the world has never been more accessible – if you know what to do, that is. Bill Clinton once said “ Globalization is not something we can hold off or turn off. It’s the economic equivalent of a force of nature, like wind or water”, and he was right, globalization is here to stay and has only intensified with time.
With 900 million customers expected to purchase products internationally on the web this year, and with 67% of customers shopping online being involved in cross-border e-commerce, this statement holds truer than ever.
It’s because of this, that now more than ever is the time to take the plunge and make your website multilingual, especially for businesses or organizations with a growth mindset and international ambition. From the most basic logic, it makes sense! Eroding the language barrier between you and your potential customers can only be a positive thing.
Nonetheless, in this article, we’re going to discuss why now is the time to translate your own website!
1. You’re Ready to Expand
Perhaps you’ve exhausted the potential within your domestic market and sales have stagnated. Maybe you’ve carried out some market research and have identified new opportunities for growth. Whatever the reason – you’re ready to expand, and a multilingual site will help you do just that.
As it happens, only 25% of internet users are native English speakers, so with this in mind, it’s clear that a monolingual site isn’t going to suffice when it comes to your expansion across borders. What this effectively means is that three quarters of internet users would prefer to browse and access websites in languages other than English. And by translating your site you’ll be able to effectively target new customers who search and carry out purchases in other languages.
Of course, when thinking about translating your website it’s often assumed that this is exclusive to the benefit of international customers in different countries. However, the website translation can actually be hugely important for your domestic strategy too.
Take the example of the USA where Spanish is the 2nd most spoken language with 41 million native speakers and a further 12 million bilingual speakers in the country. Businesses in the U.S who aren’t operating bilingual sites are subsequently losing out on huge commercial potential in their own market. In a similar way, identifying languages widely spoken in your own market can prove to be a significant step towards growing and expanding your business.
2. You’re Already Selling Across Borders
Take a look through your own business data, you may find that you already have customers from abroad. You can also use Google Analytics to examine what countries your traffic is coming from. Translating your website is the next logical step in this process and will enable you to not only strengthen your relationship with these customers but also tap into more customers in these markets.
Website translation is a huge aspect of localization and is considered best practice when you’re doing business abroad. It’s only logical that customers are more likely to purchase your offering if they understand your site, product descriptions, and payment options. Having all these things catered for is set to bring you even more success in these foreign markets.
3. Rise of E-Commerce and Cross-Border Activity
Still need convincing? Well, if we take a look at the rising popularity of e-commerce and cross-border trade, you’ll see there’s never been a time more opportune to get a multilingual site to maximize the success of your business.
As illustrated in the graphic below, by 2023 retail e-commerce sales are expected to be a $6.5 trillion industry and are shown to be continually growing with time. This is set to represent 22% of the total global retail sales, indicating that now more than ever is the time to get translating, to be part of this area of growth.
If you haven’t already set up your own e-commerce store, this may seem like a daunting prospect. Luckily, we’ve put together a quick 5 step guide here to help you set up your own e-commerce store and take advantage of selling online.
Once you have this out of the way, setting up a multilingual e-commerce store will pave the way towards cross-border success. In fact, E-Marketer’s 2018 Cross-Border E-Commerce publication revealed that over 80% of retailers worldwide agreed that cross-border eCommerce has been a profitable venture.
4. Shifts in Consumer Behaviour
Shifts in consumer behavior spurred by recent economic developments also suggest that now is the right time to start translating your website.
The fallout of the COVID19 pandemic has brought about a significant impact on consumer behavior on a global scale. From an environmental perspective, social distancing restrictions coupled with the reluctance of consumers to make non-essential shopping trips have seen an increased proclivity to purchase online.
According to Forbes, we can expect to see businesses selling online to thrive in this current environment, as consumers attempt to avoid these physical shopping environments. Many of these consumers are purchasing online for the first time, meaning that e-commerce has never been a better option. This also presents a huge opportunity for those selling internationally as more and more customers shift to the internet to make purchases, making a multilingual website even more important.
5. Establishing a Competitive Advantage
With the world set to fall into economically challenging times, now more than ever businesses will need to do whatever it takes to get an edge over competitors. For all the sense it makes, multilingual sites are surprisingly an underexploited opportunity for business, this makes it a great way to differentiate you from competitors.
6. Increase Your Sales and Profits
As discussed above, a multilingual site will bring about a boost in traffic and reach on your site, but what’s even more important to note is how this traffic translates into increased sales and profits.
This is firstly highlighted by a study published by the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) which showed that on average every €1 spent on localizing your website yields €25 in return. Adding to this, the CSA’s “Can’t Read Won’t Buy” study revealed that:
- 1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language
- 4% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language.
Thus, by translating your website you’re immediately increasing the commercial potential of your business. Providing consumers with information about your offering in their native language makes them more confident in their purchasing decision and consequently brings about an increase in sales and profits.
7. It’s Never Been Easier
Of course, website translation is something that sounds great in theory, but can often be complicated in practice. Luckily, thanks to the Weglot translation solution, getting a multilingual website has never been more simple.
Providing a hybrid translation solution that combines neural machine translation with the option for post-human editing, it provides a cost-effective and rapid solution for any website going multilingual.
Additional benefits of Weglot include:
Installation and Setup: Weglot is a no-code solution and is extremely user friendly. It auto-detects all of your content (no matter where it’s coming from e.g. another plugin) and you can have your multilingual site up and running in 5 minutes.
SEO Benefits: Weglot is an SEO optimized solution meaning that all your content is indexed following Google’s best practices. It translates all of your metadata and automatically adds hreflang tags, meaning that your international SEO is covered. This will help you rise rankings on search engine result pages, even when internet users are browsing in foreign languages.
Simple Translation Management: Weglot uses automatic translation to translate your site in the first instance. However, you can then manually edit translations or, should you require, Weglot can provide access to professional translators if verification is required. Furthermore, the translation management features include an intuitive ‘’visual editor’’ which allows you to edit translations in a live preview of your website.
Localization Features: The Weglot solution also provides a number of useful localization features in addition to its translation and SEO capabilities. One such example is the ability to localize or translate images on your site. When you go about localizing the images on your site, you need to think about being both culturally and contextually relevant to that specific location you’re targeting. The ability to change these media files for each language version of your site is a very useful feature to avail of.
A multi-language website brings with it a plethora of benefits and can help bring your business to the next level. Combine this with the fact that e-commerce and cross-border trade are becoming more prevalent than ever, it’s clear that now is the time to start seeing one as less of an option and more of a necessity.
Fortunately, translating your website has never been easier thanks to Weglot – so what are you waiting for? Why not try out Weglot’s 10-day free trial to get your localization strategy off and running.
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