Quickly Build a Multilingual WooCommerce Store with WPML


Success in e-commerce is a numbers game. There are now over 2 billion online shoppers out there, with e-commerce accounting for more than 17% of retail sales globally in 2020. And those numbers keep rising, year after year. That might sound like plenty of potential customers to go around, but there’s a lot of competition out there too.

That’s why it’s essential that your business or WooCommerce store reaches the maximum number of customers possible. Whether you’re a small independent online store or an agency providing WooCommerce stores for large organizations there’s a good chance you’re missing out on a potentially huge customer segment. Those who speak other languages.

Why WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is the most popular single e-commerce store worldwide, powering at least 28% of online stores so there’s a good chance you’re already using it. If not it might be the perfect solution for you as it’s simple, full of features, offers thousands of useful extensions, and is free. Yes, really.

There can be other costs to consider when building a WooCommerce store just like any business, and we have a guide to those too, but WooCommerce itself helps you get started selling online without demanding upfront costs.

You Need a Store that Speaks Your Customers’ Language

Research shows that 40% of online shoppers worldwide won’t buy from a website that isn’t in their first language. Even those that have a fluent or working knowledge of English, for example, prefer to shop in their native language. With 72% more likely to buy something from a store in their first language. Then there’s the fact that the countries with the fastest-growing e-commerce sales in 2021 are India, Brazil, Russia, Argentina, and Mexico. While China alone now represents over 50% of global e-commerce sales.

That’s a lot of potential customers to miss out on.

So how do you grow your sales funnel, find new customers, and make them feel welcome when they visit your store?

A World of Sales with WPML

WPML is a multilingual plugin for WordPress that makes it simple to build and run multilingual websites and online stores in over 40 different languages.

It works perfectly with WooCommerce. It’s compatible with almost all plugins or themes that use the WordPress API so you won’t need to rebuild anything. And perhaps most importantly it does far, far more than just translating basic written content. It can auto-translate or work with translation teams. It allows for language-specific SEO. And customers can shop from start to finish, browsing to cart, to checkout, in their own language and pay in their own currency.

There are a lot more features that demonstrate why it’s already being used by almost 1 million web stores of course, but first, the essentials.

What You Need & What it Costs

It’s easier than you might think to get everything you need working in harmony. So long as you have WooCommerce (v3.9.0 onward) then most WPML price plans already include everything you need:

  • WooCommerce Multilingual
  • WPML 4.4.6 or above
  • WPML String Translation
  • WPML Media (for displaying alternate media in other translations)

All of the required components above are included in the WPML ‘Multilingual CMS’ or ‘Multilingual Agency’ price plans. Once you’ve chosen which is right for you they can simply be downloaded straight from your WPML account page. The WooCommerce and WooCommerce Multilingual plugins can also be found in the WordPress plugins repository.

Which price plan is right for you and what will it cost? That depends on your needs.

If you’re building your own multilingual web store (or up to three total) then the ‘Multilingual CMS’ tier includes everything you need in a complete package and is currently priced at $99 for the first year.

If you’re a digital agency building web stores for clients as a business then you’ll want the ‘Multilingual Agency’ tier to create unlimited stores, currently priced at $199 for the first year.

To check exactly what is included in each tier and the most up-to-date pricing you can find it all on WPML’s pricing page.

How WPML’s Features Work for You

Image courtesy of https://wpml.org/

You know how important multilingual commerce is to the success of your store. You know what you need to get your store speaking your customers’ language. You’ve picked the WPML price plan that is best for you. But what exactly does that investment in your store and WPML include?

Everything you need to make sure your store works for customers in their preferred language, top to bottom, from start to finish. Here’s just a quick, but more extensive, feature breakdown:

  • 40+ languages from around the world so you can speak to your customers wherever they are.
  • Simple language switchers that translate your entire site in seconds, from written content to hidden site infomation.
  • Automated translation based upon machine learning for instant translation across your site.
  • Advanced translation editor for creating local language variations (Canadian-French for example) or for working with remote or outsourced localization teams.
  • Recommended translation partners if you need further localization but don’t know where to turn.
  • Store pages to show off your product and sell your business’ services.
  • Cart and checkout pages all in your customers’ local language so they can be confident before purchasing.
  • Multiple currencies matched to your customers’ chosen language so they don’t have to do currency conversions.
  • Cart clearance options when the language or currency changes if required.
  • Product variations because one product or service might not fit all regions.
  • Alternate media for different languages so that images always match the translation.
  • Translate everything. Not just content like product descriptions and page text. Translate categories, tags, attributes, custom taxonomies, shipping classes, and more. Even sales emails and more off-site.
  • String translation even translates text from other plugins and admin screens to ensure everything matches up.
  • Multilingual SEO to help your customers find you with translated URLs, domain names, page slugs, meta text, and more. Plus it’s compatible with all popular SEO plugins to check your SEO score in all languages.
  • Inventory automation and attribute synchronization to avoid organizational headaches and ensure you know what’s in stock and where, even across multiple stores.
  • Top compatibility as WPML works with almost all other plugins and themes using the WordPress API.
  • Stable and secure with WordPress standards and extensive QA testing across WordPress versions old and new as well as the many compatible plugins.
  • Fantastic support with extensive documentation, easy-to-follow tutorials, and customer support 6 days a week, 19 hours a day, in at least 9 different languages.

Take Your WooCommerce Store Global

There are billions of potential customers out there, including millions that would never use your site. Until now. Now you have everything you need to grow your customer base around the world. No more worries about language barriers or currency conversions. With WPML your WooCommerce store will be a flawless, fluent, multilingual experience from start to cart to checkout.

So if you haven’t already, head over to WPML to get started and start speaking your new customers’ language.

Alternatively, if you want to learn everything there is to know about WooCommerce you can find our many other articles and guides right here.

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