Another month, another Weglot customer showcase with brands that are giving us inspiration with their multilingual practices. And this time, we’ll be taking a look at how the Brits do it!
From fashion to cosmetics, these UK brands don’t assume that the whole world speaks English (seriously, it’s only 13%). Thanks to their multilingual websites, they are always one step ahead of the competition when it comes to selling to non-English speakers.
So let’s discover how going multilingual is helping these companies thrive internationally and what you can learn from them!
This British fashion brand was created in the late ’90s after the founders’ road trip across the west coast of America.
They were so inspired by the aesthetics of the indie vintage shops and thrift stores along the Californian coastline, they decided to create their own clothing line to bring this niche style to British fashion lovers.
Years later and their unique vintage looks are loved by fashionistas, style icons, and celebrities all over the world. But this wouldn’t have been possible without going multilingual.
In addition to English, their website also accommodates visitors that speak French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Dutch. With these widely-spoken European languages, their reach goes far beyond the UK borders.
When it comes to the choice of language switcher, they went for a minimalist approach without the flags and the full language names. Instead, they simply used language abbreviations and a classic dropdown style. Considering that the website is quite rich with content, it’s a wise decision to keep the language switcher simple but still at the top of the website for visitors to locate easily.
Let’s take a look at a brand that’s been around since 1778 and operates in 17 countries. Debenhams is a British online retail brand that is offering a range of products including clothing, food, furniture, and beauty products. It has been recently purchased by the online retailer Boohoo and the websites are relaunched.
The brand is popular in other parts of the world as well, one prominent market being the Middle East. Debenhams is operated by Alshaya Group in the UAE and the website is available in English and Arabic.
Now, this is a question we often get asked: Can I translate my website into a right-to-left language, such as Arabic, without any problems? This is a fair question as the script of Arabic considerably differs from Latin-based languages. Therefore, some adjustments will be needed to keep the same content and web design in both language options.
This is due to additional considerations such as differentiation in page layouts, text expansion, font consistency, and cultural limitations. So having a translation solution that supports the additional LTR to RTL (or vice versa) translation issues is sure to save you some time and headaches as it did for Debenhams!
Feelunique is the largest online retailer of premium beauty products in Europe and one of the fastest-growing e-tailers in the world. The brand has dedicated websites in the UK, the EU, China, the US, and MENA. Currently, they are shipping over 6 million units to more than 100 countries every year!
“We will seek to further consolidate our leading position in Europe’s key beauty markets as well as to grow our market share in Asia where we are working to enhance our operations to take advantage of the significant market opportunity.” — Feelunique CEO Joel Palix
And it would be safe to say that well-thought multilingual practices play an important role in Feelunique’s global success. The brand’s MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) dedicated website is available in English and Arabic, however, instead of just translating the text on the page, Feelunique is going the extra mile to translate the text in images too.
This is quite important because the text in images are usually forgotten by brands and it causes a big disruption to user experience. It’s also damaging to the performance of your translated pages because images with text usually include promotion information that could lead to sales.
For example, the Feelunique MENA website has an attention-grabbing promotion image with text in Arabic, and in the English version of the website, the same image is available with English text. This is key to conversion as it allows all visitors to understand the message and take action.
Needle & Thread
Founded by Creative Director Hannah Coffin in 2013, Needle & Thread is another fashion brand from the UK that puts femininity at the heart of its aesthetics. Hannah fell in love with fashion when she received her first sewing machine on her 11th birthday and she always knew she’d come up with her own clothing brand one day.
Needle & Thread gets inspiration from the English countryside and the brand’s aim is to offer these unique dresses at an affordable price. This resonated well with the customers as only after a few years the brand took off and even became one of the favorite brands of fashion icons such as Sarah Jessica Parker.
Later, the brand gained global recognition thanks to its inclusive ready-to-wear and bridal collections that are preferred by women from various cultures. To reach this international customer base, their website is available in various languages.
Thanks to the web design capabilities Weglot’s visual editor offers, Needle & Thread is able to provide languages with different characters and script directions under one website. And an important practice to note is the ability to choose the language option separate from the location and currency. Considering that many languages can be spoken in a country, allowing visitors to localize their experience regardless of their location is an effective way to win international customers.
Next on the list is a family-run beauty company from London, Dr. Botanicals. As a LGBTQ+ owned brand, they put great emphasis on diversity and giving back to the community.
From time to time, the brand launches charity products where a certain percentage of the revenue goes to support LGBTQ+ organizations such as their latest pride edition the Lemon Rescue Butter. The brand is also very vocal about its support towards equality movements like Black Lives Matter, Women’s Aid, and Stonewall.
In addition to their brand values, Dr. Botanicals is a great option for customers looking for ethically produced vegan beauty products. Customers have the option to purchase the products individually or subscribe to the beauty box service for a personalized set of products shipped to them monthly. The brand also aims to be carbon-free by 2025 and to use only eco-friendly packaging by 2023 as its footprint grows larger internationally each day.
Dr. Botanicals’ European store is currently available in English, German, French, and Spanish. The language switcher is accompanied by a currency switcher that is giving customers the freedom to customize their experience further.
These 5 British brands prove that going multilingual and crossing borders pay off. Regardless of its origin, any company can benefit from international opportunities and gaps in foreign markets. And thanks to solutions like Weglot, it’s never been easier to reach foreign audiences!
Intrigued to see how adding languages to your website can transform your business too? Sign up for Welgot’s 10-day free trial to start now!