eCommerce transcreation: unlocking international revenue potential

Overcoming the limits of direct translation

Direct translation is both necessary and valuable for a wide range of global business endeavors. Within the eCommerce space, direct translation continues to be a relied-upon service that offers precise translations for a wide range of eCommerce content.

However, direct translation is unable to capture the meaning and effect of certain types of content in its source language. In these cases, eCommerce transcreation is required to translate the meaning and/or effect of content, even when it requires changing the actual words used. 

Idioms, brand slogans, humor, wordplay, product branding, and commonly used consumer terms can have their meaning altered or lost through direct translation. Look no further than the automotive brand Ford, which launched its Pinto car model in Brazil to disastrous results—only to discover later that “Pinto” is an embarrassing Brazilian slang term.

No eCommerce brand wants to suffer a similar fate. From embarrassing gaffes to ineffective advertising, transcreation can help your business avoid messaging miscues that hurt your global customer experience.

Developing more engaging creative content

Transcreation involves more creative thinking and problem-solving than direct translation. This can mean more time and resources are required to complete any given project. However, the extra effort can pay dividends when it comes to engaging with international eCommerce audiences. 

For example, if you want to position your brand as laid-back and fun-loving with a sense of humor, you need to ensure your jokes are actually funny in your target language. Direct translation alone can often lead to efforts at humor that fail to hit the mark or are accidentally offensive. Transcreation brings together language experts who can take the intent of a humorous slogan in one language, and produce a transcreated slogan that uses different words to achieve the same effect.

Even if translated content avoids serious missteps of offending its audience or embarrassing your brand, it’s also possible that direct translations will simply lead to less engaging content. Product descriptions in your eCommerce store, for example, may use terminology or phrases that aren’t familiar to your target audience—which could inhibit purchases and interest in those products. Within the same language, international shopping audiences may have different terminology or descriptions of eCommerce products that confuse shoppers and discourage purchases. A U.S. based athletics wear company might not realize that while the term “athletics” refers broadly to all kinds of physical activity, the same term in British English refers specifically to track and field events—so different product descriptions and product positioning will be required.

Creating a better customer experience

Global eCommerce audiences can quickly identify the difference between a direct translation and transcreated content. When direct translations are used to process the wrong types of content, it immediately raises a red flag for local consumers, discouraging purchases and damaging your brand’s local credibility.

Transcreation isn’t just an investment into your eCommerce store—it’s an investment into your international customer experience. With proper eCommerce transcreation, your brand can quickly assert its authenticity and relevance to customers, which can accelerate your customer acquisition efforts and your revenue growth as you establish roots in new global markets.

Is your eCommerce business in need of transcreation services? Contact us today to see how we can help.

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