English language e-commerce websites diversify their target markets

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A new examination conducted by the world’s largest online translation agency, One Hour Translation, a company which provides translation services to thousands of global e-commerce companies, shows that e-commerce companies from the English-speaking world chose to expand their reach into additional global markets in 2017.

The review analyzed 7,400 English-language e-commerce websites’ translation projects conducted by One Hour Translation during 2017. The analysis ranked target languages according to the volume of translation projects opened for them, against the total annual number of translation projects for English-language e-commerce websites.

While the top target languages in 2016 achieved double-digit rates of popularity, in 2017 the top four target languages achieved single-digit popularity rates. In 2016, translations from English to French ranked first, accounting for 13.5% of the total relevant projects, followed closely by German at 13.4%. Dutch ranked third, taking up 11.3% of the projects, followed by Italian, with 10% of the projects. In contrast to these data, the popularity rates of the top languages in 2017 were around half of the 2016 rates: the most popular target language in 2017 was German with 7.6% of the projects, followed by French comprising 7.3% of the projects, Korean (6.6%) and Italian (6.5%).

A similar gap was found while comparing the languages that ranked 5th to 10th. In 2016, these rates ranged between 7.1% and 9.8%, with Korean ranking 5th, accounting for 9.8% of the projects, followed by Japanese and Spanish (both at 9.3%), Polish (8.5%), Norwegian (7.8%) and Swedish (7.1%). In 2017, the respective rates ranged between 4.2% and 6.1%, with Polish holding the 5th place with 6.1% of the projects, followed by Japanese (5.6%), Dutch (5.5%), Spanish (5.3%), Norwegian (4.3%) and Danish (4.2%).

Apart from these languages, e-commerce players from the U.S., the U.K., Canada and other English-speaking countries placed their bets in 2017 on diverse target languages: Chinese, Swedish, Arabic, Indonesian, Turkish, Portuguese, Thai, Canadian French and Latin American Spanish.

Global e-commerce has reached an unprecedented volume, with $2.3 trillion B2C revenues and $7.7 billion B2B revenues in 2017, according to Statista. One Hour Translation’s survey on top target languages fits a 2017 Business.com report, which found that the 10 largest e-commerce markets in the world are China, U.S., U.K., Japan, Germany, France, South Korea, Canada, Russia, and Brazil.

Yaron Kaufman, Co-founder & CMO of One Hour Translation, said, “Diversification of target markets is a key differentiator for companies in the booming global e-commerce market. Our data demonstrate that e-commerce players in the English-speaking world and other regions understand the value of diversification and act accordingly. These companies have already learned that through a simple, low-cost and quick investment in localization, they can penetrate several key overseas markets at the same time. One Hour Translation is committed to helping spread the benefits of e-commerce across a wide range of territories by breaking the language barriers that might prevent consumers from enjoying better products at more attractive prices.”

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