Need for business English and multilingual platforms increasing in e-commerce – Retail Times


The core driver of e-commerce is its convenience, with anyone being able to purchase almost anything that they want in just a few taps. However, many have expansion in mind and want to tap into the incredible reach of being an online retailer, so many English-language sites were reportedly targeting nearby European nations in 2016.

Even with this, a great deal of the internet speaks English. It’s a greatly disproportionate amount to the number of people in the world who speak the language, with the opposite being true of Chinese online. It shows that top ranking websites are finding their audiences among the English readers, which suggests that there’s a great opportunity for sites in other languages to expand if they can adopt English.

Getting business-ready for English online

As a business owner and website runner, the best place to start is to learn the language yourself. As with any language, becoming completely fluent takes a lot of time, and it can be unnecessary for online interactions. As you primarily want to connect with customers and clients, becoming fluent isn’t essential.

This is why there are now online tutors specialising in business English. Here, experts teach specifically about using the language for business purposes, ensuring that you’re confident in all business scenarios and capable of utilising the new skill. For your own business, this will help with communications, can allow you to refine your website in the eyes of English-speaking visitors, and can open later job opportunities for you.

Very good grammar is key online

It’s tough to overstate the importance of writing with very good grammar on your website. While many English speakers use browser translation tools to view sites in other languages, English-written sites with bad grammar reflect a lack of professionalism, competence, and brand value. You’ll struggle to convey your message to readers.

It goes beyond just grammar, though, with localisation also being a big part of the process, in some instances. Take Gymshark, for example. The British unicorn company opted to expand to have a stronger presence in the US. While it already had several American customers, any new US-facing products and sites will be tweaked to American English as some turns of phrase and grammatical preferences don’t translate.

Being multilingual can only help

It’s a fairly straightforward premise: if your website is accessible in multiple languages, it’ll reach more customers. Of course, the tenants touched on above are still key, and you’ll need very good grammar and know how to navigate the local language in business terms for this route to be successful. Still, it’s been found in studies that offering a multi-language option is one of the most effective tools to drive sales.

Multilingual eCommerce, as a whole, is on the rise as well. Predominantly spurred by Google Translate, customers have slowly become more accepting of websites not written in their own language, testing them out to see if they suit their needs, but only if the quick translation tools work. Some will still give it a go, but it does take the seamlessness of online shopping away somewhat.

So, writing up your website with multilingual options can give you a huge boost in competitive markets. Expanding to vast new audiences through the relatively straightforward method of writing pages in multiple languages can have a huge impact. A clothing brand added two languages and is said to have seen a 400 per cent growth in website traffic as a result.

There’s a grand opportunity for websites in English and currently not written in English to reach vast new customer bases if they can get the multilingual aspect right.



The core driver of e-commerce is its convenience, with anyone being able to purchase almost anything that they want in just a few taps. However, many have expansion in mind and want to tap into the incredible reach of being an online retailer, so many English-language sites were reportedly targeting nearby European nations in 2016.…