Expanding to New Markets? Invest in the Localization Triumvirate for Amazon Listings Success!

Apr 6, 2023



When expanding to new markets, many sellers make the mistake of employing any old translator on Fiverr, or – even worse – running their US listing through machine translations. Relying solely on word-for-word translation won’t capture the essence of what you’re trying to accomplish. To truly captivate your audience and drive conversions, you need the localization triumvirate: a native speaker, a skilled copywriter, and an Amazon expert. 

Otherwise, you lose out on the nuances that make languages such a beautiful thing. The cultural context gets lost in translation, and you wind up with a listing that – at best – confuses the audience, and – at worst – offends them. Moreover, it’s vital to conduct new keyword research per marketplace. Each culture has a different way of defining things; the keywords are different, and need to be generated in the culture that you’re in.

Here’s why.

The Power of a Native Speaker, Copywriter, and Amazon Expert

A native speaker brings not only language expertise but also deep cultural understanding. This ensures that your product listings are adapted to the local language, culture, and preferences. It is, quite literally, speaking to your audience in their language – pop culture references, colloquialisms, vocabulary, and all. Native speakers can create a seamless browsing experience for potential customers, using idioms, metaphors, and references that resonate with the target market.

A skilled copywriter goes beyond translation, using persuasive language, storytelling techniques, and emotional triggers to craft compelling and persuasive product listings. Your product listings are like a sales pitch, and a copywriter can make them engaging, informative, and persuasive enough to convince customers to choose your product over competitors. They can also optimize your listings with relevant keywords for Amazon SEO, helping your products rank higher in search results and gain more visibility. Remember, each market has its own set of keywords. Employ a copywriter that can deftly use those keywords in copywriting that is persuasive, emotive, and compelling.

An Amazon expert is essential to understand the unique style, format, and requirements of the Amazon platform. They can also optimize your listings with the right keywords, bullet points, and formatting to maximize visibility and conversions on Amazon. Furthermore, an Amazon expert can provide insights and recommendations on how to optimize your listings based on the latest developments on the platform, giving you a competitive edge in the marketplace. Last but not least, they ensure that your translated listings comply with Amazon’s guidelines, avoiding potential violations that could result in penalties or account suspensions. For example, “fiberglass.” This word in any market across the globe refers to insulation material. In Germany though, it’s a brand name – which, as you know, is forbidden on Amazon. Only a German native speaker and Amazon expert would make that distinction.

Together, this triumvirate of talents creates a winning combination that helps you stand out in the crowded Amazon marketplace. They ensure that your translated listings not only communicate the right message but also resonate with the target audience, leading to higher customer engagement, positive experiences, and increased sales.

Here’s a Little Bit of Fun.

Many times, our translators come across translation errors caused by sellers who took shortcuts in their listing localizations.

Best case, they’re slight misunderstandings. Take for example “gum” in Spanish; many translators transpose this as “goma,” when it should be “chicle.” Or they turn “iron” into “planchar,” to iron, when the word refers to the particle and not the household appliance.

Perhaps they’re funny errors in translation. Mitsubishi released an awesome new off-road vehicle, the Pajero, which was named after a species of wild cat. However, in Spanish, the word is less than polite (for this, we’re fine with you using Google Translate to tell you what it really means!)! It was embarrassing for Mitsubishi, and it cost millions, because no Spaniard bought the car. Eventually they rebranded it as the Montero.

In Germany, a similar case happened: a car manufacturer released the i-MiEV in 2009. Sales in Germany flopped; only 32,000 units were sold, so production was eventually discontinued. Why? Because “miefen” in German means to be smelly!

Sometimes they’re downright catastrophic. Clairol launched a curling iron that did really well all over the globe – but not in Germany. The iron was named “Mist Stick.” In English, the meaning was supposed to be “fog,” but in German, “Mist” means “manure!” Furthermore, “Mist Stick” sounds very similar to “Miststück” – a derogatory name for a female. The product flopped spectacularly on the German market!

The Localization Triumvirate is Crucial.

Mistakes on the Amazon platform, especially in your communications, can be lethal to your performance. Make sure you find someone who’s got the localization triumvirate: Amazon expert, copywriter, and translator, all in one. That way, nobody will secretly laugh at your listing behind your back!

What are some funny translation errors you’ve seen online? Share them with us!