SimulTrans Localization Blog: SimulTips

Why Translate your eCommerce Platform?

[fa icon="calendar"] February 12, 2019 / by Margarita Núñez

rise_of_ecommerce_image.jpgFor the past decade or so the incremental changes implemented by big tech and research organizations have altered our lives drastically. We changed the way we communicate, do business, start relationships, socialize, and we even changed our buying habits! With easy access to most of the top stores online with just a click of a button, could it be any easier to shop online? The concept of eCommerce websites has been on a steady rise, in terms of both an increased eCommerce online presence and rising sales figures to match, and this trend seems to be here to stay!

The goal of increasing sales for most companies means going global and so it is indispensable to invest in an eCommerce platform. Over the next few years, total sales worldwide on eCommerce sites should more than double and reach the all-time high of $4.058 trillion by 2020. This will represent 14.6% of overall retail sales worldwide during 2020.


Retail ecommerce sales..jpg

Source: eMarketer

A January 2019 Valentine’s Day survey from Bankrate  states that: "younger millennials (those ages 23 to 29) and Gen Xers lead spending, expecting to average $267 per person on holiday purchases".

 eCommerce plan to spend

Source: eMarketer

eCommerce factsSource: eMarketer

Although the numbers are staggeringly impressive, there are already plenty of talks about issues and limitations, one of which is lack of culturally appropriate localization. Lack of adequate translation of online shopping websites also came up as one of the issues mentioned within the Consumer Barometer Survey 2014/15 carried out by Google.

No proper translation in my local language


no proper translation in my language2.jpg

Source: The Consumer Barometer Survey 2014/15 – Google 

This chart shows the lack of adequate translation and localization of online shopping websites. So if a company wants to go global, then the numbers speak for themselves; you need to consider translating your website and/or eCommerce platform in order to sell your wares online.

Significantly, 34% of individuals based in China buying from international eCommerce sites feel that lack of proper translation is a showstopper for them. If you take into consideration the predicted growth within the Asia-Pacific region, an eCommerce website only in English could potentially miss out on a significant number of consumers. 

Is language a hurdle when people are purchasing products online from foreign countries? Is language a hurdle2.jpg

Source: The Consumer Barometer Survey 2014/15 – Google

The above graphs clearly shows the importance of adapting and localizing your online shopping website to match the needs of current and potential buyers.

Limiting Factors

  • Sites only in English or with poor translations are predicted to lose out on a significant chunk of business
  • Language barriers are a key reason for purchasers to drop off midway during the buying process
  • Language can be a hurdle when it comes to purchasing a product online from a foreign country

Are these enough reasons to convince you that your eCommerce website needs translation?


Then the first step is to talk to us, it will cost you nothing and you will learn lots.

Let's talk

This blog has been republished with updated information and graphs.

Topics: Website Translation

Margarita Núñez

Written by Margarita Núñez

Margarita is SimulTrans' Director, Global Marketing. She spearheads SimulTrans' Digital Marketing Strategy by creating, managing, and publishing content for inbound and outbound campaigns across multiple channels. Margarita has more than 25 years of experience in sales and management for the localization industry. She has been involved in many localization organizations, currently serving as a Program Director for Membership for Women in Localization, a non-profit global organization.