Why Localization Matters: How E-Commerce Businesses Build with Localization

by Drew Evans
3 Minute Read

With the holiday season just around the corner, e-commerce business are bracing for high volumes of shoppers. And since so many consumers are foregoing in-person shopping due to the effects of COVID-19, many are staying at home and relying on online stores for the gift giving season.

But with online retailers focused on ensuring products are fully stocked and ready to ship, many haven’t focused on the customer experience - namely, localization. According to recent research from Stripe, a leading online payment portal, 74% of online checkouts aren’t localized. On top of that, 9 out of every 10 lost sales online came from checkout page failures. 

So just how important is localization for e-commerce businesses? We’ll break down just a few of the crucial factors that can make or break an online sale.


Though we’re currently in the thick of the holiday season, not all countries adhere to the same timelines and schedules for when they’re most likely to shop for certain products. For example, in the US, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping holidays of the year. However, in China and Japan, Single’s Day on November 11th continues to be one of the biggest shopping days every year.

So while it’s important to prepare for the big annual shopping days, it’s just as important to understand your customers and make sure you align with their plans. Selling in the US without plans for Black Friday may be a mistake.

DO Sweat the Details

Identifying the content that needs to be translated is one of the common challenges that nearly every company faces when preparing for localization. For e-commerce businesses, localizing product descriptions, names, and the basic website copy are musts. 

But it’s just as important to make sure that the details are also localized. If your customers are based in Europe, what currency types are they likely to be using? Are there specific payment types or regulations that must be followed? Saving your customers the hassle and localizing these details up front can save sales.

Pay Attention to Reviews

One of the areas for focus that many companies miss is user reviews. According to their recent research report Can’t Read, Won’t Buy, CSA Research found that 73% of users prefer products with localized user reviews, even if the website itself isn’t translated. Consumers want to read reviews from users like them - even if that similarity is just through language. 

• • •

While it’s important to understand the varying differences between consumer behaviors in different locales, it’s vital to make sure that each locale has the tailored customer experience that they want and expect. 

To learn more about how you can optimize and plan a customer engagement strategy like this, watch our recent webinar Rethinking Your Customer Engagement Strategy to help you plan for the future.

If you’re thinking about localizing your content to expand globally, be sure to request a live demo of the Lilt platform today and chat with an expert to see how adaptive machine translation can improve your efforts.