1. What are Amazon's international language requirements?
When it comes to your international listings, Amazon requires you to list your products using the primary language and currency of the Amazon marketplace website in which you are registered to sell.
While you can easily manage an international listing in your native language through Seller Central, you need to have the listing translated to be in compliance.
This isn’t just for the convenience of potential customers – this is good business sense. 80% percent of customers would rather buy products if the product description is in their own language, according to a recent survey.
A properly translated listing also makes a big difference.
Poorly written ad copy causes potential customers to distrust the credibility of a product or brand, and they’ll look elsewhere for one that seems more professional or legitimate.
There is also a language requirement for customer service, in which you must be prepared to respond quickly to customer contacts in the language of the Amazon marketplace website in which you are registered to sell.
This is a great reason to use Amazon FBA for selling internationally, as they will handle all of the customer service for you, and in the correct language.
2. Should I create new product listings from scratch for each Amazon marketplace?
If you are using the BIL tool to create volume offers across multiple global marketplaces, your best strategy is to first optimize the source listing (the original listing).
Then, use the BIL tool if available to populate the global marketplaces with your listing. After that, you can customize each with the proper translations and other local optimizations needed for that particular marketplace. If you are selling a unique product or a small inventory of products, or only in a very limited amount of marketplaces, then it may be best to create individual listings from scratch for your products.
This will give you greater control over your individual listings, and save you time by not having to deal with translation issues that the Amazon tool might create.
What do I need to know about creating listings for European Amazon marketplaces?
Through AGS, you have the ability to sell in any of Amazon’s European Marketplaces under a Unified Seller Account.
This means you can sell in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, while creating and managing product listings through one account and interface.
However, selling in 5 different countries comes with challenges.
It’s very likely your product will sell for a different price point in each region, so use Amazon seller tools to study the marketplace for the right price to compete for conversions.
You will also have to optimize your listing for each individual country.
One of the main ways you have to do this is through having your listing translated into the local language. You need to do this for both compliance and sales.
When translating your listing, you also need to be aware of the differences in meanings of words between languages.
Even in English, this can be an issue — for example, a flashlight in the USA vs a torch in AUS. You will also need to do need keyword research in the foreign marketplace’s language. Translation errors and local slang could lead you to poor keyword choices if not researched properly. You might want to Google your brand and product’s names in a slang (or “urban”) dictionary for a different marketplace.
For instance, you wouldn’t want to receive a “gift” in Germany – because in German, the word gift means poison! When optimizing your listing, you will need to consider the product title, description, bullet points, and getting new product reviews — all which may change when translated into the language of a foreign country.
It’s a good idea to hire a native speaker to perform your translations. It’s even better if that person is both familiar with how Amazon’s algorithm works, as well as being a strong copywriter. One final tip — be sure to convert the units of measurement from your local market to those used in Europe, because shoppers in Europe will not want to waste their time trying to figure out inches to centimeters for your product.
3. How should I tailor my listings for shoppers on Amazon Japan?
Listing for shoppers on Amazon Japan have their own set of quirks.
Like selling in Europe, your listing needs to be optimized for the Japanese market.
However, a translation is not so straightforward as going from English to French, for example. This is because Japan has 3 alphabets — which makes listing optimization much more challenging.
In fact, this makes using an automated translation system a big mistake, because you are far more likely to have errors due to the complexity involved.
There are also no keyword tools and shortcuts available, so everything has to be done manually.
This makes hiring someone with Japanese language proficiency invaluable to your efforts. Another key difference are the kinds of images that work. Japanese shoppers are very receptive to annotated images that explain the product’s use cases and benefits clearly.
Research has shown that Japanese consumers will tend to buy local before international, so it’s a good strategy to localize your product as much as possible.
This can include using Japanese models in photos; and having all labels, instructions, interfaces, and graphics translated into Japanese. By making potential customers feel more comfortable with your product, you increase your chance of sales.
4. How can I optimize the listing copy for cultural differences in different marketplaces?
Each international marketplace will naturally have cultural differences from your native marketplace. This can often be seen in the response to marketing copy.
As close as Germany and UK or France are geographically, customers respond to different kinds of messaging.
Germans are known to be more receptive to factual product information and really pay attention to details.
In the US, customers respond better to emotional copy-writing appeals. In the UK, customers would appreciate some humor in your marketing, be it via a “play on words”, cheeky joke, or irony.
Differences like this make it all that more essential to hire a native speaker to translate or write your international listings.
This should be more than just a speaker, but someone who is aware of the cultural differences and knows how to write the most appealing copy for that country’s shoppers.
How should I optimize the product title for different Amazon marketplaces?
A great listing title educates customers about the product, and has the right keywords to help it show up in search. You have between 150-250 title characters to make an impression.
Titles need to be readable so that customers know immediately what the product is. Correct capitalization and spelling are a must.
Amazon has a basic formula for titles in each product category that must be adhered to.
All category titles begin with the brand, then list the product name.
This “scientific” formula works the best across all Amazon categories: What the Product Is + Brand + 1-2 Use Cases + 1-2 Features; include Major Keywords.
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The trick is to research new keywords in the language used in each individual marketplace where you’re selling.
5. How do I find the right keywords to use for my international Amazon listings?
Ideally, you should have a native speaker who understands Amazon perform keyword research for you.
Due to differences in language and culture, product names can be very different from one place to another, so it’s best to have someone aware of the nuances handle it.
However, a great way to find your main foreign language keyword is to type your main English keyword into the Amazon search bar for the foreign market you are targeting.
You can then use this keyword to begin your keyword research utilizing a keyword tool that covers that region.
An example of this is Sonar Tool, which covers all of Europe and is free. Other options include AMZ Tracker, which is available in Japan, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, the US and India; or MerchantWords.
With complicated languages such as Japanese or Chinese, having a native speaker perform the research will give you better results.
6. What are the different ways to translate product descriptions?
There are 4 options for translating product descriptions for your listings into the language of their marketplace:
(a) Use the Amazon proprietary tool Translate Your Products (TYP)
(b) Try to do it yourself using Google Translate or a similar free tool.
(c) Hire low-priced but less reliable translators through a website like Fivver or Upwork.
(d) Hire a professional Amazon listing translator, who is a native speaker, has experience with Amazon, copy-writing ability, and can perform high-level keyword research.
For accuracy and effectiveness, (d) is the best possible choice for successfully launching your products into new international marketplaces.
How do you best adjust the creatives (Images & Videos) for a new marketplace?
The first thing to do is research. Check out the listings for the best selling products and brands in your category in your target marketplace.
Look closely at what they are doing. What kind of images and videos are they using? How many? Do they have text? What kind?
In most cases, you’ll find that the competition has already done the research for you. Simply copy what works. Working with a marketer or professional agency who translates listings for your new marketplace can be a real asset in finding out this information.
Other best practices for adjusting your images and videos for international markets come down to languages and cultural differences.
Carefully research cultural differences in your new market to see how people respond to images or videos, and what kinds seem to work best.
To use an example we mentioned before, Japanese customers respond better to annotated images. Find out what triggers a good response in your target market, and adjust accordingly.
Changing the languages of any text on images, video voice-over audio, or graphics is also recommended.
Be sure that any changes are correctly translated into proper grammar and utilize appropriate local language keywords.
Take note of marketplace rules and restrictions carefully. Refer to the Listing Guidelines, which can be found in the Help pages for each individual marketplace. For instance, Amazon Europe does not allow multiple sets of images, so your images and graphics will need to contain translations in multiple languages.
7. How does EBC/A+ content work with selling internationally?
If you are an Amazon Vendor using A+ content or an Amazon Brand Registered Seller using Enhanced Brand Content (EBC), you have access to a powerful conversion influencing tool that allows you to tell your brand story, and add videos and graphics to your listing.
The good news is, all of this will work for you in a new international market.
However, in order for it to be effective, you will have to translate all of it into the language of your new marketplace.
As we described above, you will also have to perform keyword research, modify any sales copy for cultural differences, change the voice-over on your videos, and translate the text on any graphics.
Again, DO your research. We can’t stress this enough.
You will need to optimize your A+/EBC Content in the same way that you would optimize your listing.
Expanding your Amazon sales internationally is a great opportunity — and one that’s easy to make mistakes while doing. To do it right, be sure to carefully optimize your listings to reflect new languages, cultural differences, keywords, and Amazon global selling requirements.
When translating your listing to a foreign language, you’ll get the best results from hiring a professional translator who is a native speaker, has familiarity with Amazon, can perform high-level keyword research, and understand how to write effective copy for that marketplace.
At YLT translations, we specialize Amazon listing translations for the European marketplace, and are one of the few services offering listing translations services for Amazon Japan. When you’re ready to start selling internationally on Amazon, contact the YLT team for a free review of your Amazon international listings.
It’s no secret to learn how to expand internationally on Amazon and be successful doing it — it’s all about having your listings properly translated and optimized for global selling.