Benefits of Having a Multi-Lingual E-Commerce

January 30, 2019 2:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts


Back in the day, when customers want to buy a product they’ll need to find a store and walk in to purchase it. The products that are available are only limited to the immediate geographic location of the buyer. Fast forward to today and shopping can now be done online from any part of the globe.

Buyers from Singapore can buy a product from Bangkok, a seller in Vietnam can sell products to customers in Kuala Lumpur, and so on and so forth. That’s the beauty of the e-commerce industry – it’s global and completely borderless.

For online stores that sell products and ship them overseas, the advantage is they have a much wider customer base compared to only focusing on local customers. Though the biggest obstacle that cross-border online stores have (apart from longer shipping times) is the language barrier.


Appealing to an international audience

Whether in business or social situations, there’s no doubt that English is the default language for most developed and developing countries. If you’re running an online store, setting English as the primary language has its obvious benefits. Though at the same time, you’ll be potentially alienating other demographic segments that may only speak English as a second language.

If you’re looking to grow your online store, and especially if you have products that have a direct appeal to customers in foreign countries that do not speak English as the main language, it might be a good idea to consider customizing your online store to be multi-lingual.

It will automatically open more opportunities for you to sell not only to your local customers (who may speak English) but also to other customers in their native languages. The larger the pool of consumers that you can connect to, the bigger the potential for you to increase your revenue.


The less talked about benefit of running a multi-lingual store

When a customer who, for instance, speaks Mandarin stumbles on your store and finds products that appeal to him or her, it automatically increases that customer’s conversion rate. Including, of course, other Mandarin-speaking prospects.

Operating a multi-lingual online store doesn’t just help other consumer segments in a language that they can understand. But more importantly, it increases your brand affinity for foreign-speaking consumers.

There is an indirect, underlying emotional effect that makes your brand relatable to consumers that speak other languages than English. You’ll also be able to use specific slangs or words that are unique to consumers in that foreign language, which increases relatability to your online store.

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This post was written by Nina