E-commerce: Translating customer reviews pays off

Product reviews are one of the most effective selling tools in e-commerce, helping convince customers. They can boost sales figures by 18%. Translating them pays off.

E-commerce: Translating customer reviews pays off
Lengoo Marketing Team
Mar 24, 2021

Internet sellers rely heavily on reviews. In e-commerce, they are one of the most effective selling tools, helping convince customers of the product and supporting interested parties as they look to buy. And here's the kicker: research shows that testimonials boost sales figures by an average of 18%.


Remember the last product you bought online. Did you browse through all the Amazon reviews first? Chances are, you did! When they have a choice, 63% of online shoppers prefer buying from a website that shows reviews. They are the online equivalent of personal recommendations. Outside of the online realm, experiences of friends, relatives, and neighbors carry more weight, of course. However, in a survey, 88% of consumers indicated that they place as much trust in online reviews as they do in the opinion of those they know personally.

Customer reviews have a great impact – much greater than any other kind of information the manufacturer can provide. Research indicates that consumers are 12 times more likely to trust online reviews than the manufacturer's product descriptions.

Even poor reviews boost business. 82% of online shoppers specifically search for negative comments. Those retailers who only have positive or "too good to be true" reviews, quickly become untrustworthy and customers tend to doubt the authenticity of the comments.

Support in the buying process

Spoilt for choice: is it going to be the pink sofa with velvet covers, the designer sofa bed, or the canapé with a footrest? With a wide range of products available online, consumers quickly have to wade their way through a jungle of options. That's why modern customer journeys – leading to the final buying decision – already start with the search for the right product. Google calls this the “Zero Moment of Truth”. During this phase, interested buyers start hunting for information. No less than 93% of users read what others have to say about a certain product before clicking the Buy Now button and heading to the virtual check-out.

Translations pay off

We've described the many benefits of showing reviews on shop websites. International e-commerce companies and all businesses looking to tap into new markets, benefit from using customer reviews in various languages. It goes without saying that people feel most comfortable when dealing with their native language – above all when it comes to spending money. CSA Research has the figures to support this theory: 73% of buyers prefer reading product reviews in their mother tongue. A whopping 40% even indicate that they will not buy anything from websites speaking a language other than their own.

Consequently, companies should make it a top priority to offer online reviews in all languages of their target audiences. Right? "In my experience, a company's investment in the creation of content determines how much they are willing to invest in that content's translation. For example, a business may consider their product descriptions, written in-house, to be more worthwhile to translate than customer reviews", explains Jay Marciano, our Director of MT Strategy & Outreach. "New efficiencies in translation, however, driven by the increasing role of technology throughout the translation process, are lowering the cost and changing the ROI model of translation. This allows companies to re-evaluate their localization priorities. Suddenly, multilingual product reviews fit into their translation budget."

Authentic language

Using generic online translation tools simply won't cut it when it comes to customer reviews. With professional translations, companies ensure that the natural flow of consumers' opinions is preserved, resulting in convincingly authentic reviews. This is achieved through a combination of customized neural machine translation and human language experts. For example, Lengoo regularly translates customer reviews for Westwing. Read our case study to find out more.