Top Ecommerce Platforms for your Business’s Multilingual Needs

Building a multilingual website is not just a simple obligatory step anymore. When you want to make your business global by connecting with the global audience, you have to make sure that your website is loaded with such features and tools.

Why you should have a website?

  • Everyone else does, why shouldn’t you?
  • It helps you reach new customers.
  • Showcasing your company’s products & services.
  • Grants you omnipresence.
  • People always look for businesses online, if they don’t find yours, you will stay behind.

But having a mere basic ecommerce website is not going to do the trick for your business. Your website needs to be versatile and robust when it comes to catering to different types of visitors. Having a website with multiple languages is the first step to do this.

Why make your website multilingual?

  • It makes your website look more customer-centric.
  • Your business gets a global appeal.
  • Enhances your website’s visibility in search engines, hence increasing traffic
  • It helps you expand into new markets and builds brand recognition.

The English language is dominant currently but other languages have seen tremendous growth in the past 19 years (2000–2019). (Image Source)

The Chinese language has seen a huge growth in numbers as per Internet users in the past two decades. They consist of 19.3% of the global population using the internet behind English which consists of 25.2%.

Arabic population using the internet might have been less in number but they have shown an unparalleled growth of 8917% in the last 19 years. Russian, Malaysian are also some languages gaining presence in terms of users. With such numbers and growth, a multilingual website is a real necessity for any business that plans to go beyond geographical boundaries.

You see the pattern, Right?

English is not the only language internet users will demand/need their content anymore. In fact, English has shown relatively less growth than other languages. The first step for them to connect with your brand is to understand the content. What better way to do it than give it to them in their native tongue with a multilingual website?

No wonder, There is a shift away from the English language. The business owners looking to take their business online have to take care of this.

Creating your own multilingual store

Now creating a perfect online store is a challenge in itself. You are aware that building a website inhouse can be just too much work. So picking the right ecommerce platform becomes a logical resort. And when it comes to doing so, be sure those platforms are equipped well enough to give your business a global appeal along with an online presence.

So here are some ecommerce platforms that can take your business online.

StoreHippo

StoreHippo is another platform that can make your website polylingual. The best thing about it is that these features come inclusive of the subscription you pay for. There is no need to buy/install/code any external add-ons. Just pick one of their plans and get started and your multilingual website will be ready. All you have to do is select the languages you want your store translated in and apply the setting in backend just once to get it done.

Features

  • Support and access to unlimited languages.
  • Automatic Dynamic Translation.
  • Custom rule-based translation.
  • Support of mobile app translation.
  • Bulk multilingual translations settings at the backend.
  • Auto-Translation of the checkout page.
  • Smart translations based on demographics and settings you choose in the backend.

Beware

  • Limited translation support on email and text notifications.
  • As far as multi-language functionalities go, we couldn’t pinpoint any other drawback on this platform.

Shopify

Shopify is one of the most commonly used ecommerce platforms and one of the most talked-about website builders. Although they don’t provide dynamic multilingual translations integrated with their builder, there are a lot of third-party extensions in the Shopify app store. These apps can easily help your Shopify powered store turn polyglot. Apps like Weglot, Langshop, Langify, etc are well known to give your Shopify powered store ability to translate itself in multiple languages.

Features

  • Simple autotranslations.
  • Easy to use interface for most of the apps.
  • Support for RTL and SEO languages.
  • Access to unlimited languages.
  • Rules-based translations.

Beware

  • All these functionalities are only active after installing a third-party extension from the Shopify app store.
  • Some of these plugins can create conflict with other plugins installed in your store.
  • These plugins can also create theme-conflict while installing and crash your site.
  • These plugins are paid plugins, which means it’s not covered under Shopify subscription.

Magento

Magento is another well-known feature-rich ecommerce platform that supports multiple languages on the websites it powers. In Magento, to create a polyglot website, you need to configure the site’s localized version. To start, you need to download and install a language pack for Magento. If you need any language to adjust to a specific local situation, then you can easily make all those adjustments. Basically, you need to have a language pack installed in your Magento to make your site multilingual.

Features

  • Support for unlimited languages.
  • Auto Dynamic Translations.
  • Addition of custom phrases.
  • Bulk Translations
  • Smart Translations based on location.
  • Search and Translate features.

Beware

  • Individual language packs are paid and not included. Might be heavy on the pocket.
  • Security concerns will always be there due to the open-source nature of Magento.
  • Installing multilingual functionality can be too complex for a newbie.
  • Other multi-language extensions are also separately installed as third party addons with the additional plugins.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is another ecommerce platform that can help you take your business online and reach a global audience with a polyglot website. Basically started as a Wordpress plugin, it has come a long way. Generally, WordPress websites don’t have the multilingual functionality activated by default. You will need to install a plugin to enable multiple languages in your online store. Some examples include plugins like WPML and Polylang.

Features (after considering multiple Wordpress plugins)

  • Automatic dynamic translations.
  • Support for RTL translation.
  • Multilingual support for SEO.
  • Support for unlimited languages.
  • Options to send emails to clients in the native language.

Beware

  • Being a WordPress platform, it relies on external plugins to activate multilingual functionality.
  • If you are new on WordPress, the installation, and use of plugins can be difficult.
  • Different plugins provide access to different numbers of languages.
  • There is always a scope for a theme conflict or compatibility issues with other plugins.

Conclusion

Well, as you can see, there is no shortage of online platforms that can help you turn your online store multilingual. Some of them can give you this feature integrated, inclusive with the subscription you pay for, while some need additional plugins. With a global reach, your users do expect perfect translations from your website.

English might be a language commonly used by people to communicate worldwide. But with rapid internet penetration across the globe, people increasingly prefer to communicate in their native language. In such a scenario building a multilingual website has the potential to boost your reach and conversions manifold.

Take the first steps towards having multiple languages on your online store. Check these platforms out yourself, sign up for their trial versions.

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Abhishek Aggarwal

He is an ecommerce expert with 7+ years of experience.With hands-on experience of handling B2B and B2C ecommerce projects