This is especially true for the ecommerce industry as people will definitely not buy something they don't understand. The whole point of ecommerce business model is to transcend physical and geographical barriers and sell globally. Hence the need for multilingual ecommerce websites as they help target a much wider audience without much incremental efforts or monetary investments. For example if you have a Magento store, making it multilingual can be as simple as adding a language translator extension. If you do international shopping for your products, there is definitely no reason why you shouldn't have a multilingual website.
If you need more convincing here are 5 benefits of multilingual ecommerce websites, covered in some detail.
1. Increased market reach and bottomline
Perhaps the biggest benefit of having a multilingual website is increase in market share and customer base. For example if your online store is in english and catering to only english speaking countries you can simply have a Mandarin version of your store and you will be able to cater to a billion plus chinese market. Or you can have a spanish version of your store and target Spain and whole of Latin America. Increased customer base would mean more revenues and profits.
2. Better Conversions
People love to be addressed in their native language. Having a multilingual store means that you get to convince more customers to buy your products. If you are an English speaker, imagine someone selling you a product in Russian or Chinese. Will you buy it? Even though people in most countries are familiar with English and may already be buying from your English only online store, you still have a huge opportunity of converting many more customers if you pitch to them in their native language.
3. More Customer Satisfaction
Not just better conversions, a multilingual store will also result in more customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. In today's age of commoditized online stores and cut-throat competition, it's great to have satisfied and loyal customers. Customers will appreciate the fact that you care about them enough to create a store in their language. And they will repay will repeat business.
4. Better SEO
Aside from the customer's perspective, having a multilingual store is also good from search engine's point of view. An online store with a country specific domain name, in the country's native language will always have an edge over a global store in English, all other things being constant. An ecommerce website in local language will have tremendous local SEO advantages over language neutral website. You can add your website in local business listings, have local partners and get visibility in local search results.
5. More Trust
If you encounter two similar ecommerce websites - one only in English and the other in English, Chinese, Spanish and French – which one will you trust more? Obviously the later one. You, like many others, would think that the second website would be bigger and would have more presence in countries that speak those 4 languages. You would think the second business is more “global” and would trust it more even though you are an English speaker. Having a multilingual store gives more weightage to your brand as the perception would be that you must have better resources to cater to multiple geographies in a dedicated manner.