The Impact of Mistranslated Product Info (And How to Fix It)

8. Dezember 2023y

Few things are as critical to selling your products as the words you use to describe them. Product descriptions convey the most important information that your customers need to know before — and often after — they buy. Conveying that information accurately and compellingly is essential for sales success. In fact, research from Salsify shows that 87% of customers rate product content as the single most important factor they consider when making a purchase.

For global brands, hitting that target involves much more than just writing a single product description. That description has to be translated into every language for every market in which those brands sell those products. While this work of product translation can be a daunting task, the right translation tools and methodologies can help.

Product Information Best Practices

In online sales, and particularly in the world of retail and e-commerce, you can’t afford to let your product descriptions be an afterthought. They’re a crucial component of not only product marketing but also user experience. One survey from Retail Dive showed that 40% of online shoppers return products due to inaccurate information. Whether it’s the size of an article of clothing or accurate information about gameplay in a video game, customers will often send it back if they feel they were misled.

Successful product descriptions, on the other hand, set the customer up for a great experience. They ensure not only that customers buy the right product but that it meets their expectations when they receive it. When everything looks and works as described, it builds trust in your brand and bolsters customer loyalty.

It’s no surprise, then, that the Baymard Institute reports that 90% of the top 60 e-commerce sites consistently maintain high-quality product descriptions. What constitutes a high-quality description varies by industry and the type of product, but the most important factors include:

  • Detail: Good product descriptions should convey everything a customer needs to know about a product, from size and dimensions to key technical specs and important features. 
  • Focus on benefits: Convey more than just information. How will this benefit your users? What do these features mean for their experience?
  • Compelling and natural language: Word choice matters in product descriptions. Not only should the words compel someone to buy, but they should also sound natural — as if they’re having a conversation with your brand.
  • Ability to scan quickly: Detail is important, but customers know what they want to know. Make it easy for them to find the information they need.
  • SEO: Product descriptions aren’t just for customers — they need to convey important information to search engines like Google and Bing, too. All the same rules for keywords, sentence length, meta fields, and linking apply.

If you sell your products in multiple markets, then translation plays a crucial role in all of the above factors.

How to Ensure Quality Product Translations

For global brands, this can become a massive project. When you need to translate hundreds of product descriptions into languages as diverse as Spanish, Japanese, and Arabic, for instance, it represents an extensive amount of work for an in-house localization team. 

And yet, it’s not enough to simply plug your product descriptions into a quick machine translator and drop them on your website. What’s the linguistic quality of those product translations? What’s your localization quality assurance (LQA) process for ensuring those descriptions are not only free of errors but genuinely speak to customers in their native languages? Are the translations optimized for those customers to find them? For effective product translations, you must have a clear, efficient process for accurately translating text from your home language to your target language.

The Unbabel Solution: Unparalleled QA for Product Translation

Our entire translation methodology is designed to remove this choice between quality and efficiency. Your product descriptions are too important. You can’t afford typos and other errors in your translations, but the costs of achieving quality shouldn’t cut into the profitability of your products, either. Unbabel strikes this balance by blending the speed of AI-driven machine translation with the LQA of human proofreading and editing. 

On one side, you’ll have powerful machine translation tools. With a vast language library and deep translation memory, Unbabel learns the nuances of your brand language and how to quickly translate it into your target markets. You can push hundreds of product descriptions through the system in a short time. And with our recent acquisition of the multilingual SEO translation tool Bablic, you can be confident each page translation will be optimized for search engines in your target languages.

That, alone, isn’t sufficient. On the back end, you’ll have an expert team of human translators and native speakers dedicated to localization QA. Our Quality Estimator tool will flag product descriptions that need a closer look so you can be confident in the quality of each translation.

Deliver Clear and Compelling Product Descriptions in Any Language

Product descriptions are an essential piece of your marketing puzzle. One confusing word or missing piece of information could determine whether you hit your sales targets — and define how your customers feel about your brand. You have to be sure it’s done well.

The Unbabel approach removes any doubt from the process of translating your product descriptions. No matter how many target markets and languages you’re dealing with, our combined process of machine translation and human quality assurance will ensure you get the message across for each product you sell.

Curious how it works? See Unbabel in action with our free demo.

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Unbabel’s Content Team is responsible for showcasing Unbabel’s continuous growth and incredible pool of in-house experts. It delivers Unbabel’s unique brand across channels and produces accessible, compelling content on translation, localization, language, tech, CS, marketing, and more.