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Everything you need to know about translation in the retail sector

translation in the retail sector

The retail sector has undergone significant transformation due to the evolution in consumer behaviour. The boom in emerging technologies and globalisation have given rise to the imperative need for translation in the retail sector. However, many companies still don't allocate the necessary resources to cover this demand, which puts them at risk of making serious mistakes that could affect their brand reputation. Here we will discuss some key ideas about translation in the retail sector.

Translation in the retail sector is an investment, not an expenditure

Many companies consider translation to be an unnecessary expense and try to reduce the cost to a minimum, often trusting machine translations to manage their translations. Unfortunately, this can lead to mistranslations with undesired consequences; many hilarious translation errors that have gone viral on social networks have been found in supermarkets.

Translation projects should be given the importance they deserve, from providing the right quote to trusting them to professional and native translators. A well-planned process with the support of a team of professional translators can only be a success, as all the stages of the translation process are closely monitored and the language register is adjusted to fit the requirements. A translation consists in maintaining a brand's tone of voice and this is crucial for a company's corporate image. Compliance with the laws that require supermarkets and other points of sale to show all signs in local languages and a store's commitment to the brands its distributes are also important reasons to see translation as an investment and not an expense.

The consumer and retail industry is in need of translators.

Due to the nature of the business, the retail sector generates massive volumes of content to be translated. The global dimension of many large commercial establishments, the resources allocated to marketing and the endless product portfolio are some reasons why brand activity generates such large volumes of material. Content to be translated includes:

  • Catalogues and brochures
  • Advertising at the point of sale and signage
  • Product descriptions
  • User manuals, packaging and after-sale material
  • Human resources documentation
  • Internal and external communication, marketing and magazine inserts

The growing adoption of digital technologies among consumers is behind the digitisation of the sector

The change in retail consumer behaviour is forcing companies to incorporate technology to ensure their customers are satisfied. The increase in the use of digital technologies requires a digital strategy in order for companies to expand their reach.

The growth of online retail, which includes many markets specialising in home delivery, forces companies to create more sophisticated and dynamic websites, even acting as an e-commerce. Given this scenario, the online presence of brands is no longer just an option, and if supermarkets want to remain competitive, their online channel must play an increasingly important part of their core business.

Digital transformation in the retail sector has opened the doors to a new business model. This means, however, that brands must localise their websites to the local language, and even the languages most commonly used by foreign residents in big cities. Even for point-of-sale conversions, translation in the retail sector plays an essential role, as 87% of shoppers start their search for products online, but they prefer to shop in a physical store. For this reason, a bad translation of your website could mean the loss of a customer in your physical store.

If you'd like to know how our team of native professional translators can help your translation or localisation project for the retail sector, regardless of the size of your market, please don't hesitate to contact us. We'd love to help!