How to Translate Amazon Product Descriptions? If you’re managing a product inventory or are looking to sell your creations online, you will inevitably cross paths with this global e-commerce titan. Amazon has a vast global reach that allows for connecting with billions of users all over the world!
It doesn’t take a genius to recognize the fundamental role of translating Amazon product descriptions to unlock the potential of sprawling markets. Thus, well-translated product descriptions are crucial to stand apart from your competitors and to form a positive initial impression among your international prospects.
This article is designed with that goal in mind: to guide you through understanding the process of translating Amazon product descriptions.
The Stakes of Amazon Product Descriptions
Amazon product descriptions are a vital element in online selling, as they play a significant role in persuading a consumer to purchase or bypass a product. When a buying search is carried out via Google, an Amazon product almost invariably appears among the top search results. Therefore, these descriptions are frequently accessed and serve as reference points in the vast universe of online searching.
It’s not uncommon for customers to initially seek out their desired product from local suppliers (due to ethical concerns or to save on delivery fees), before resorting to Amazon when these smaller businesses do not have the item in stock. Because, yes, Amazon nearly always has every product in stock, at any hour of the day or night. Thanks to its Prime program, offering one-day delivery, and its awe-inspiring logistical network, Amazon continues to expand its market dominance.
However, this rapid rise has come with certain questionable practices. It’s not unusual to hear merchants complain that resellers, particularly from China, literally copy their product descriptions and photos to offer counterfeit versions at low prices. Additionally, due to the variety of products offered on Amazon, it is common to encounter descriptions with dubious syntax, incoherent, or entirely irrelevant compared to the product image. In other instances, units of measurement are not translated, and texts are not at all adapted to the product’s target audience.
While it might seem amusing when it concerns a language “blunder” for a common and inexpensive product, these “errors” can carry a high cost, both in terms of brand image and lost profits.
What are the Risks of Poorly Translated Amazon Product Descriptions?
When you reach the stage of selling your products on Amazon, you’ve already overcome many hurdles: market research, feasibility evaluation, product design, marketing strategy, and product listing creation. As such, you might view the translation of your product descriptions as a simple, quick task. This is a mindset that you need to let go!
In reality, translation is a crucial step that you cannot afford to downplay, lest you jeopardize all the previous work due to a poor translation. But what exactly constitutes a poor translation?
A poor translation is an imprecise one, not carried out by a specialized translator. While one might consider an Amazon product description to be simple and trivial, in truth, many products utilize vocabulary specific to their domain. When you need to adapt precise measurements to a different measurement system based on the country, consider crucial technical details for choosing a product, or highlight contraindications, it’s safe to say that an automatic translator won’t cut it.
Sure, you’ll get a quick and free result, but you expose yourself to several significant risks. First and foremost, you risk damaging your image. This is particularly risky on Amazon, as prospective buyers can switch to a competitor’s product with a single click, without even having to leave the site!
If the translation error is amusing, this prospect might share it with their friends, or even worse: they could share your Amazon product description on social media to mock it. This is precisely what you want to avoid when expanding internationally!
You could also trigger errors with serious consequences for a user if they decide to buy anyway. This could range from disappointment due to a product not matching the Amazon product listing’s promise, to a lawsuit due to the absence of a significant contraindication in the target language.
Amazon, and the internet in general, represent both a paradise and a battlefield for e-commerce: no one will notice a well-translated Amazon product listing, but everyone will remember a poorly-translated one – and this mistake will be catastrophic for your foreign enterprise, in terms of both brand image and financial results.