One of the key benefits of running an online store versus a physical retail store is that you can potentially reach out to customers all across the world. However, once you decide to take your e-commerce store global, you’ll need a way to effectively communicate with a multilingual audience. For this, you’ll need to create a multilingual WooCommerce store.
In this article, we’ll start by discussing the business benefits of going multilingual. Then, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step tutorial explaining how to create a multilingual WooCommerce store using the Weglot translation plugin.
Why you might want to create a multilingual WooCommerce store
According to recent studies, the 2020 market share for WooCommerce is a whopping 26%. And considering that nearly 42% of respondents of a recent survey reported having never searched for or bought products in a language other than their native language, it’s easy to see why you might choose WooCommerce to set up your multilingual e-commerce store.
For this, you’ll need to set up a multilingual WooCommerce store that facilitates prospective customers that speak a different language than your store’s native language. So, for example, if your store is in English, you might need to translate it to Spanish, French, or Portuguese to cater to international customers.
From a business standpoint, creating a multilingual WooCommerce store is a great way to improve usability, increase conversions, and boost sales. Essentially, you’re able to put products in front of customers who might otherwise wouldn’t have been able to find them in the first place.
Speaking of which, having a multilingual WooCommerce store is also great for SEO. Put simply, you’ll be able to get your products in front of customers who search for the product in their native language. This will help you increase organic traffic to your online store and expand into new markets.
How to create a multilingual WooCommerce store
Here, we’ll show you how to create a multilingual WooCommerce store using the Weglot plugin. For this tutorial, we’ll assume you already have some products added to your WooCommerce store. We’ll also assume you want to translate your online store from English to Spanish.
Note: You can use Weglot to translate your WooCommerce store from over 100+ original languages to destination languages.
Step #1: Install and activate the Weglot translation plugin
The first thing you need to do is sign up for a Weglot account. Once you’ve created your user account, you’ll be prompted to create a new project. You can call this something like My Multilingual Online Store. Next, go to Project settings from the Weglot dashboard and copy the API key. We’ll need this to connect the Weglot translation service to WooCommerce.
Once that’s done, log in to your WordPress website and head over to Plugins > Add New. Search for the Weglot plugin and install and activate it to your website.
Head over to Weglot from the WordPress admin panel and:
- Enter your API key.
- Select the original language i.e. the language your WooCommerce store is currently in.
- Select the destination languages i.e. the language(s) you want to translate your WooCommerce store into.
Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen to proceed.
If you head over to your online store, you’ll notice a language toggle button has been added to the bottom right corner of the screen. You can also customize the language switcher button in a variety of ways. Your site’s visitors will be able to use this to translate your language into the available destination languages.
If you’re running a basic online store then you might consider sticking with the default WooCommerce layout translated into your selected destination languages. However, if you’re serious about delivering good user experience and maximizing conversions, you might consider adding a multilingual quick order form to your online store.
Step #2: Create a multilingual quick order form
A multilingual WooCommerce quick order form makes it easy for customers to quickly find the products they’re looking for, add them to their shopping cart, and proceed to checkout.
This is especially useful for online stores that:
- Have a large product directory.
- Sell to wholesale customers.
- Sell build-your-own products.
The easiest way to create this is by using the WooCommerce Product Table plugin. This plugin lets you decide which columns you’d like to show on the quick order form and include quantity selectors. This way, customers can quickly learn about the product and add it to their shopping cart without having to navigate to individual product pages.
In addition to this, the quick order form is searchable, sortable, and filterable which helps improve usability and eliminates friction in the purchasing user flow. The best part is that the WooCommerce Product Table plugin is fully compatible with Weglot which means customers can translate the quick order form into any available destination language.
To take things to the next level, you can pair up the WooCommerce Product Table plugin with the WooCommerce Quick View Pro plugin to add a product quick view lightbox to your order form. This way, you can make it even easier for customers to quickly view product details and galleries directly from the quick order form.
The Quick View buttons open additional product information and purchase options in a lightbox pop-up. This is especially great for stores that sell image-centric products such as apparel and gift items.
Step #3: Add product lead times and default quantities
If you sell handmade products or items that typically require longer shipping durations, you can use the WooCommerce Lead Time plugin to let customers know when the product will be sent. You can also use this to let customers know when a product will be back in stock.
The WooCommerce Lead Time plugin lets you set a global lead time for all products or set lead times for individual WooCommerce products, depending on your specific needs. The plugin is also compatible with Weglot which means customers will be able to see the product lead times in their native language.
And, if you sell products that are typically bought in larger quantities (like pens) or products that are bought in multiples (for example, pillows), you can use the WooCommerce Default Quantity plugin to set a higher default quantity value.
The plugin lets you change the default quantity for all WooCommerce products in your store or for individual products (or product categories). Same as the lead time plugin, WooCommerce Default Quantity is also fully compatible with Weglot.
Step #4: Manage WooCommerce translations from the Weglot dashboard
Weglot uses automatic machine translation to translate your WooCommerce store from the original language to selected destination languages. Once your multilingual WooCommerce store is set up, you can go into the Weglot dashboard to manually refine translations or outsource them to professional translators.
This gives you fine-grained control over your translations and makes it easy to change up words and terms wherever you’d like. You can use two different editors to do so – the Translations List and the Visual Editor.
The Translation List option shows you the original text along with the editable translated text in a column layout. When you edit a translation, it marks it as Manually edited translation.
Alternatively, you can use the Visual Editor option to edit translations directly from a live preview of your WooCommerce store. To do this, simply hover over the text and click the green pencil icon.
Create your multilingual WooCommerce store today
If you’re running an online store that caters to a global target market or non-English speaking countries, you’ll need a way to translate your WooCommerce store into different languages. The easiest way to do this is by using a multilingual WooCommerce plugin, like Weglot.
And if you’re serious about maximizing conversions, consider adding a multilingual quick order form to your WooCommerce store with product quick view options. You can also add multilingual product lead times and default quantities to deliver a good user experience and improve the purchasing user flow.