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E-Commerce: Delivering an Online Shopping Experience in Any Language With Speed and Efficiency

First, let’s define what E-commerce or electronic commerce is, to start with. It is mostly referred to as an online purchase or selling of products or services, but it is much more. Electronic commerce includes mobile commerceelectronic funds transfersupply chain managementInternet marketingonline transaction processingelectronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Of course, not all of these aspects are known to an ordinary individual. The most known and popular area of e-commerce is online shopping, money transfers or service providing. However, e-commerce being done electronically, people can buy and sell all around the world. How many times have you done this form of commerce without even knowing what you are participating in? When you purchase that beautiful dress on Ali Express or a piece of gadget on Ebay, it is e-commerce. When you hire a python developer, copywriter or an online teacher for your child, or even for yourself, that is e-commerce as well. Without even noticing, we have dived deeply into the realms of electronic commerce long time ago, and we have made it our regular companion all along.

Since its relying on the technological advances of modern times, like inevitable gadgets we have been carrying around, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc., and websites and social media we access on such devices, e-commerce has turned into the largest sector of the electronics industry and probably the most profitable way of doing business. Imagine how everything would be much harder if people would not be able to use the benefits of e-commerce!

Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one part of the transaction which includes the purchase of online books in virtual bookstores such as Amazon, or music purchases at music stores like iTunes Store. Not only big entrepreneurship is an essential example of it, but any type of customized/personalized online stores is an e-commerce’s piece of the puzzle as well. There are myriads of such online shops. Some specialize in selling semi precious stones and pieces of jewellery, others in selling shoes and clothes, cosmetic products, furniture, home equipment, artwork, crafts and many more.

In fact, electronic commerce can be divided into three sectors or areas: online retailingelectronic markets, and online auctions. Yes, you read well-you are enabled to participate in online auctions and get a chance to win that antic piece of art. Of course, with lavish compensation, probably.

Since e-commerce is supported by e-commerce business, it may also rely on some of the following things:

  • Online shopping for retail sales direct to mobile apps, web sites, and conversational commerce;
  • Participation in online marketplaces, which process third-party business-to-consumer (B2C) or consumer-to-consumer (C2C) sales;
  • B2B or business-to-business buying and selling;
  • Online financial exchanges for currency;
  • E-mail marketing;
  • Gathering demographic data by means web contacts and social media in order to use them for marketing, launching and trading purposes.

E-Commerce or e-business-What is it?

Even though these two terms can often be used interchangeably, they do not have the same meaning. Actually, e-commerce is a subordinate term to e-buisness, and it is supported by it, as mentioned. E-commerce comes in various forms and involves placing orders and making payments online. For example, in business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce, a business sells goods and services to consumers through its online platform. Nowadays it is inevitable for brands, even with long tradition, which have always offered their products in so called brick-and-mortar stores, to adapt to online commerce and introduce virtual stores through their websites and official pages on the social media.

Even though e-commerce sales involves elements of sales like ordering a product, paying for a product, and having it delivered, it does not have to be completely used by a customer. In fact, it can be employed partially, which means a customer might order a product online and drop by to pick it up at the store. The same situation applies to payment methods. A customer may pay online in the moment of order, or at the store when the item is picked up. In other cases, e-commerce can be conducted completely on the Internet, and the ordered product is delivered to the customer’s home address. In both situations, money transactions are subjected to e-commerce, either completely or partially, and this occurs all the time with brands like Nike, Zara, Uniqlo, Marco Polo, Tom Taylor, and so on.

Business-to-Business (B2B) E-Commerce

As much as the average consumer is pretty aware of B2C e-commerce, there is a lot of space beyond their instant realization where B2B e-commerce takes place.This type of e-commerce often deals with transactions like restocking necessary supplies, and very often it will be automated. A landscaping company is a good example of B2B cooperation. In order to remain stocked on items like garden shears, gloves, fertilizer, plants, flower pots or garden decoration items, that company hires another one which is doing stock business. So, an automated process to track supply levels occurs in order to keep the landscaping company’s product provision always ready and on time for its customers.

How is it applicable to your case?

For example, you have some content ready for multilingual translation and your LSP or Language Service Provider shares the same interest. Even a plan for business-to-customer e-commerce is there, as well as business-to-business. It seems like everything goes well and is almost done.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, e-commerce activity expands and retailers face a proliferation of product descriptions, which is closely related to SKU or Stock Keeping Unit. Actually, it is a product code used to search and identify stock on hand from lists, invoices, or similar. In order to make the process faster and less aggravating, companies start relying on technology to help manage these SKUs.

This action can be achieved by your LSP providing a connection to your technology system. This act will enable the necessary speed for delivering a successful online shopping experience. Practically, what it means is you can easily send and receive your content and complete translations quickly.

If your SKUs are translated fast, it affects the speed of your products’ online offer and sales generation.

To enable brands and retailers to work within their own e-commerce platforms while streamlining the translation process, some platforms integrate with leading B2C platforms, Product Information Management Systems (PIMs) and digital content management platforms. This interconnection enables brands and retailers to:

  • send product content for thousands of SKUs for translation;
  • share product catalogue content for localization;
  • Send and/or receive marketing materials for digital commerce experiences.

In this way the retailers’ requirements for quick turnover and cost-effective solutions are easily met. Since the repetitive and time-consuming manual steps have been removed, the translation output increases and retailers can keep up with high volumes, constant updates and changing products.

Why is the most common File Transfer Method inadequate?

The most common and, at the same time, inefficient method of file transfer is database file exports, which usually results in counterproductive outcomes because it requires more effort to manage, import and export content, track work and administer quality assurance. On top of that, the granular control over the translation process is excluded. It practically leads to added costs and an overpayment for service due the extra time needed to execute translations. Therefore, some translation platforms integrate with leading platforms of this branch to enable retailers to avoid such problems.

What E-Commerce Platforms do Language Platforms connect with?

Successful language platforms of this kind offer integrations with retailers’ e-commerce platforms to ensure perfect exchange of files for translation and localization. They develop integrations in forms of efficient and leading B2C platforms, digital content management platforms, and product information management systems. One of the famous integrations are a former Demandware or current Salesforce Commerce Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, inRiver and Stibo.

Regardless of the business model a client may require, all of the necessary content can be successfully localized. Had the client an intention of selling products directly to consumers on his website or just engaging target customers, the integrations the language platforms use empowers them to provide the best service possible due to their ability to connect with all of the client’s digital commerce and e-commerce platforms.

To seamlessly align with the manufacturer’s individual business requirements, the integration significantly tailors their connector for a global manufacturer that uses a highly adapted version of SAP Commerce Cloud, formerly Hybris. Language platforms modify the connector so it would perfectly match. Why is the integration so significant? Without it the translation of thousands of SKUs per month for B2B and B2C digital applications in up to 45 languages for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), would be a huge failure due to the amount of data to be processed. Thanks to the suitable connector, the translation process becomes automated, which results in increased efficiency and speed, and the removal of an element of risk through the elimination of manual tasks.

How does it work in practice?

Let’s take an example of an iconic U.S. fashion brand which uses a language platform connector for integration with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, for example, to send the platform roughly a few thousand words on daily basis. The product descriptions are translated into five languages and even adapted from U.S. English to U.K. English as well. A feature enhancement to provide the retailer with a possibility of pre-scheduling the content for translation is added. So, the automation reduces the effort requirement on publishing the content and makes the process run smoothly all the time.

In case a language platform does not have a connection for a potential client’s e-commerce platform, there is no need to be worried. After all, an e-commerce platform itself is not of any special importance. Should the language platform miss to offer a connector for a specific platform, it will provide an  integration option through its REST-based translation API or its Universal File Connector (UFC). Such an integration may be so advanced to even alert the retailer if files were not submitted on time, and have a split file function introduced to make it easier to assign work to multiple linguists. In any case, rest assured that your requirements will be meet efficiently, with high quality and often, before the deadline.

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