How to translate an online store (e-commerce) in Prestashop

translate an online store in Prestashop
By September 7th, 2022 | ecommerce | 0 Comments

Translating a Prestashop online store may seem simple. This platform makes it easy to translate an online store by automatically generating a copy in one of the more than seventy-five languages it offers.

In this article we will tell you about the particularities and factors that you should take into account when translating an e-commerce site in Prestashop.

Why translate an online store

The biggest advantage of an e-commerce business is that the physical barrier does not exist and anyone can access your products, but it is unlikely that someone will buy them without a good understanding of the content you offer.

Translating in an e-commerce platform such as Prestashop into several languages brings you important advantages, but, among them, we can highlight the following:

  • Increases sales. Facilitating navigation in the user's language so that they do not have problems understanding descriptions, payment methods or return policies, generates trust and predisposes the consumer to provide their details.
  • Enriches the brand image at an international level with a professional profile.
  • Improves your web positioning, which means that more potential customers will find your services.

How to approach an e-commerce business translation in Prestashop

A good e-commerce business translation is not simple. Although the platform, in this case Prestashop, facilitates the translation of some elements, it is necessary to pay attention to several aspects that can ruin our efforts.

In this sense, from the menu you can add the language you are interested in and a copy of the e-commerce business is automatically created. You can also select the localization package for the target market and adjust measurements, sizes, currency or taxes.

Be sure to check this step carefully, as you may encounter outdated data or other errors. If so, you must correct it by entering the new information.

Another relevant aspect to consider is that automatic translation only applies to text strings common to all languages, such as the theme, template or browsing elements, but leaves content or product sheets untranslated.

At this point, you should divide the translation work as follows:

  • Common text elements or strings. For example, the user registration process, the shopping cart, contact forms, error messages, payment gateways or the automatic generation of invoices.
  • Product sheets. This is the most important part of the ecommerce business and, being your catalog, it is not translated by Prestashop. Your translation must be impeccable and take into account all the elements (title, description, features, category, image texts or URL, among others) of each product and, in addition, it must be done from an SEO perspective.

Below, we detail the particularities of each of these two sections.

What you should take into account in the automatic translation of common text strings

These text strings are automatically translated. This means that you may encounter some errors.

  • Software evolutions incorporate modifications and new common texts. That is why it is important that you always check if all strings have been translated. Prestashop marks the untranslated parts so that you can do it yourself.
  • It is very likely that some translations are not correct or not well done. Translations are done by volunteers, coordinated by project managers, and anyone can sign up through a collaborative translation platform. Even if they speak the target language, they may not know the most appropriate linguistic resources (lexicon, syntax, morphology or semantics) as they do not necessarily have to be experts in the sector in which you operate.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to supervise and personalize the texts, choosing the right type of language for your target audience, and not to be left with a generic translation without personality.

What to consider when translating product sheets

This is the most important part of the translation of an e-commerce site and the one that requires the most time.

From the catalog, you must enter each product sheet, edit each of the elements to be translated and write the translation itself. The elements are usually as follows:

  • Information fields: Name, short description, long description and tags.
  • SEO optimization fields: Meta elements and URLs.
  • Images: Image texts, captions.
  • Quantities: Texts showing if the product is out of stock or in stock and the possibility of backordering.
  • Characteristics: Product properties such as composition or colors.
  • Attachments: File name and description.

This is followed by the translation of the additional tags used to group similar products, i.e. the elements that make up each of the categories and subcategories (name, description, meta elements, keywords or URL), as well as the attributes.

Translating a platform in a field such as e-commerce, which is constantly growing in Spain, requires time and exquisite attention to detail. If you want to obtain a professional result without having to give up hours of your work to dedicate to translation, you can hire a specialized translation service for e-commerce.

Why it is advisable to count on a translation service for an e-commerce business

There are several options to consider when hiring an e-commerce translation service.

You can combine machine translation of the common elements with proofreading by professional translators who also translate and localize the product catalog.

Remember that a good translation and localization, especially in the most visible pages and, above all, in the product sheets, since they are the ones that will determine a good part of your sales, are key to generate confidence in potential buyers.

If you decide to take the step of internationalizing your business, and with it your online store, the best way to translate an online store created in Prestashop is to turn to expert translators who will take care of everything and make your e-commerce content be perceived as native in the languages you use.