Localizing e-Commerce Websites: God is in the detail
Online store localization is one of the language industry fields where the differences between translation and localization truly come to the fore.
Online store localization is one of the language industry fields where the differences between translation and localization truly come to the fore. This is because the translated content of the website should be customized to create a flawless, localized buying experience for foreign customers – and, of course, this includes an entire set of customizations, ranging from currency symbols and decimal marks to the way the customers are addressed.
In this article, we take a look at the essential elements of the successful localization of an online store.
Currencies and Symbols
The first logical step is to display prices in the local currency, at competitive rates, with the proper symbols and decimal marks as they are used in the target market.
However, displaying prices in two or more currencies is also an option to consider, particularly in areas where both local and foreign currency are used.
Translated content of the website should be customized to create a flawless, localized buying experience for foreign customers.
Local Paying Preferences
In some countries, people mostly use credit or debit cards for online shopping, while alternative payment methods such as bank transfer, checks, or money orders may be preferred in others.
Make sure to research local payment preferences well beforehand, as this will save your customers unwanted frustration and ensure a smooth buying experience.
The same form of address may be acceptable in one culture and offensive in another. Make sure to check the preferred formats of name ordering, use of titles, names, and surnames in the target culture and to customize screen messages and e-mails accordingly.
Although every address in the world contains basically the same information, different countries use different formats of addresses and postal codes. Make sure to check the right format for addresses in the target territory.
Multilingualism on the Local Level
In addition to official languages (one or more depending on the area), some countries also have recognized minority languages or different standards of the official language.
The linguistic and cultural landscapes of the target territory should be well researched beforehand, as in certain cases localizing into multiple languages or dialects on a single market may be the perfect strategy.
Laws and Regulations
Last, but certainly not least, the legal requirements and laws regulating trade in the target country should be researched thoroughly. Laws and regulations may differ greatly from one country to another, and this is why every legal requirement, from the calculation of taxes to information that must be provided to the customer, has to be studied carefully.