Global Selling

Manage European languages

Hear how successful Sellers who are based in Japan handle European languages as they grow their Amazon businesses across Europe.

Reach millions of customers across Europe

Do you want to sell your products to millions of customers in Europe? Many sellers, however, are concerned about the language barrier in European marketplace. After all, Europe consists of over 28 countries, many of which have their own languages. In this article, you will learn how non-EU Sellers overcome language issues when selling in Europe using Amazon.
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What are Amazon’s European language requirements?

Amazon requires that listings and customer support be provided in a marketplace’s local language. By using local languages, customers can better understand your listings and make it easier for customers to purchase products.

There are 5 Amazon marketplaces in Europe. The languages provided by each marketplace are as follows:
  • Amazon.co.uk: English You need to be aware of differences between British and American English.
  • Amazon.de: German
  • Amazon.fr: French
  • Amazon.it: Italian
  • Amazon.es: Spanish
Thus, you need to use a different language for each marketplace, such as German for listing information on Amazon.de and French for Amazon.fr.

The same is true for customer support. So if a customer asks you a question in Italian about one of your listings on Amazon.it, you must respond in Italian.

If you do not know a European language, how do you meet language requirements

You do not need to be fluent in any of the European languages to sell across Europe. In addition, you do not need to hire a native speaker (people who speak the language of the target marketplace as their native language. Hereinafter referred to as "native speaker") in advance.

Many sellers use Amazon translation support and external translation companies to support European languages. For many, the process begins with using Fulfillment by Amazon program(FBA).

FBA handles shipping and logistics support

When you use Fulfillment by Amazon program in Europe, Amazon will respond to shipping and return inquiries in the language of the target marketplace. This is one of the major benefits of using Fulfillment by Amazon program.

Many of the inquiries you receive are about delivery status. So just by using FBA in Europe, you’ll immediately reduce the amount of time and resources your business would have spent on European languages.

Translation and language requirements

  • Product listings
  • Customer Inquiries about Products

3 steps to succeed at selling globally

1

Use Amazon's tools to describe and translate the listing information.

Initially, we recommend that you translate using the tools provided by Amazon.
If you already sell on Amazon.com (US), you can use that listing on Amazon.co.uk (UK). However, if your listings are listed in 4 other European marketplaces that use languages other than English, you will need to translate the listing for that ASIN.

Amazon's Build International Listings (BIL) tool allows you to use your existing listings (in this example, on Amazon.com) in Europe so you can quickly prepare your listings for the 5 marketplaces in Europe. This tool is not intended for translating listings, but if you have already translated listings, it will help you to review those listings.

You will be able to find untranslated Japanese listings from among listings for European marketplaces. When translating, you can use Amazon's translation services or external translation companies.

2

Answer questions using free online translation services

Once your listing is ready, the next language-related issue you might face is customer inquiries.

If you receive an inquiry on the marketplace and do not have native speakers you can rely on, you can use the online translation service to answer inquiries.

Many Sellers who have started selling in Europe use a free translation service to respond to customer inquiries. For example, if you are a Japan-based Seller and receive an inquiry written in Italian, use our online translation service to translate the inquiry into Japanese to understand the content. Next, use our online translation service to translate the Japanese answer back into Italian.

This way, you can start selling in a new marketplace without hiring a native speaker. As your business grows, however, the quality of translations from these solutions may not suffice.

3

When you’re ready, hire a native speaker

The next step is to provide customers with a more comfortable shopping experience by using contractors who can continuously handle your translation requests.

When you run your business on Amazon in Europe, there are many benefits to having a native speaker to help you. For example, you can improve your listings and Amazon Sponsored Products ads, or provide attentive customer support.

Ultimately, you need to communicate in the customer's language to maximize customer satisfaction. The following two methods are suggested when actually hiring native speakers.

Hire an external translation vendor

Many translation vendors are available to handle your European language needs. These vendors typically charge a per-word rate. When searching for external translators, consider using the Amazon Solution Provider Network. This service allows you to filter vendors in terms of availability, customer service translation requirements, source and destination languages.

Hire a native speaker in-house

There are a number of benefits to hiring native speakers in-house. For example, native speakers can address customers based on their detailed knowledge of the company's business, products, and the specific preferences and needs of European customers.

Move forward without haste

To meet Amazon's requirements for local languages, some planning is required before you start selling. That said, you do not have to hesitate to sell in Europe for that reason. When translating listings or responding to customer inquiries, remember the 3 steps. Follow the steps related to language steadily as your business grows in Europe.

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