FAQ: Should You Translate Your Ecommerce Website From English to Arabic?

10 January 2021

Ecommerce, e-commerce, eCommerce, whichever way you spell it, the question remains a frequently asked e-Arabization conundrum; should you translate your ecommerce website from English to Arabic? 

Not so long ago, we were awarded the mammoth task of translating and localizing Amazon.ae, into Arabic. Five million products and ten categories later, you could say we know a little bit about ecommerce and a little more about why successfully Arabizing your online shop can seriously boost your bottom line. 

In this post, we’ve chosen to tackle this timeless topic with three comprehensive reasons why digital businesses should prioritize ecommerce translation. 


Create An Experience: Help Drive Decision Making 

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and take yourself on a tour of your website. Think about your customer’s journey through your product listings and how each and every image, name and description are carefully designed to prompt a purchase decision. 

Now imagine a website experience where the customer viewing your beautiful product images has zero context to guide their decision making, and only the choice to ‘add to basket’.  In this scenario, your customer is missing out on valuable information (size, texture, material, quality, and even purpose) that help customers decide if the product you offer fulfils their needs. 

Not being able to figure out your website is a very real issue faced by customers navigating ecommerce websites that don’t speak their language, and it’s a bounce-inducing, cart-abandoning, user nightmare for 21st century online shoppers; who, above all else, expect an easy, memorable, self-service experience that they can comfortably navigate and enjoy. 

“72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy a product in their own language.”

Not speaking your customer’s language is a barrier to purchase that results in shorter session time and less active browsing on your ecommerce site. Empowering your customers with the ability to read and learn more about your products in their own language helps drive confident decision making and sales. 


Talk to Your Customer: Optimize Your Content To Fit The Culture 

Localize your content to fit the culture of the customer you want to talk to, and show them that you care! Understanding the culture of your audience and adapting your content is a key part of successful ecommerce marketing, especially in the MENA region, where there are particularly strong ties between culture, religion and the way people search for products and make purchase decisions. 

At e-Arabization, we usually localize marketing material because it takes content beyond word-for-word translation, and helps deliver messages and ideas that address the cultural nuances that differ from one Arabic speaking nation to another. 

A Lebanese person may greet you with “bonjour” but someone from the GCC may prefer “salam”, and even though it’s only one word to you, to your customer, one word is all it takes to bridge the gap between you, and show your audience that you understand them. 


Invest in Arabic SEO: a Gold Mine of Organic Traffic 

According to AMEinfo, the internet is home to 219 million users from the Arab world, but Arabic content only accounts for 0.6% of the available content online. This means there is a huge audience of Arabic-speaking customers in the world, and a huge shortage of Arabic content to serve their market. 

Do your research and find out if your products and services are being searched for in Arabic. If they are, then congratulations, you’ve just taken the first step towards the keyword research you need to generate relevant traffic for the Arabic version of your ecommerce site. 

Arabic SEO is not the same as English SEO, so you cannot rely on translating your English website’s keywords to get results. Localize your SEO efforts to ensure that your wording matches the type of wording and phrasing that your desired audience uses, and hire a professional Arabic copywriter to develop a content marketing strategy that delivers! 


So, Are You In? 

As with any business decision, we recommend gathering data about your customers before you begin the translation process, because the origin of your core customers will influence the Arabic dialect we would recommend for your website. 

If you’re daunted by the prospect of translating and localizing your ecommerce site, then read our blog post, How to Increase Your Traffic With Translation, where we suggest translating popular content first, so you can road-test the second-language experience, and see how the addition of Arabic impacts and influences customer behaviour on your site. 


If you’re still on the fence, then the numbers don’t lie! 

Every month, we translate upwards of four million product descriptions, and we’ve experienced a year on year increase in ecommerce translation that reflects the ever-increasing trend towards a global marketplace that connects customers from everywhere. 

The fact is, wherever you are, language is the key to unlocking new markets, building relationships, and increasing brand awareness, and investing in translation is an act of business growth that offers a uniquely high return on investment.


Want to know more about ecommerce translation, or want to drop a quick marhaba our way? Visit e-arabization.com and check out how we localize online shops into Arabic, and connect local businesses with the global marketplace.