The following is a guest post by Jérôme de Guigné of e-Comas.
Amazon Europe presents a massive opportunity for brands wanting to expand their reach and diversify their revenue. With seven main marketplaces available - the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Sweden and the Netherlands, they collectively receive millions of visits each month. Just think of the sales potential.
What does it take to expand into these lucrative marketplaces successfully? A great product and good translations of your product listings are a given. But a solid localization strategy will take your brand to the next level.
Localization goes beyond language translation, and it’s critical to succeeding on European marketplaces. It factors in things like cultural barriers, societal values and local SEO to make sure your content hits the mark on every marketplace.
Let’s take a closer look at what localization is and why it’s so important.
What is localization?
Localization is the process of adapting your content to suit a new target audience. It requires more work than simply translating the original content to the native language of the marketplace. Let’s just say Google Translate won’t cut it this time.
By localizing your content, you’re optimizing your Amazon listings to suit the target consumers of each marketplace. That means adapting your content to country-specific customs, including:
- Spending habits
- Currency & measurements
- Cultural beliefs
- Colors & content layout
- Standardized spellings
- Local events & holidays
Localization provides a more personalized shopping experience to encourage browsers to make those all-important purchases.
Did you know you can also localize your Amazon listing images? With Amazon’s Country-Specific Upload, you can upload your localized images to show in only one specific country. Thus, making your listings even more relevant to each marketplace you're selling in.
Why is localization important?
Listing in your target market’s native language is mission-critical if you want your Amazon business to go international. You’d be surprised by how many brands expanding into Amazon Europe present all their listings in English. This seriously limits your potential customer reach.
Although English is the most spoken language in the world, it’s wrong to assume your European target audience will have the same shopping habits and interest in buying your products as your local English-speaking audience.
Here are some statistics to back up our claim:
- About 40% of internet users will never buy from websites in other than their native language.
- Even among people with high proficiency in English, 65% prefer content in their native language.
- Nearly 76% of internet users prefer to read product information in their native language.
- 44% of internet users in the European Union feel they are missing important information when webpages aren’t translated in a language they understand.
You can start to see the benefits of localizing your Amazon product listings. Here are six more:
Build customer trust: When your listings are accurate and culturally relevant, potential customers are more likely to trust that you understand their needs and your products are genuine.
Rank highly on all marketplaces: Increase the discoverability of your products with keyword research that’s in the local language and consistent with phrases used by native speakers.
Increase your sales: Encourage sales with strong marketing messages that resonate with native speakers.
Get to know your customers: Understand your target audience and create listings and marketing campaigns that hit the mark with country-specific research.
Gain a competitive edge: Set your brand and products apart from competitors by going the extra mile to personalize shopping experiences that suit a specific local audience.
Reduce returns: Present accurate product listings in a format and language that customers understand to avoid misunderstandings and keep return rates low.
How to localize listings for Amazon Europe
Now you know why you should localize your product listings, let’s move on to the how-to. The good news is you don’t need to be fluent in European languages to sell on Amazon Europe!
Our recommended steps to take are:
1. Optimize your Amazon listings in English first
Before you start to translate or localize your product listings, it’s essential they’re up to scratch in English first.
Follow the usual guidelines to optimize your listings, including:
- A title with your brand name, color/variant and size/quantity
- Eye-catching images that accurately represent your product
- Concise bullet points that focus on benefits, not just features
- A great product description that tells a story and elaborates on your products’ benefits
- The right character limits for your titles, bullet points and descriptions.
Doing this will make it much easier for a professional to localize your listings (we’ll go into this in more detail later).
2. Do keyword research in the local language
The unique cultural differences that come with each marketplace means you need a new plan of attack when it comes to keywords. For instance, keywords that perform well in the US or UK might not convert well in Germany or Sweden.
Helium 10 offers several great tools you can use to conduct keyword research for different international Amazon markets.
Keyword research is critical to increasing your product’s visibility. So, it’s well worth investing in native speakers that can help you with this process. And remember to use your keywords when you’re optimizing your listings. Include them in the product titles, bullet points and descriptions.
3. Make the most of Amazon’s tools
Once you’ve perfected your listings, the next step is to get high-quality translations specific to the marketplaces you’re selling on.
Amazon offers free translations tools that can help you get started with localizing your products. These are based mainly on machine translation, though, so only using them as a starting point. A combination of Amazon translation tools and outsourcing translation providers is advisable.
What’s more, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) can support Amazon Sellers to overcome language barriers regarding things like shipment and customer satisfaction. It’s a hugely recommended program when you’re selling on Amazon Europe as it handles any shipping-and returns-related questions in the marketplaces’ local languages.
4. Work with a professional translation & localization partner
While Amazon tools are a great foundation, you can’t beat hiring real people – the professionals – to outsource the task to. Partnering with a reliable agency or consultant gives you access to experienced native language speakers. This is so important for localization as you need someone who has a deep understanding of the typical cultural customs and behaviors of the target customers for each market you’re expanding into.
This way, your Amazon listings will be accurate and in keeping with localization requirements, putting you in the best possible position to maximise your visibility and succeed on European marketplaces.
Last piece of advice – take your time
High-quality translations and localizations are crucial to expanding your brand into Amazon Europe and worldwide. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It requires patience, comprehensive market research and, often, expert support to get winning product listings on Amazon Europe.
Localization is a solid investment when it’s done right – trust us.
Need help with content creation and localization? e-Comas can help! We work with native speakers to create high-converting, SEO-rich content to help you grow your ecommerce brand internationally. Talk to the team today to find out more.
About e-Comas – eCommerce Made Simple
Founded in 2013 by Amazon expert Jérôme de Guigné, e-Comas helps you grow and expand your brand on Amazon and all ecommerce platforms - globally, fast! With a hands-on approach, the e-Comas team coaches major multinational brands. It handles the accounts to sustainably grow their business and improve their agility in tackling everyday challenges with online retail.