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Tips to localize E-store in the Chinese markets.

Author: Melanie Conroy
by Melanie Conroy
Posted: Sep 30, 2019
traditional chinese

The objective of a successful E-store localization is to give international buyers an online experience that is indistinguishable from their local experience. This enables retailers to boost their international sales and to compete on a level playing field with foreign competitors.

E-store localization is on everyone’s mind. Why? Because it has proven as the most effective way to gain market share and increase sales globally.

All of the E-store owners with global ambitions must localize into the Chinese market. This language is the most important key to localizing into the most important and one of the biggest markets in the world.

Sounds too easy and too good to be true? Localize your E-store for the Chinese market and boost your sales. Sorry to tell you this but there’s a long road between your e-store and the Chinese market. Localization for the Chinese market is a difficult task. You need to adapt to a completely different user, who has little to nothing in common with the rest of the world.

Getting your e-store localized for the Chinese market is an essential. If done right you’ll hit the jackpot.

But what are the different aspects one must be aware of before one starts their localization process. Our linguistic team and Chinese e-store localization experts sat down together to note down a few important tips.

Localization (vs.) translation:

Many E-store owners think that in order for their store to be successful in China all they need to do is to translate their store to Chinese. However, they could not be more wrong. In China, translation is only the beginning step for the entire process of localization.

You have to bring out products into your E-store that will attract the foreign customers. This means a lot of data intensive research to know the demographics of the new location.

China has entirely different social media platforms (since platforms like Facebook and Twitter are banned) as compared to the rest of the world, store localizers will have to look for similar differences. In addition to this, because of the great firewall of China, it is also important for E-store owners to integrate their store into the cloud system based in China.

Choose your Chinese version:

There are mainly two forms of written Chinese. Simplified and traditional. As someone looking to localize their e-store it is extremely important to understand the difference between the two forms. Each of the forms differs from the other and has its own flavor. Chinese in each of the regions is so similar yet so different in many ways. In order to select the suitable resource for the locale and convey the correct meaning it is important to understand the differences.

Simplified Chinese is based on graphic and phonetic simplifications of the traditional form. It is officially used in Mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia.

On the other hand, traditional Chinese is used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and overseas Chinese communities other than Malaysia and Singapore.

Chinese is not the same everywhere:

Even amongst traditional Chinese there is a lot of discrepancies. For example traditional Chinese used in Hong Kong is not the same as the traditional Chinese used in Taiwan. Apart from the basic difference of grammar and vocabulary. But there are more deeply rooted differences such as the tone and voice used. So an e-store translated for Hong Kong used in Taiwan will sound unprofessional and seem more like a gimmick. The main practice for this area is to translate for Taiwanese traditional Chinese. Mainly because Taiwan is the larger market and the vocabulary difference here is not so huge when it comes to technical terms.

Difference between vocal and written language:

In China people write in simplified Chinese but they speak in Mandarin. Similarly, although the people of Hong Kong write in traditional Chinese they speak in Cantonese. In common written localization projects we only use traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese, as they are the languages used for localization and written material such as manuals, documents, texts, subtitles, etc. however, for more complex multimedia projects such as voiceovers and dubbing you will have to use either Cantonese or Mandarin.

Formal and informal addressing:

Unlike the English language the Chinese use two levels of addresses. Formal addressing and informal addressing. The differences of this lies mainly in the second person. For example nín is the formal "you" while ní is the informal "you".

Chinese Glossary Order:

It is commonly seen that Chinese localization projects following the English way of ordering things. But the Chinese follow their own way of setting up a glossary. The major difference lies in the Chinese Pinyin elements, since they form a major part of the Chinese Dictionary.

Chinese use the following order for their indexation.

  1. Numbers (0-9)
  2. Symbols (e.g. $#*&^}{)(!)
  3. Simplified Chinese characters ordered by Chinese Pinyin.

Payment Options:

In China it is highly unlikely for customers to pay by credit card. In fact China still today is very much a cash based society. This means it is really hard for E-store owners to make adequate sales in China. However there is a way around this, by integrating local paying options. For example, Ali pay. Another way is payment through Chinese telecom companies which do allow in app payments. Though none of the telecom companies offer services in any language other than Chinese, then again it is crucial to hire a Chinese linguist who can better help you coordinate with the telecom company.

With more than a billion native Chinese speakers worldwide, Chinese is the second language to have the most number of readers on the internet. Getting it right is not an option it is an essential part of the localization process

About the Author

Ccjk Technologies is a certified localization and translation services providing in different industries over 180 languages in affordable prices.

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Author: Melanie Conroy

Melanie Conroy

Member since: Sep 27, 2019
Published articles: 1

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