Assuming that you do decide to sell into a foreign language market.  The extent to which you translate varies by the vehicle you choose. 

Third Party eCommerce Websites

There are multiple ways to sell onto an ecommerce reseller (like Amazon).  You can sell through marketplace, direct to the ecommerce reseller, or through a distributor.  Either way, the result is the same.  In this case, the amount of content required is minimal, sometimes as little as 500 words.  When you sell through a reseller, as opposed to a company owned website, translation is not a large investment.  Many of the sites have even translation services available for a nominal price.  If you are going through a distributor, they may even have translation services available. 

The challenge here is continuity.  Six people will translate your content six different ways.  It is best you have the content translated by one source, to make sure your content says the exact same thing regardless of where it appears.

The cost will increase as you add products.  The more SKUs you place, the more translating you will need.  Also, if you want to go deeper than the basic product description, you will incur higher costs.  But you can get started relatively inexpensively.  Furthermore, you really should have the content in the native language.

Company Owned Website

When you decide to sell directly to the end user through your own website, you should have as much content translated as possible.  On your own website, you have virtually unlimited space to tell your story.  The key here is to decide how much to translate.  That is a direct function of your budget. 

It may be that you decide to go for critical mass, and translate just the most important content.  You may not need to replicate exactly what you have in English.  Choose the most important content, and translate that.  As you see your sales in that country grow, you can always add translated content.  Start small, and build as you see that market paying off on the investment. 

Perry Goldstein
Perry Goldstein

Perry Goldstein is an electronics industry veteran, with over 40 years of experience in manufacturer sales and marketing in both the consumer electronics and Pro A/V spaces. He has managed sales in both B2B and B2C markets.