Why Retailers Need Translation Services More Than Ever

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on the bricks and mortar aspect of retail industries around the globe, yet online sales have risen by almost 4% compared to the same time last year.

This change in consumer’s buying habits looks set to continue so the need to stand out from the crowd, appeal to new consumers and engage with both overseas, and home territory customers, is critical to the future success of retailers.

Attracting new customers to your online store, and encouraging them to make a purchase, is no mean feat, but there are a number of ways to increase your chances of success.



1. Translation for Foreign Language Speakers in Home Territory

We live in multicultural societies with vast differences in language, culture and perspectives.

Retailers who offer their website or E-commerce site in only one language, their home territory’s official language, will find that they are missing out on potential customers in their home country who don’t speak the dominant native language.

For instance, a Dubai based retailer offering their website in only the Arabic-language risks disregarding the 85% expatriate population who speak predominantly Asian languages.

Similarly, in the UK, a retailer that offers only an English-language version of their website might miss out on potential custom from the almost 1 million UK residents that ‘do not speak English well’ according to government statistics.



2. Translation for Overseas Retail Customers

Successfully ‘going global’ requires professional translation of your website, marketing materials, customer services and social media.

This is because customers want to understand what they purchasing, know that their purchase is secure, and understand that they can speak to you in their native language if they have any questions or problems.

Customers trust what is familiar to them and if your brand doesn’t live up to your customer’s language expectations, they won’t purchase your products.

To achieve a global retail presence translation is vital but to truly speak your customers’ language then professional localization is the best option.



3. Localization for Retailers

Localization (or L10N as it is also known) covers far more than language translation.

Localization enables language adaption which takes account of localized changes such as, dialect and reflects the dominant cultural expectations.

Professional localization will adapt the following:

• Language – including dialect, humour, colloquial phrases, and so on

• Currency – for retailers, ensuring customers can make purchases in local currencies is a must

• Weights and measures – localization adapts weights and measures so local customers understand what they are purchasing

• Images – ensures images, photos, videos and so on are culturally suitable

Design and Layout – is modified to suit local expectations and ensures correct display of text, images and content. This is especially relevant when considering factors such as text expansion or left-to-right reading as with a language change from English to Arabic for example

• Formatting – dates, addresses, zip/post codes and phone numbers all alter in typical format around the world

• Regulations and Legislation – localization ensures correct procedures for local trading regulations


Creative Word are experts in translation, localization and interpreting. Contact a member of our team here if you would like any further details regarding how we can help your retail business achieve its global aims.

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