Translation guides | 22.06.2023

7 reasons to translate ecommerce email workflows into local languages

Our translation services are trusted by retail giants, household names and everything in between, thanks to our high quality retail translation services and the deep understanding we have built of the sector.

With the global retail industry forecast to reach sales of over 30 trillion US dollars in 2024, this is an industry with a lot to offer businesses who invest time and resource in refining their marketing strategies. A crucial part of this refinement is talking to customers not just in their own language, but in a translation that feels natural and human, rather than being clearly identifiable as the output of automatic translation software or similar.

In this blog post we’ll explore the benefits of taking the time to translate ecommerce email workflows into local languages. After reading, you’ll have a clear understanding of why email workflows should be translated with care and attention, along with the benefits on offer to your business.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • A primer on retail translation
  • The importance of email marketing
  • 7 reasons to translate ecommerce email workflows into local languages

About retail translation

The retail industry underpins huge swathes of economic activity. Whether its traditional brick and mortar stores, cutting edge online marketplaces or, increasingly, novel combinations of the two, this is a sector that’s constantly evolving new ways to engage and retain customers.

Ask a layman what marketing entails in the retail industry and they’ll probably mention advertising in traditional and non-traditional media, visual merchandising (that is, creating engaging in-store on online environments), and building relationships with customers through promotions and similar. But these factors are just a handful of many moving parts of the retail machine.

Companies who continue to succeed in the retail space must simultaneously dig deeper into existing techniques and keep abreast of innovations, while refining their strategies according to both on an ongoing basis. In real terms this involves things like:

  • Market research and analysis to understand preferences and potential buying habits of prospective customers
  • Creating an appealing and consistent brand, and positioning products in a way that appeals to prospective customers
  • Customer relationship management, or the ongoing collection and employment of customer data to create increasingly bespoke marketing communications
  • PR efforts to bolster and maintain a positive brand image, possibly including activities outside the usual expected remit of a retail brand
  • Analytics and data collection to build a detailed understanding of the impact and efficacy of marketing efforts
  • Ecommerce efforts to cultivate a strong online presence where prospective customers can find your store and engage in a smooth buying experience

One powerful ecommerce technique is email marketing: the creation of targeted messages to prospective, current and past customers via email, with the goal of nurturing them to make their first or repeat purchases.

The importance of ecommerce workflows

Email marketing revenue is estimated to hit more than 10 billion US dollars this year, with a whopping 77% of surveyed businesses reporting an ROI of 2x or greater from their email marketing campaigns.

With numbers like these, it’s easy to see why businesses need to invest in effective email marketing practices. And ‘effective’ is the key word here: contacts will see straight through generic campaigns that make no consideration of their interests, preferences and habits.

One way to improve the efficacy of email marketing is to create workflows: curated sequences with a clear end goal and conditional logic to optimise deliverability based on factors like time of day or contact behaviour. Sophisticated email workflows ensure that the only emails that reach contacts will be relevant and useful to their individual needs.

Creating workflows that deliver this tailored content can generate impressive results, but it takes work. And if your organisation has a multilingual presence, and either has or is considering putting ecommerce workflows in place, retail translation services are a core component of the work that’s required.

7 reasons to translate your ecommerce email workflows into local languages

In this section we’ll outline the key reasons why ecommerce email workflows should be translated into local languages. The overarching idea here is simple: imagine trying to engage with a brand that made little to no effort to, quite literally, speak your language. Emails coming through in a language you don’t speak well or at all, references to things you don’t understand, prices in a currency you aren’t familiar with: how long would you be likely to engage? And how long before you take your business elsewhere?

Each of these reasons shares the same end goal: to minimise the number of your prospective customers who take their business elsewhere.

1. You can engage with contacts in their own language

Communicating with a contact in their first language is a far more personable way to engage than using blanket communications that reach them in a lingua franca, with which they may have varying levels of proficiency.

By demonstrating a commitment to accommodating your contacts’ language preferences, you lay the groundwork for a better ongoing relationship, increased likelihood of commercial outcomes, and improved customer satisfaction.

2. You can communicate more effectively within these languages

Translating ecommerce workflows involves so much more than just running email copy through Google Translate and creating a duplicate workflow with this translated copy. Effectively translated marketing copy relies on the level of cultural awareness that comes with expert translation: turns of phrase, cultural reference points, and the type of flair that comes with familiarity and experience.

Our retail translations embody all of these things. Our team of expert translators have first-hand experience not only with the languages involved in the translation work, but the regional intricacies of the industries in which they translate.

Bringing this expertise to the translation of your ecommerce workflows leads to the creation of copy that contacts can not only read, but can identify with, get excited about, and engage with on a meaningful basis.

3. You can better leverage contact data with segmentation

A fundamental aspect of email marketing is the segmentation of contacts, and this is considered by HubSpot to be the most effective email marketing campaign strategy.

Segmentation can be take into account all sorts of metrics, including signup date, purchase history, cumulative order value, region, and more. By segmenting contacts according to one or more of these criteria, you can create increasingly targeted recipient lists for communication.

Any organisation with a multilingual contact base that does not take advantage of multilingual email communication is missing the opportunity to engage with some portion of their contacts in their own language. Enlisting atranslation agency specialising in retail therefore opens up a whole new raft of contacts to engage with.

Once segmentation is set up, you can create workflows that target languages, countries, or even smaller regions within countries. Over time, this increasingly granular approach to email marketing leads to even more personalisation and, when refined based on findings, even better engagement and ROI.

4. You’ll see better customer reach

Perhaps you’re in a situation where you’re building a business case for expanding into a new region, where a different language is used to the one(s) your business currently operates in. If this is the case, putting structures in place to engage with prospective customers in those regions is an important part of the process.

Email marketing in general and ecommerce workflows more specifically are both reliable ways to increase reach in new regions. Retail translation services can help your business to put these workflows in place before the expansion, meaning your business can hit the ground running when it enters these new markets, immediately connecting with prospects in their own language and creating a seamless brand experience.

5. You can direct readers to the relevant version of your website

If your business operates in multiple regions, it’s likely that you’ll have some form of multilingual web content on offer – whether this is translated sections on the main website, or completely distinct web presences in key regions.

Whatever structure you have in place for this, ensuring prospects and customers reach the version of the site that best fits their regional and linguistic status is an important way to increase engagement.

By building ecommerce workflows targeted to regions and languages, you can ensure that all links from email copy to web content leads readers to the relevant regional version of your site. This contributes to the seamless user journey we mentioned previously, through the creation of linguistic ecosystems that contacts will operate entirely within when engaging with your brand.

Minimising the likelihood of contacts engaging with aspects of your web presence that they can’t understand or engage with effectively reduces the risk of losing them to competitors.

6. You can let people know about region-specific deals

Following on from the previous step, regional or linguistically tailored ecommerce workflows are a powerful way to keep contacts informed about deals specific to their region.

As an example: sharing a deal for US customers with your entire email database is alienating for any contacts not in that region, as they get direct visibility of preferential treatment they’re not able to take advantage of. But sharing a US deal just with US customers, then targeting customers in India with a deal they can take advantage of, fosters engagements with both segments without alienating the other.

7. Your email marketing KPIs will improve

As your multilingual ecommerce workflows become more refined, you will notice key email marketing performance indicators begin to improve. There are several such metrics:

  • Open rate: more contacts will open emails when the subject line, preview text and email copy are in a language they can understand
  • Click through rate: when contacts can understand and meaningfully engage with email copy, more will click on email CTAs
  • Conversion rate: when CTAs are better tailored to the linguistic and behavioural preferences of contacts, more contacts will convert to desirable commercial outcomes
  • Unsubscribe rate: fewer contacts will unsubscribe to tailored email copy than they would to generic copy that they are unable to engage with
  • ROI: as these metrics improve, email marketing will generate more revenue and the ratio between outlay and investment will become more favourable

Working with a retail translation company

To find out how your business can leverage the benefits we’ve outlined here, get in touch. We’ll be happy to run you through our retail translation services, including our eCommerce platform integration capabilities, our scalable infrastructure, our expert translators, our quick turnaround times and much more.

You can also browse our range of case studies, or ask us about our work with globally recognised retail brands like Amazon, Uniqlo, Holland & Barrett and more.

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