The rise of e-commerce
Coronavirus has been a massive-game changer for healthcare and business. User behavior has moved towards a more virtual, e-commerce-centric approach. This is why many companies have decided to create a multilingual website to keep their business afloat despite restrictions and social distancing.
In fact, multilingual websites have not only served as a survival strategy, but also as a way to increase sales. Moreover, according to a recent report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), e-commerce’s share of global retail trade increased from 14% in 2019 to about 17% in 2020. This is due to the growing need for customers to find new ways to shop without risking their health. And of course, multilingual websites have been the perfect solution as they allow you to access the same products and services but from the comfort of your home.
Why consider a multilingual website
Increase conversion rate
Given the increase in e-commerce and globalization in recent years, companies need not only a regular website, but a multilingual one. This is reflected in several studies that show the advantages of offering content in the customer’s language. For example, translating your website can increase conversion rates by 50%, as customers prefer to consume content in their native language.
This highlights the importance of having a multilingual website, as online shopping has skyrocketed WORLDWIDE, meaning that your website is open to prospects of different nationalities, who speak different languages and are spread across different geographies. Naturally, if you have a multilingual website, you will be able to reach them and guarantee a higher conversion rate.
Increased market opportunities
Having a multilingual website allows you to expand your audience. Offering content in other languages allows you to reach other market segments that were previously unreachable. For example, only 25% of Internet users are native English speakers. This leaves you with 75% of opportunities to reach other types of customers.
In addition, in some countries like Switzerland, more than one language is spoken. This means that if your business has a multilingual website, you will be able to cover a larger population. As a result, you are more likely to increase your sales.
Search engine indexing
Appearing in the first results of Google will increase your sales opportunities. And this is to be expected, since customers prefer to buy from the first website that appears because they are usually the most reliable, relevant and attractive sites.
Of course, you should keep in mind that Google and other search engines show localized results. That is, they display results in the language of the user performing the search first. The results are also based on the region or country, for example Colombian Spanish.
So, if you really want to stand out on the Google results page, start by translating your website. Think about the customers you want to reach and then focus on localizing your website. To do this, answer the following questions:
- What language does my customer speak?
- What country or region does my customer live in?
- What content should I localize? For example, date format, colors, images, dialects, cultural references, etc.
- Do I need a domain or subdomain?
Finally, be sure to use the correct hreflang tag or language code for Google to index your multilingual website. For more information on how Google indexes multilingual websites, click here.
Accessibility and mobile devices
Don’t forget about accessibility. Google also prefers accessible websites. That is to say, Google ranks better websites that are compatible with various devices such as desktops, smartphones, tablets, among others. In addition, it also evaluates whether the website is user-friendly, easy to read and accessible to people with disabilities.
Another advantage of offering accessible multilingual websites is that mobile retail commerce sales grew 31.5% in 2020 and is expected to surge another 28.8% this year. Furthermore, 68.1% of all website visits in 2020 came from mobile devices—an increase from 63.3% in 2019. This shows that there is a growing trend in mobile shopping. A pattern you cannot ignore if you want to increase your online sales.
In an era characterized by quarantines, economic downturns and constant policy changes, companies need to differentiate themselves from the competition more than ever. Therefore, multilingual websites can be a great differentiator. Customers will prefer a website they can relate to, where they find information they can understand and where they feel more confident about making a purchase.
Create your multilingual website now!
So don’t wait any longer. If your plan for this year is to increase your online sales, start by standing out from your competition with an SEO-friendly and accessible multilingual website.