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  • María Palomares Tarí

3 Ways Poor Translation Affects eCommerce






Have you ever purchased anything online? Maybe bought a digital subscription or service over the Internet? If so, then you were participating in eCommerce.


Known as the activity of electronically buying or selling of products on online services or over the Internet, eCommerce just keeps getting bigger. Of course, traditional retail will always have its place, but the level of convenience pioneered by companies like Amazon or AliExpress have changed the game. Though the concept of an eCommerce website consists of purchasing products online, it also includes various other forms, such as online banking, online ticketing, digital downloads, auctions, along with many other transactions one can make through the internet.

As it keeps growing, the level of competition is incredibly challenging. At all times, they must be wary of threats to their operations, because just one mistake can lead to a brand being leapfrogged by one of its competitors.

Apart from that, one of the core elements of eCommerce growth is expansion into new territories. Here, localizing content is obviously important: a person has to understand what they're buying, and can only do so if the content is in their native language. However, this can lead to a mistake that’s significant but often overlooked: using poorly-translated copy.


Let’s talk about 3 ways poor translation affects eCommerce.


1. It hampers UI functionality

As online buyers, we usually know what a good retail site should look like and how it should work, right? Here we are talking about UI, the user-facing design of a webpage or application. User-friendly UI is important for eCommerce merchants to provide intuitive navigation — and a pleasant shopping experience — for customers. But what if all those ingredients that make your UI so nice are incorrectly labelled? If your core navigation is put through sloppy translation, customers will get confused and will have a hard time trying to distinct the sections of the website. Result? Damaging their interest!


2. It damages brands’ name

Every brand’s main goal is to project an air of professionalism, showing prospective customers that you conduct business in the right way and care about achieving high standards. However, poor translation can just tear all those goals down.

How many times have you laughed at memes about funny translation errors posted on social media? For a brand, this activity will just lower the effect of any positive comments being made. And of course, when other businesses (prospective partners) become aware of it, they’ll question the wisdom in working with this particular brand. Remember quality is essential if you want people to trust your business!


3. It raises costs

Sometimes, it might be assumed that cheap translation isn’t that much worse than high-quality translation, so there’s no sense in paying more than necessary. However, the quality of eCommerce copy translation is actually extremely important and needs to be taken seriously.

Will quality translation require more investment? Yes, it will, but it will also avoid lots of changes, efforts and more money involved to achieve the excellent translation desired.

If you’re expanding overseas and want to reach an international audience, don’t settle for translation quality on a level with what you’d get from Google Translate.



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#eCommerce #OnlineShopping #YOKOTranslate

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