Multilingual eCommerce Strategies
Multilingual eCommerce allows you to sell your products globally and in the local language. However, there are several strategies that you can adopt, and you need to consider what would work best for your brand. Let’s imagine a brand that sells cooking appliances, then take a look at what content strategy, information architecture, and content modeling could be for this brand.
The content strategy for the appliance’s brand is to create compelling cooking recipes and feature the appliances that are used in the recipe. The featured appliances can be directly bought from the recipes.
The webshop contains both recipes and the product catalog. The recipes play a role in providing a reason for customers to come back and provide an inspirational funnel for new potential customers via SEO.
If you’re selling internationally but from a single location, it could be natural to have a one-to-one translation of your product catalog and marketing content. In this case, it’s the same products that are available for all languages. All recipes used for marketing are also the same. A direct translation of your product catalog so customers can view product information in their language.
For multinational brands, you might have different products available in different countries. In this scenario, you would like to handle the products separately for the different countries while still translating the marketing content one-to-one. A hybrid catalog information architecture for multilingual eCommerce.
You might even want to have different fulfillment pipelines for each country to manage local warehouse delivery synchronization. This is managed by defining fulfillment pipelines for each country or region in Crystallize.
The core of this eCommerce setup is where we have the actual products, which in this case are appliances and recipes. In addition, you would typically have basic shapes like folders and blog posts. The content modeling for this brand consists mainly of three shapes:
- Appliance: product
- Recipe: document
- Ingredient: document
- Chef: document
The URL for each language version and recipe should be unique. There are three main strategies here: using subdomains, domains, or using subfolders as part of the URL. If you take into account authority, building subfolders is the best approach. You basically do not have multiple domains competing for the same keywords and create link dilutions. Links to the same domain would build a stronger authority rather than building links for each subdomain.
The argument for using different top-level domains is to use them for customers that like to purchase from a local shop. There is a bias towards trusting local domains when considering things like international shipping and import TAX.
The main three approaches are:
- example.com/en (preferred for SEO)
- example.no, example.dk