6 Mistakes To Avoid When Creating Your Foreign Amazon Listing


Foreign Amazon Listing

Today we are going to let you in on a little secret: Amazon Foreign Product Listings.

If you’re already selling on Amazon and making money, then is perhaps the easiest way to scale your sales super quick.

Creating foreign language listings for your products and expanding into overseas Amazon Marketplaces is so much easier than researching, testing and launching new products!

So what exactly do I mean?

Say in Germany, if someone is searching on Amazon and they can only see your products, but everything is written in English then we have a big problem!

The harder you make the experience of purchasing your product for a customer the less likely they are to purchase your product.

how languages affect e-commerce sales image

Especially like in the picture above, you can see Amazon tends to show similar items to the product a customer may be currently browsing.

If I am German and I am more familiar speaking German; or perhaps I don't even speak English, I know which product listing I am going to browse!

Thanks to the many Amazon Marketplaces this means that across the world, you have hundreds of millions of potential customers that you are showing your product images to.

However, if customers cannot read your valuable sales information because it hasn’t been translated into the customer’s language you can most likely kiss the sale goodbye.

Especially if your product is a high-value sales item.

That’s right!

What most Amazon sellers haven’t yet clocked is that by putting in a little effort and creating a properly crafted foreign language Amazon listing, you’ll get access to the attention and interest of hundreds of millions of eyeballs!

Eyeballs who will simply ignore or can't read your English language information!

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1 – Doesn’t Most Of The World Speak A Bit Of English?

While English may be the global language.

This doesn't mean most people are comfortable reading English.

Most English spoken or understood is usually tourist level English, or English for a basic chat.

And let's face it for most non-English as a first language speaking English can be a struggle!

Even most people who have been learning a foreign language solidly for over 5 years, that have a good level, are not at the point where they can conveniently and confidently read through a product listing.

Especially if the vocabulary used is specific and nuanced for the product.

Most people who are highly proficient in another language would still rather read terms and conditions for any sale (on or offline) in their own language.

“Translated listings help customers understand what they are buying. This can also help lower refunds and returns.

Take a more common example:

You go on holiday and you want to rent a car for a week.

The first 3 places you go to don’t speak your language.

Now the fourth one does, as well as having all the relevant documents (insurance + gas charges etc.) that you can read clearly in your own language before you sign.

Unless you have more money than sense, you’ll be taking your rental car keys from someone who speaks your own language.

Not only does it make more sense it gives the customer more confidence, security and peace of mind that they understand the purchase.

This can also help lower your probability of refunds and returns.

2 – Don’t Be Complacent: “Why Bother With Translating My Listing?” 

So let’s look at the numbers.

The numbers below are taken from a survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review:

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As you can see the numbers tell us clearly what the situation really is.

When shopping online most people don’t venture out of their native language, especially when buying.

The most interesting statistic here, is that buying in your native language is seen as more important than the price of the product. 

If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

If you buy something that doesn’t do what you want or doesn’t have a certain feature, then whatever money you paid is lost.  

And don’t forget the additional issues when buying.

How long is the warranty?

What is the returns policy?

If you get these wrong because you were guessing in a foreign language, then what was looking like a nice quick buy, just turned into a total nightmare.

Which could result in a refund and poor review!

And don't forget if your refund and return rate is too high Amazon could suspend your selling privileges!

More than half of consumers are willing to pay more if you are willing to give them information in their own language”  
– Harvard Business Review

The world generally thinks of Europe as the kind of place where people speak 5 languages and switch from one language to another with ease.

This is often the case, as there are a lot of multilingual people in Europe, with fluent speakers of 2 or more foreign languages not uncommon. 

So we might expect that Europeans would use the web in more than one language fairly often.

Not the case.

Less than 20% of Europeans by choice ever browse the web (yes, that’s just browsing, not even the more serious task of buying) in a foreign language. 

According to HBO, the translation industry grew during the recession, which indicates that a lot of companies were looking to diversify by entering foreign markets when looking for new revenue. 

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3 – Use Professional Translators, Skilled In Marketing & Knowledgeable On Amazon Selling

There are lots of people who claim to be translators in the world, not so many are truly good at what they do.

It is true that if you want something simple translated you can just go online and find yourself a translator.

Places like Upwork and Fiverr have thousands of them.

Lower level translators are fine in some situations, but with an Amazon listing, you need to find someone who is on their game and well versed in how to optimise your new listing. 

Translators need to understand how to translate and how to market/sell your product.

If not, you’ll spend a long time trying to explain to your translator what you’re trying to achieve.

Training a regular translator to be wise to the ways of Amazon is a time suck most of us can’t afford.

Getting this wrong will simply lose you money.

There are a few reasons why…. 

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4 – Get Your Keyword Research Done Properly:

Using keyword research to promote products on any search engine (not only Amazon ) is one of the make or break factors for your listing or e-commerce store.

If your translator isn’t clued up on how to do keyword research in your new language, then your listing simply won't be found.  

If you use more general keywords, you’ll come up in more general searches.

This is terrible.

Foreign Listings Means Conducting Foreign Keyword Research

It means that you’ll be much lower down in search results for things that aren’t even relevant to the shopper.

Shoppers simply won’t click on your listing and you won't get any sales.

When they do finally click on your listing there will be a knock on effect:

-Your clickthrough rate will go down and Amazon will rank it lower in future search results.

This is because the search engine algorithm will view your listing as not be useful to customers.

And if Amazon doesn't provide useful solutions to their customers then they will stop shopping on Amazon.

After a while, you’ll have a listing that people barely see.

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5 – Hire Marketers For Your Marketing  

It sounds stupid, but people think that because translators are skilled users of language, that they are magically also marketers and salesmen.


Most translators are trained in making something in one language mean the same in another.

That doesn’t mean that they automatically know how to do the second phase of an Amazon translation, which is crafting your description towards making the sale.

Any marketer online knows that words are the magic that seduces the customer towards making a sale.

If your translator isn’t also a marketer, you run the risk of having a listing that sounds boring and unappealing to customers.

Our advice here is to hire someone who has at least some experience of how to get your product translated into a sales oriented and persuasive pitch. 

girl pink

6 – Understanding Local Markets Can Bring Unexpected Gains 

If you go to a Starbucks in China you’ll see a lot of students doing homework.

Homework is a big thing there and much much bigger than you would see in Europe or the USA. 

What you’ll also find after a while is a lot of twenty-something years old girls with a lot of pink cute accessories (see the picture for an example).  

In London, you don’t see this.

British girls don’t tend to buy things like pink iPad covers with bunny rabbit ears.


Because the two cultures are completely different. 

So what’s the message?

If you just happen to be selling novelty pink iPad cases then you might see an unexpected jump in sales when you enter the Japanese market.

In addition, you might end up getting a feel for what works in a particular place and adjust your products or listings to suit that market.

Is there a guarantee for this?

No, but after you launch your new foreign language Amazon listing, you might learn enough about your new market to be able to adapt to it by modifying your existing product or creating a new line that can boost sales. 

It is important to understand that population size does not directly equate to e-commerce sales.

So which market should you start with?

Where To Start?

It is important to understand that population size does not directly equate to e-commerce sales.

So which market should you start with?  

amazon marketplace net sales

This information above from statista.com clearly shows that the USA had the largest Amazon net sales in 2017.

The next largest markets were Germany, the UK and Japan. 

The rest of the world’s total combined Amazon net sales were just slightly above Germany’s.  

So what’s the takeaway?

After the USA, you should be selling in the following marketplaces : 


  UK; and


These should clearly give you the best return on investment and eyeballs on your translation investment compared to any other new market on the planet.

How To Load Your Translated Listing

Now if you're wondering where and how exactly to input your translated listing on Amazon Sellercentral then keep reading below.

Step 1 – Select Your Desired Amazon Marketplace

Select Foreign Marketplace

Step 2 – Go To Manage Inventory

Select Foreign Marketplace

Step 3 – Hit Edit On The Desired Inventory Listing

Hit Edit listing

Step 4 – Input Translated Text Into Inventory Listing


Now if you are interested in a quick win for your Amazon sale numbers, translating your product descriptions into your customer's foreign language is perhaps the easiest way to boost your sales conversion rate.

Simply head to www.ylt-translations.com who use a team of native speakers and marketers that actually understand how the whole Amazon machine works.

They can help you with:

 Keyword research in target languages;

  Translate email and customer templates;

 Provide customer service in 5 languages; and

 Translations of Amazon listings.

Simply use the code “ecommerce10” at checkout to get 10% OFF all your translation needs.

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