Almost every business owner has harbored the dream of becoming a global giant one day. Looking up to Facebook, Google or even Shopify; but does your application/ website have what it takes to be a truly global phenomenon?
The Quick Fix:
None of Shopify themes come with a built-in multilingual solution however there are multiple apps available that will allow you to auto-translate the content in multiple languages as selected by the user.
- Weglot Translate
- Multilingual shop ‑ GTranslate
- Multi Lingo
- Bablic Translation
- Panda Language Translate
The Custom Solution:
The customized solution to having a Shopify store in different languages means creating that many UNIQUE e-stores. Yes! It sounds time-consuming and intimidating but the benefit you are going to reap will make everything worth it. Just to reduce the stress and uncertainty of the task you may want to bring a Shopify expert on board that offers multilingual services and does all the heavy lifting for you.
However, if you are determined to get it done in-house, here’s the process we opt for:
1. Market Analysis & Selection
If you are launching a translated version of your store after your business has been in the game for a while, it is time to bust out that preliminary market study and tweak all those buyer personas according to your next target audience.
Comparing the demographic statistics to your buyer personas will help you determine whether your efforts would actually churn the ROI you’re aiming for. This estimation will kickstart the project or stop and make you reconsider your chosen target audience.
However, if all your market analysis and research point towards a glaring yes, it’s time to get ahead of the logistical feasibility. It’s best to employ a local expert to consult with regarding the legislation, community standards and practices.
2. Manual Translation
Despite the availability of multiple translation tools & extensions having the “human touch” for your website’s content translation would be the best course of action making sure that your message is properly communicated to your target audience. Getting a professional and a local to do the translation will ensure your website is easy to comprehend and involves the local lingo.
In addition to hiring an in house or freelance translator make sure your translator is available at every step even for the updates that you are going to roll out later. Having the translations completed by a single person will guarantee the consistency of tone throughout the text.
3. Community Standards Implementation
Having all the prerequisites for a great localized website have set you in the right direction, however, your job is still not done, because a great UI/UX lies in the details. Skimping on any one of them can increase the bounce rate costing you a great deal in conversions!
Every country, (even different states of a country) can have minute cultural and community differences that if not addressed may be the cause of confusion for your audience. A simple example is the use of the metric system through Brititian & Australia whereas USA still uses the US customary units of measurement. As an eCommerce business owner, these details can be crucial to providing the audience that bit of ease which converts them to your customers.
Hence, having a clear idea of the standards that you have to operate within to deliver a truly “homey” feel to your website is extremely important for the success of your business expansion.
4. Marketing & Support
This step does not fall under the development of a multilingual Shopify store but is extremely important nonetheless. Since content has a major role to play in the marketing of your website; the translation process will also have to continue if you plan to market your store at all.
Having a comprehensive marketing strategy for each region will guarantee that your business gets the recognition it deserves with the audience and your hard work does not lay dormant in the SERPs.
Yes, it may seem like a lot of work just for launching a website in another language, however, in fact you are expanding your business to a new location may it be online only.