Selling abroad online thanks to translation services

In an ever-more globalised world, selling abroad online is a real and accessible opportunity. Gone are the days when the only way to buy and sell internationally was by setting up branches in different countries, attending fairs and conventions, or contracting international sales agents.

Selling abroad online is an option that, when done well, can give us much better results than using more traditional methods. Even more so if we put ourselves in a particular niche and focus on that. In which case, relying on professional translation services will be the key to improving our online international sales.

Selling abroad online helps answer a growing consumer base

Internet sales already make up roughly 5.1% of total sales in the retail sector worldwide. This figure may seem small, but the global market is big enough to neglect a figure like this.


cross border ecommerce UK
What’s more, forecasts believe cross border selling will continue growing. There are sectors in which online sales are just as important as offline sales. Cross-border ecommerce in UK up 57%. It doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea to focus on ecommerce selling internationally, does it?

Key aspects to sell internationally

If you want to sell abroad online, there are some aspects you must keep in mind, such as creating a localised website or translating your e-shop:

Think about the target language and culture

Choose a country you want to sell your products to online, not one that speaks the same language. But do not forget to target your translation towards a segment of the local population.

This involves using their language, but also the specific phrases of the country (dialects are not the same when selling online in the United States, where they say pants to mean trousers, as in the UK, where pants mean underwear) and the specific phrases of our target audience (something we call a social dialect, or sociolect).



Every country has their linguistic peculiarities, and completely normal modes of expression, which can be offensive in one place, yet make people laugh in another.

Just ask those trying to sell underwear as trousers in England, or catching a bus in Argentina by using the verb “coger” which relates to sexual intercourse… A bit tricky, right?


What are the options for an international web domain?

Once you decide to use a website to sell abroad online, it is crucial to know what domain options there are and to choose the most appropriate.

Analyse aspects such as human or financial capital when choosing an international domain. There are cCTLd, or subdomains, or subdirectories, all of which can be effective in certain contexts.

Moreover, if you happen to recourse to a SEO translation service, the type of domain will have an impact on your international SEO. Do check with a multilingual SEO consultant, first!


Don’t lose sight of the offline world

It is important not to lose sight of the real world when you decide to begin selling cross border online. Remember that the final consumer is a real person, with flesh and blood, and therefore you have got to be conscious of them.

It is important to pick a good logistics service and eye-catching packaging. A quality after-sales service in the language of the country you are looking to sell to is a must!

Don’t just rely on a translation of your website! If you customers to repeat and trust your brand, they have to feel like you are close, that you understand them both linguistically and culturally.


Why focusing on a niche in international markets

When selling online, just like in any market, there are giants with whom it is practically impossible to compete with. Amazon, eBay or AliExpress can be nightmares for a small online shopping.

Selling products that are very specific and almost unheard of, outside of your country, is uncharted territory that can bring many benefits.

If your products are more generalised, perhaps then you would be interested in selling internationally through one of these platforms thanks to Amazon listing translation services.


What’s the secret to cross-border selling?

If you are looking forward to selling abroad online you will need translation services specialising in international digital marketing.

Trust in Ontranslation for SEO copywriting, SEO translations of your website content, and even linguistic and cultural consultation services to help you engage with your customers in a way there will be no misunderstanding.

About the author

Oscar Nogueras

Es el CEO de Ontranslation y dedica algunos ratos libres a escribir en este blog para compartir sus conocimientos sobre internacionalización, cross-border ecommerce y Traducción SEO. No es para menos, ya que entre su formación cuenta con una licenciatura en filología inglesa, un máster en tradumática, un posgrado en elearning y un MBA. En definitiva, una declaración de intenciones donde la cultura y los idiomas se sirven mezclados, no agitados.

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