The 2015 IRCE Conference was so much fun and as expected, highly informative. The marketing crowd, which made up the majority of exhibitors, is a creative group! This year, the exhibition floor was bigger with more exhibitors than last year, and we engaged in interesting conversations and exchanged ideas with numerous attendees and exhibitors.
During our 3 days of exhibiting, the JR Language Booth was full of activity! We were approached by exhibitors and attendees who were interested in language services, and we discussed their needs. This gave us an opportunity to discuss our products and multilingual solutions for Global Reach. Our flagship solutions were recurrent themes of these discussions:
In these interactions, we were able to gain great insight into the current state of the market. We sensed fascinating trends in the e-commerce market and I’m excited to share with you the ones related to international e-commerce, which is our area of expertise.
1) Multilingual Solutions instead of Cost per word
Clients are looking for website translation solutions for their sites and e-commerce platforms, and they are no longer asking about translation services and cost per word. This indicates a heightened level of understanding regarding the complexity of website translations and the need for automation to eliminate errors and maintain synchronization with different multilingual contents.
2) Multilingual Customer Service
We were thrilled to see that many clients were looking for solutions to help their own clients in the area of customer service. It is now understood that multilingual content is not the only component needed to reach the International market- but an overall multilingual experience, including customer support in their client’s language.
3) Each Market has its own Characteristics
Each country and locale is its own world. One size doesn’t fit all. Different countries and markets have to be understood and reached according to their language, culture, reality and other elements like taxes, duties and distribution chain elements that affect the way business is done in each country. Regulations, market conditions, and client response differ according to a realm of factors such as culture, trust, internet platforms and internet services- all of which need to be considered in the marketing mix.
4) The Marketplace
The marketplace has a special meaning in e-commerce- they are websites that allow engagement and digital trading without the product and buyers being physically present at the same place and time.
Especially in Asia, marketplaces like Amazon and Ebay are very popular and are resources to take into consideration when exposing your products and services. They are a big chunk of the exchanges made in China, for instance.
The power of the marketplace is growing and needs to be analyzed, as do the Marketplaces in other countries. Examples include “Mercado Libre” in Latin America (There are versions of Mercado Libre per country like mercadolibre.com.mx in addition to mercadolibre.com, a virtual market for Latin America) and Tmall in China(Chinese-language website for business-to-consumer retail).
In order to reach your market, you’ve got to learn about its composition and behavior! “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.“
5) Google Translate is Not Good Enough
Finally, people are getting it! Even though Google translate is a great resource, it is not for website translation and it will not help you attract new clients online in other languages. It is good enough to give you a sense of what is being said but is far from being an effective marketing tool.
We also noticed more understanding in the area of machine translation. Clients have more knowledge on commercial trainable machine translation that can be applied to lessen the time to market and help leverage cost.
However, there is an important concept that is still unclear to many clients- it is the fact that technology is not applicable to every content or language pair and that machine translation requires training and human post -editing. It is a great resource when used appropriately but is not magic that can happen with the click of a button.
Overall, the consensus is that International E-commerce brings great opportunity to reach global audiences. It does, however, involve planning, strategy, and localization of content as well as measuring your results to adapt to the characteristics of the market. JR Language has state of the art technology for multilingual solutions that will help you and guide you in your journey to attaining global reach.