How to Build a Multi-Language eCommerce Store

10 Jan 2020
Ihor, back-end developer
How to make website in different languages for commercial purposes? Learn about the multilingual site creation and promotion platforms and specifics.
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With the development of common business tendencies and wide capabilities of selling goods abroad, many companies need to fill the site with content in different languages at once to satisfy the needs of all target users. In order to promote your site in several languages, you need to create a multilingual version of the site.

Reasons Why a Multilingual eCommerce Website is so Important for Business

A cost-efficient marketing tool

A dedicated website in different languages will help you boost the recognizability of your company, services, and products in foreign markets and enable you to accept several types of currencies in your web store.

Client-base extension

The multilingual interface allows users to immediately translate all the website text into the language of the site visitor.

Sales boost

Adding another language version of the website can potentially increase sales by 100%. When it comes to the efforts of improving sales with a small investment, there is no better strategy than translating a website into different languages.

Better SEO

A multilingual website will always be higher in search results when consumers search for products or services in their native tongue.

Challenges You Face When You Develop a Website in Different Languages

Type of character encoding

Difficulties with character encoding arise when several types of encoding must be combined or when a site needs to be converted completely from one language to another after its deployment. It is better to use Unicode – UTF-8. You will need more time to prepare all the info, but many issues will be avoided.

Quality translation

A client who does not speak the main language of the site should receive the most accurate translation of the content. In practice, the translation of all elements and texts must be started simultaneously with the development of the initial site design.

Different site structure in categories, modules, & sections for different localizations

Due to various nuances in the translation, there is a chance that it will be necessary to change the structure of the menu and even the pages as a whole in different versions of the site.

Language switch

If the versions’ structure is different and the contents of pages do not match, a language sign click should instantly reload the same page with the translated content.

Localization of system CMS & external module messages

System messages, error messages, and other technical messages must be properly translated. When installing additional plugins from third-party developers, you need to check the encoding in which they work.

Legal info localization

The translation of all legal documentation must be carried out in the country where the company has a representative office. And not only do you need a translator, but also a lawyer who knows the language well and is familiar with the intricacies of your business niche.

Different sentence lengths & localization nuances

Yet another challenge with a multilingual website design occurs when text is an embedded design element. Better to avoid heavy-text banners because different word versions may not them in the same way. The design should be as concise as possible. When creating a website version in Hebrew, navigation, typing, content, interfaces should be mirrored, not mentioning numerous specifics of the language.

Automated registration form & feedback messages

Messages about the successful registration, order processing, password change, etc. should all be properly localized. There may appear complications when writing digits in the automated mode as there are different numerical system nuances in different languages.

Translation of all user cabinet descriptions

The CMS administrator’s account shouldn’t be necessarily localized, but personal accounts should all be as diverse in localization as possible.

Avoid This When Creating a Multi-Language Website

Google Translate

A quick way to create a dual-language website is to embed the free Google Translate widget. It translates text using smart algorithms and built-in capacities automatically. When it comes to official documents and specific business terms though, machine translation isn’t an option. It simply wouldn’t be able to convey the meaning of slang words.

Page duplication

To avoid the problem of duplicated pages, it is necessary to determine the preferred translation option for each language. You can use the simple HTML element rel = “alternate” hreflang = “x”. The page should have several hreflang tags; one for the current version and links to alternative translations.

Duplicate content takes up the time the robot needs to index the site. It will also negatively affect the site promotion in the search engine. To search for external and internal duplicates, the online service www.miratools.ru will come in handy.

The Best Multi-Language eCommerce Platforms. Nuances of Creating Sites in Different Frameworks

Magento

This platform is not suitable for every company, with different editions focusing on different purposes.

  • Magento Enterprise Edition is commonly used by large companies based on a fixed fee;
  • Magento Community Edition is usually employed by online store owners for free;

Pros

  • A wide variety of features;
  • Integration with third-party software;
  • Store expansion options;
  • Customization;
  • Marketing campaign opportunities;
  • A large community of developers, etc.

Cons

  • Isn’t a good fit for beginners;
  • Possible challenges when looking for a reliable developer;
  • High fees for large-scale companies.

Prestashop

A prominent open-source platform for eCommerce implementations both mobile and desktop with wide template opportunities.
Pros

  • Accessible admin panel;
  • Simple manual online store configurations;
  • A selection of several technical control levels for free.

Cons

  • No possibility to create unique design & graphic elements;
  • Additional themes should be purchased for site design personalization.

WooCommerce

A freeware WordPress plugin that has grown into an eCommerce building phenomenon of its own.

Pros

  • Cost-efficiency;
  • Simple to install;
  • Wide range of features;
  • Personalization opportunities;
  • Simple search optimization;
  • Marketing tools.

Cons

  • Advanced coding skills are required;
  • Fits only WordPress websites.

BigCommerce

Yet another highly popular versatile eCommerce creation and management platform that is pretty secure and easy to navigate.

Pros

  • Accessibility;
  • A wide range of features;
  • Advanced design capabilities;
  • Simple search engine optimization;
  • Marketing tools;
  • Built-in payment modules;
  • Tech support.

Cons

  • Complicated user settings;
  • Price.

Shopify

An extremely popular eCommerce framework with a widely known level of accessibility and extensive software capabilities.

Pros

  • Easy to use;
  • A wide range of features;
  • Extensions;
  • Mobile-friendliness;
  • Tech support.

Cons

  • Issues with advanced personalization;
  • Price.

Multilingual eCommerce Site & SEO Promotion

1. In the code of all pages of each individual website language version, it is necessary to use the <html lang = “xx”> tag (where xx is the language identifier) before <head> to indicate in which language the information is translated for the search engine.

2. If the same page has versions in different languages with different URLs, you need to use the hreflang and alternate attributes to tell the search engine about it.

3. Promotion is negatively affected by automatic translation of content. Such translation makes the text lose its meaning and can be recognized by search engines as spam.

4. If you use a top-level domain to host a site in another language, you need to help the Google search engine correctly determine its location and configure geotargeting in the Search Console.

5 Prominent eCommerce Sites & Multilingual Shopping Cart Examples

Taobao

A site with a huge customer base of 500 million people. Headquartered in China, the parent company is Alibaba Group. This is a huge online shopping platform where you can buy accessories, clothes, jewelry, shoes, furniture, gadgets, and much more.

Amazon

A hugely popular website where you can order various products at affordable prices. A big advantage here is fast and simple delivery. There is also an intuitive interface convenient for placing orders, different payment methods, big regular discounts, and great offers.

Walmart

Walmart shopping malls are known mainly across the USA. This retail chain’s dedicated site is among the top best eCommerce sites out there.

The site has a convenient interface, thanks to which it is simple and engaging to shop. It offers its various coupons for discounts, flexible delivery, and additional discounts on certain days. You can purchase household appliances, toys, electronics, and even groceries here.

eBay

This is another globally-renowned online marketplace where you can buy different products as well as sell your goods. You can create a store using the eBay web editor and add your products, images, and descriptions.

Target

A wonderful platform of the famous retail chain with a wide range of products for men, women, and children of various categories. On this site, you can find absolutely any product for everyday life. The site offers free shipping, simple order processing, regular discounts, and much more.

Top Multilingual eCommerce Solutions Providers

GoodFirms has composed a list of leading eCommerce developers. These are the best companies in the design and development of eCommerce websites right now.

  • Capital Numbers;
  • Hidden Brains Info Tech;
  • Iflexion;
  • Cyber Infrastructure Inc.;
  • Syberry Corporation;
  • Sunflower Lab;
  • Belatrix Software;
  • Promatics Technologies;
  • DockYard, Inc;
  • Zealous System.

How to Make Website in Different Languages?

The easiest way to increase sales by expanding your customer base is to create a multilingual website that will become a tool to achieve the desired profitability.

People more often buy on sites that have content in their native language. The most effective way to expand the market and globalize an online retail site is to add multilingual online shopping cart purchases.

If you manage an online business, then a multilingual website will give you more customers. There is no country in the world where people speak only one language. A significant number of ex-pats and immigrants live in each country.

Moreover, do you want your business to have customers only from your country? Probably not. Everyone wants to have foreign customers in addition to the local ones.

Today, customers can choose products from almost anywhere in the world, but language barriers are still inconvenient when making online purchases.

One known solution to this issue is a multilingual eCommerce store where people can sell their products on the international market.
Summary
All in all, the pros of launching a multilingual eCommerce include:

  • Client-base expansion;
  • International market opportunities;
  • Competitive ability boost;
  • Improved SEO & brand/product/service awareness;
  • Foreign clients’ loyalty;
  • Support of multiple currencies.

Ultimately, a well translated version of the site speaks of the high level and determination of the company, its concern for users, and also allows to highlight advantages, technologies, products, and services among a wide audience.

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