Why professional translators are cost-effective for your e-commerce?

We want to share with you part of the blarlo.com experience: translating e-commerce to the whole world. We will do this by taking an example of a case study although we can reveal the conclusion to you now: Using professional translators to translate for your e-commerce is COST-EFFECTIVE.

This example takes a medium-sized e-commerce, with a significant monthly volume of new products and over 30,000 visitors per month to their site (we will focus just on the website in this case study).

Firstly, it’s important to note some basic concepts in order to be able to measure the impact on an e-commerce business:

  • Traffic: Number of people visiting the website.
  • Conversion rate: Percentage of traffic that converts to a sale (percentage of people that visit and buy).
  • Average purchase: Average purchase price paid by customers for each order.

When approaching e-commerce translations, we have the following options:

  • Automatic translation: 100% automatic translation done by a machine.
  • Human translation: Done by a person and can be assisted by a machine in the translation process, although not in the translation itself.
  • Translation Memories + Human Translation: Done by a person where the machine, as well as assisting in the process, detects parts of the text that are repeated or that have already been translated and avoids having to repeat this work.
  • Translation Memories + Automatic Translation + Human Translation: With this option, first the text is translated with translation memories and glossaries. Then, there is an automatic translation process and after post-editing and revision by a person.

Now we will focus on our case study and analyse each of these options and their benefits.

 

Data on our e-commerce:

  • Traffic: 30,000 monthly users.
  • Conversion rate: 4%.
  • Average purchase: €100.00.
  • New products to translate each month: 500
  • Average word per product: 200

 

As a basis, we will start with machine translation as its cost is zero and it allows us to make the initial calculations for our business. In this case, for a new language/country, our case study would be as follows:

 

30,000 visitors x 4% conversion rate = 1,200 purchases per month

1,200 purchases x €100.00 average purchase price = 120,000 euros in sales per month

 

Translation Needs

500 products x 200 words = 100,000 words to translate

100,000 words x 0 translation cost = €0 translation cost

 

Monthly Results

Sales = 120,000 euros

Translation costs = 0 euros

 

Revenue: 120,000 euros

 

The main advantage is that the translation cost is 0.

The disadvantage is the quality of the translation, which in some cases can have serious errors or create enough mistrust that the customer ends up not finishing the purchasing process. From our experience and data verified in the sector, in processes involving professional translators the conversion rate is on average 15% more than an automatic translation.

 

Also, the automatic translation has an impact on refunds and customer service queries because of the uncertain quality and an unclear understanding of content and products.

 

Processes Involving Professional Translation

 

In processes involving professional translators, we estimate a conversion rate of 4.6, due to the better quality content. This can vary a little between each translation method, but the changes are not very significant and the main difference is in the costs of each method.

 

  1. Human Translation

In this option, we assume that the cost of a professional translator is €0.09, which may be less for this volume of monthly content and depends of the language combination. This is the most inefficient option for professional translations, as we have not benefited from using technology with translation memories and glossaries. It is not just the most inefficient, but also has the least consistency and standardisation in the texts as the same messages and terms may be translated differently, which may confuse our SEO strategy.

 

The main advantage is quality.

The disadvantage is cost.

 

The numbers would be as follows:

 

30,000 visitors x 4.6% conversion rate = 1,380 purchases

1,380 purchases x €100.00 average purchase price = 138,000 euros

 

Translation Needs

500 products x 200 words = 100,000 words to translate

100,000 words x €0.08/word translation cost = €8000.00 translation cost

 

Monthly Results

Sales = 138,000.00 euros

Costs = 8,000.00 euros

 

Revenue: 130,000 euros

 

  1. Translation Memories + Human Translation

This option is much more efficient than human translation. The quality is better as you achieve a greater standardisation. In this option, the use of glossaries and memories is aimed at never having to translate what you have already translated again.  As these texts have already been translated by a professional translator, the quality of them is the highest: the only thing that the machine does is replace the translator so that the translator revises the texts.

We have estimated a price of €0.057 per word. This price is very conservative and is used as an example, but the savings can reach 70% compared to human translation, depending on the number of products and how the content varies. With this system, the more you translate, the better the process works.

 

The main advantage is the quality, which is the best.

There are no disadvantages.

 

In our example the numbers would be:

 

30,000 visitors x 4.6% conversion rate = 1,380 purchases

1,380 purchases x €100.00 average purchase price = 138,000 euros

 

500 products x 200 words = 100,000 words to translate

100,000 words x €0.057/word translation cost = €5,700.00 translation cost

 

Sales = 138,000.00 euros

Costs = 5700.00 euros

 

Revenue: 132,300 euros

 

  1. Translation Memories + Automatic Translation + Human Translation:

This process is a very good approach when the cost is a key factor, as it allows us to reduce costs by using an automatic translation process after the memories and glossaries process. In this option, the professional translator carries out a review and post-editing process to guarantee accuracy and good quality texts, although the translation may be too literal than a translation done completely by a professional..

 

The main advantage is the quality/price ratio.

The main disadvantage is that the translation may be more literal.

 

For our example we have estimated a cost of €0.037/word, which may vary depending on the characteristics of the client:

 

30,000 visitors x 4.6% conversion rate = 1,380 purchases

1,380 purchases x €100.00 average purchase price = 138,000 euros

 

500 products x 200 words = 100,000 words to translate

100,000 words x €0.037/word translation cost = € 3,700.00 translation cost

 

Sales = 138,000.00 euros

Costs = 3,700.00 euros

 

Revenue: 134,300 euros

 

At blarlo.com we always use technology in order to optimise our clients’ translations, we design the translation process with you to best suit your needs and to achieve the best translation at a very low price. In e-commerce, the use of technology can reduce translation costs by up to 60% and hiring native professional translators will increase your revenue.

Some tips to help you increase sales and offer a better service on your site:

  • Around 75% of e-shoppers prefer to buy products and services described in their own language, therefore, translating the products on your site will significantly increase your sales.
  • Over 50% of e-commerce clients confirm that they prefer to buy from an online shop that speaks their own language than buy from another shop who do not, even though they offer better discounts.
  • Translating the FAQs, help page and email addresses of customer service can reduce the cost of web support by up to 50%. By using our technology, the process can be quick and easy.
  • Product reviews from customers create 12 times more credibility than content created by the company. Translating these reviews with native professional translators will help you to increase your sales.
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