It has become increasingly easier to sell internationally with your online store. Borders cease to exist and modern technology makes it incredibly easy to order from an online store from wherever you are in the world. It is, however, very important to offer your webshop in multiple different languages and currencies. Research shows that customers prefer to view an online store in their native language. This makes it easier for them to understand important information such as product details or shipping costs. Luckily, multi language is one of the many features that are supported properly by Shopify.
Multi language possibilities
Multi language is one of the features that are supported by Shopify out of the box. You're able to add a new language to your storefront through the Shopify admin and add your translations through there. These translations, however, have some restrictions to them. If you're on the Shopify Lite plan, you won't be able to add different languages. If you're on Basic Shopify, Shopify, or Advanced Shopify, you can add up to five different languages. If you need more than those five, then you'll need to use Shopify Plus which lets you add up to twenty different languages. Besides the Shopify plan you're using, your theme also decides if you can implement multi language on your storefront. All of Shopify's free standard themes support multi language, but other themes from the Shopify Store might not. A custom theme is always a solution, if you want to make sure multi language is supported.
If you're on a Shopify plan and are using a theme that supports multi language, then you're able to add a new language for your online store. Shopify will make sure that every page gets a unique URL in it's own language, without changing your domain. This is favorable for your SEO, since it will enable search engines to find your store in the correct language. Adding translations to your store can be done in different ways. On the one hand, you can use an app for it, like 'Translate Your Store' by Weglot. Downside to using apps like these is they will impact your store's performance negatively and all translations have to be done through that specific app. Shopify also supports importing and exporting languages through a CSV file. You can export the contents of your store unto a CSV file, add your translations to it, and then import it back into your admin. Downside to this, however, is the fact that you're going to have to export and import all of your content every time you want to add a new translation. If you add new products to your site regularly, this can be very tedious.
Multi language with the Shopify Translate API
Using Shopify's so-called Native Translations is preferred instead of a third-party app. It is, however, for storeowners still very tedious to add translations through continuously exporting and importing CSV files. For our customer Boba Supply we chose to use the Shopify Translate API to handle multi language in their storefront. This API shows the correct translations the moment the page is loaded, so you will not have to lose any performance. Besides that, we also, to make it easier for the customer to add translations, installed the Helium app (also by Weglot). This app lets customers add translations, that normally have to be imported through a CSV file, through a clear UI in the Shopify admin individually. This saves them a lot of time and effort.
Share this article: