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Amazon Product Listing Translations: Common Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by Jimi Patel | April 14, 2020

If you want to sell globally on Amazon, your listing copy will have to speak the language of your customers. Using your English content won't work and simply translating the copy isn't enough. Ever tried using Google Translate to say something and had a local laugh at you?

If you want to sell globally on Amazon, your listing copy will have to speak the language of your customers. Using your English content won’t work and simply translating the copy isn’t enough. Ever tried using Google Translate to say something and had a local laugh at you? Your listing in the international marketplace will have the same effect. If you are not professionally translating Amazon listing copy, then you are limiting your brand’s potential for growth. This not a random observation, it is backed by stats:

Your listing in the international marketplace will have the same effect. If you are not professionally translating Amazon listing copy, then you are limiting your brand's potential for growth. This not a random observation, it is backed by stats

While going international on Amazon, brands think of everything: the tax structure, fulfillment options, export laws, but they tend to forget the most basic yet essential thing that can affect significant metrics like traffic, conversion rates and ultimately sales: Listing copy translation. They opt for shortcuts without realizing that shortcuts don’t work on Amazon. Take a look at these common mistakes Amazon seller make while creating international Amazon listings and try to avoid them while you optimize your foreign listings:

Mistake #1 Thinking That The Whole World Speaks English

Being English speakers, it's okay to assume that the rest of the world also speaks English. Although English is a globally used language, most people usually understand only tourist-level English, but they are not comfortable reading English.

Being English speakers, it’s okay to assume that the rest of the world also speaks English. Although English is a globally used language, most people usually understand only tourist-level English, but they are not comfortable reading English. And buying online is all about having easy-to-understand and clearly written descriptions. Shoppers might not read the whole listing, but they do hastily scan it to find the crucial product information like material, working warranty, or size. If the listing is not translated, they might have a hard time getting the information they need to make a purchase. Let us put it this way: If you are making it hard for your buyers to get information about your product, you are, in a way, telling them to go somewhere else. 

Mistake #2: Using Computerized Translators

Most of the translation tools including Amazon Translate makes your listing content sound like it has been undertaken by someone with poor vocabulary skills. These tools work great only to read the menu at a restaurant or to write a message to your hotel before arrival while traveling. It shouldn't be your go-to source to translate Amazon listing copy unless you want to create an unprofessional and mediocre listing.

It’s free, it’s easy to access and it saves so much of my time. Why should I not use Google Translate? We have listed our three major reasons which will make you understand how you are jeopardizing the global selling venture at Amazon by using automated translation tools:

  • They are Inaccurate: Most of the translation tools including Amazon Translate makes your listing content sound like it has been undertaken by someone with poor vocabulary skills. These tools work great only to read the menu at a restaurant or to write a message to your hotel before arrival while traveling. It shouldn’t be your go-to source to translate Amazon listing copy unless you want to create an unprofessional and mediocre listing. Let us understand this with an example: the automated translation tool won’t understand the difference between words like “classic car” and “old car.” We all know these two things are very different, but sadly the translator won’t know this.
  • They are Inappropriate: The handy and free computerized tools like Google Translate may tempt you to use it for your listing translation, but it may ruin your brand identity and destroy customer trust. How? Computerized translations can make hilarious and serious mistakes; sometimes, those mistakes may even hurt someone’s culture and language. For example, when Hyundai introduced Hyundai Kona, it had to change the name of the model in the Portuguese market because “Kona” sounds very similar to the Portuguese word “cona,” which is a very vulgar expression for the female genital.
  • They are Ineffective: The automated tools will just provide a word-to-word translation, which is neither accurate nor effective. Every marketplace has a different culture and has different desires, slangs and ways of being appealed to. For example, one country may respond better to facts, while one country may respond better to emotional style of writing (U.S. vs. Germany). Along with translating a listing, it needs to be localized as well. And this is something only a human translator can do.

Mistake #3: Hiring Cheap Human Translators With No Amazon Experience

Finding translators is really easy, but finding good ones can be challenging. Don't hire your neighbor's son, who has just finished his studies in Germany; he does not have the knowledge required to write content for a retail giant like Amazon. When you are selling in an uber-competitive marketplace like Amazon, your listing copy should highlight the USPs of the product and explain what makes it better from every other competitor.

Finding translators is really easy, but finding good ones can be challenging. Don’t hire your neighbor’s son, who has just finished his studies in Germany; he does not have the knowledge required to write content for a retail giant like Amazon. When you are selling in an uber-competitive marketplace like Amazon, your listing copy should highlight the USPs of the product and explain what makes it better from every other competitor. If you are really looking to boost conversions and leave an impact on the buyers, it is necessary and not optional that you hire an Amazon listing optimization expert and not a random translator. Also, when creating a copy for Amazon listing, there are many character limits to keep in mind and many rules to follow. Will your translator be aware of a long list of rules and regulations for Amazon listing? Probably not.  

Mistake #4: Translating But Not Optimizing The Listing

Even if you are able to find a professional and experienced translator from Upwork or Fiverr, he won’t be able to write a listing copy that appeals to Amazon’s algorithm. If your native translator is not clued up on how to do keyword research for the target marketplace, then your listing won’t be found. And if you think translating your original listing’s keywords in the foreign language will work, then you are terribly wrong. Because of differences in meaning, you won’t be getting relevant traffic. Although shoppers will click on your listing, they won’t buy your product because this was not what they were looking for. This will dramatically reduce your click-through rates, conversion and organic ranking.

Mistake #5: Relying 100% On Amazon Translate

Amazon has introduced a paid-for listing translation service for sellers looking to sell globally. Sellers might think of it as the most convenient and efficient solution for listing translation; however, it’s not that great. Amazon describes it as a “neural machine translation service that delivers fast, high-quality, and affordable language translation.” As the translations done by Amazon are automated, they are no better than translations done by Google translator. The English text is literally translated into the entered language and so it does not appeal to the local audience. Plus, it’s not a free tool. It charges a hefty amount for each translation. Instead of wasting your hard-earned money on using Amazon Translate, it would be best if you hire a local translator with Amazon knowledge and get your Amazon listings translated the right way.

Mistake #6: Not Converting Measurements

Not converting your measurement in the foreign listing might lead to returns, negative reviews, or lost sales. A shopper's idea of the size of the product depends on what measurement you use in your country.

Not converting your product’s measurement in the foreign listing might lead to returns, negative reviews, or lost sales. A shopper’s idea of the size of the product depends on what measurement you use in your country. If you forget to translate them, your customers may get too small or too large product. Eventually, they will get frustrated and either return your product or leave a negative review on your listing. If the shopper is confused seeing the not-translated measurements, they won’t waste time to convert the listing on Google; they will simply buy from other listings where measurement makes sense.

Mistake #7: Forgetting That The Listing Also Contains Infographic Images & A+ Page

listing translation experts

You translated your listing content? Good job. But what about the infographics and A+ Pages? As they both are very much a part of your listing, they need to be localized as well. As mentioned above, different marketplaces need to be appealed differently. This rule applies not just for the content but also for graphics. You might also need to change some of the images along with the copy of your infographics and A+ Pages. All these might sound like too much, but believe me; this will really work wonders on your conversion rates.

Mistake #8: Not Hiring eStore Factory’s Amazon Translation Services

If you are serious about scaling your business globally and want to avoid these embarrassing translation mistakes, you will want your foreign listings to be handled by professional and experienced Amazon Listing Translation Service like eStore Factory.

If you are serious about scaling your business globally and want to avoid these embarrassing translation mistakes, you will want your foreign listings to be handled by professional and experienced Amazon Listing Translation Service like eStore Factory. We offer German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese Amazon listing language translations. Being Amazon listing optimization experts, our Translation Experts will create listings that won’t just appeal to Amazon shoppers but also its algorithm. Contact Us now!