What to Focus on Before e-Commerce Localization?


You’ve probably already had experience with reading long lists of articles tackling questions such as why e-commerce localization is an absolute must if you want to go global and what you should keep in mind when localizing your e-commerce for certain markets, such as Brazil, Russia or France.

To simplify this topic, we will pretend to be journalists or police investigators, and we will be working on the 5Ws of e-commerce localization to find the who, what, where, when, and why.

Hopefully, this mini-guide will help you ask the right questions so e-commerce localization won’t be a hassle, but another successful localization project on your side. Are you ready?

#1. Why do you want to localize your e-commerce into a certain language?

We’ve already mentioned our articles covering localization into various languages. In fact, you might have read some of them and decided to move forward with localizing your e-commerce into French.

In most cases, your decision will bring you the benefits you were looking for. You will enter a new market, boost your lead generation, and increase sales. The real question is: which language you should localize your e-commerce into first?

French may not be the best choice for you if the majority of your organic traffic is coming from Russia or the Netherlands. In this case, localize your online store into these languages first. It will help you reach the people who are already visiting your website – they will learn more about your product, and you will convert a larger number into paying customers.

#2. What will you localize?

There is a strong urge to localize all your content into a certain language. It is only understandable, as you are localizing your e-commerce for another market and you may think that these visitors will want to see the whole website adapted to their needs.

The reality is that the visitors will very likely never visit all the pages of your e-commerce, and some pages might not get any visits at all. In order to save funds, you should decide on which pages actually matter, and start with the localization of that content.

An obvious priority for e-commerce would be definitely localizing your homepage, your landing pages for products and terms and conditions. Even if your e-commerce has hundreds or even thousands of pages, there is a way to localize it painlessly.

You probably know which pages get the most visits, so adjust your localization strategy to this information and prioritize certain content for certain markets, while translating the rest in the background. Yes, it’s possible! Read more about this approach here.

#3. Who and how will localize the content?

Given the huge range of options you have at your disposal, you will need to decide who will be localizing the content you selected and how this will be done. This largely depends on your e-commerce, but if you have a large online shop with hundreds of landing pages with repetitive content, machine translation + human review approach may be just right for you.

Then comes up another question: will you try to work on the localization with your colleagues? Do you want them to just review the machine-translated content or you’d require a freelancer to do that for you?

All these options and also their combinations are possible, so it is up to you to decide how you want to handle your e-commerce localization project. We can, of course, advise you on the best solution, but you have the final saying in this.

#4. Where will you localize the content?

This question actually covers a plethora of sub-questions which you need to keep in mind.

How will the content be exported from your CMS? Do you want a tool which can extract the content directly from your website, or would you prefer exporting the content because your workflow demands this?

Where do you want to keep the localized content (cloud vs. your server)? Do you want to store translations locally on your server and why is this approach paramount to you?

Who will be handling the terminology? How many people will be working on the project, and who will manage them, communicate with them, and how will these translators and reviewers collaborate on the terminology to be used?

Do you need to localize images for the new market? If you plan to enter a specific market, you might need to change the colors or images used on some of your products’ landing pages.

These are just some of the most important questions, of course, but the answer is surprisingly simple! You can go with our system for all these and future questions. Our software is flexible and scalable, so you can be sure that it can meet custom demands.

#5. When do you need the content localized?

This question influences the workflow significantly. If you need the localized version of your e-commerce ready in five days because of time-sensitive sales in a given market, machine-translation and human review is the best approach for you.

If you have passages of text with highly-technical content, you can choose one of our translators with experience in the given field, to make sure that a specific part of the translation process runs smoothly.


Regardless of the size and complexity of your e-commerce, you will need to answer these questions before tackling the localization for a certain market. If you don’t, the whole process will be problematic, as you will constantly shift between various options, and you will not be able to focus on the localization itself.

Luckily, we can provide you with both the software and the advice to make your life as easy as possible. You can test our system for free, and reach out to our experts who will help you with your first steps!

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Written By:

Gosia loves copywriting and product translation. Additionally, she's a content marketing and lolcats junkie.

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