The WooCommerce Multilingual plugin allows you to turn your WooCommerce store into a multilingual one. That’s the theory. How does it look like in practice? Is this process easy or difficult? Will translating your products into foreign languages help your business to grow?
We asked these questions to our WPML customers who built their multilingual online stores with WPML plugins. See what they answered.
Authors and multilingual stores they built
Languages: German, English, Italian
Author: Lukas Mairl, CEO of wundersocks.com
Languages: English, German, Dutch
Author: Boris Hoekmeijer — a designer/developer, self-employed, the owner of borishoekmeijer.nl. He made this site for his customer, a mother of four kids.
Languages: English, German
Author: Daniël Brito, the CTO of GPSTrackShop.com
Languages: English, German
Author: Stefan Wiesmeth, General Manager of Blackeye
4 reasons for making stores multilingual with WPML
First, we asked our interviewees why they decided to build an online store and why they chose the WPML plugins. Here are their reasons:
#1 — Reaching broader audience
“We wanted to reach as many customers as possible. Having a multilingual website is a must. Most of our customers are based in Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. That’s why we chose to go with Italian, German and English as our main three languages.”
#2 — Not everybody knows English, even if you think they do
“We launched GPSTrackShop.com in English only and noticed a lot of Dutch visitors were having difficulties with the website because of that. This is when we thought that we should translate the website. But knowing that it would cost a lot of time to make a copy of the website we searched for a solution and found WPML as the best solution.”
#3 — because of WooCommerce itself
“I used WooCommerce as, in my experience, it is the best webshop solution for WordPress.”
#4 — make you customers comfortable while shopping
“We wanted our customers to feel confident during the shopping process. WPML works very well and is stable — and that’s essential we think. The price of the WPML plugin is very reasonable and absolutely affordable — especially for small businesses and start-ups.”
Was it easy or difficult?
Creating an online store is a challenge itself. Making it multilingual is like raising your game to another level. Was the process easy or difficult for our customers?
“It was easy to setup the WPML plugin, but I had to find out where to do the translations of more complex features like custom fields and plugins. After reading the manual and trying, I found the way to do so. So on a scale of 1 to 10 (not difficult – very difficult) I would say a 2.”
Quite a bit of work
“Making WPML and WooCommerce work properly was quite a bit of work, actually. Setting it all up took a lot of time, and after that, we experienced a couple of issues, some related to WooCommerce Multilingual plugin (bugs that seem to have been fixed) as well as other plugins (WooCommerce/Yoast SEO plugin).
I am very careful now of updating any of the WooCommerce related plugins, as my confidence in the system has been dented somewhat. Stability over time will hopefully erase my doubts. “
“It was fairly easy to setup the plugin. After reading the documentation and playing with different settings we were able to get the site out pretty fast.”
We, as non-programmers, needed some time
“We have no programming skills, but we made it work well. Our goal was to use our WordPress theme, WooCommerce and WPML together, without the help of a programmer and without customizing any code. Obviously we needed some time to learn how everything works and what’s possible, but we made it.”
How it affected their business
Ok, so it takes a while to put it all together and make your store multilingual. Did it pay off?
From a small showcase site to getting real profits
“I designed and built the website, I don’t own the business. My client does, and it has definitely helped her. At first, the website was mainly a showcase for her self-designed products to attract re-sellers, now she can actually sell them herself to consumers. That has given her profits a nice boost!”
Simply said: Best investment we made.
“The biggest effect is the fact that our content has now better SEO results. Because if a person searches in Google for our products with Dutch terms, they will find our product is now much higher than before.
For example If we compare the month before and after the launch of the WPML plugin: 200% more income, 80% more visitors, 15% decrease of bounce rate, 10% increase in average pageviews per user and I can keep on going about all the improvements. Simply said: Best investment we made.”
Customers from all over the word
“It affected our business a lot. After setting up the multilingual site we were able to reach even more people around the world. We are now receiving many orders for example from the USA, Canada and UK. “
We set it up ourselves and saved a lot of money
“Our online shop definitely needs to be multilingual for our business. Using WordPress and the WPML plugin saves us a lot of cost for programmers and maintenance. We can now do it all by ourselves. “
What they liked the most about the plugin
The WPML core and the WooCommerce Multilingual plugin are rich in a wide range of different features. What did our customers like the most?
Simple setup and useful settings
“We like the simple setup. Also it provides a lot of useful settings. Our goal was to get the site out as fast as possible. Coding something from scratch would have taken up too much time and too many resources.”
User language auto detection
“There are a couple of things I like about the plugin, but one of my favourites is the fact that the plugin comes with a building feature to show the correct language according to the user local language.”
The bridge between WPML and WooCommerce
“The WooCommerce Multilingual plugin bridges that gap between WPML and WooCommerce, which is exactly what I was looking for. What I don’t really understand though, is that translating products works so differently from regular posts. It would have made sense to me to have it set up like that.”
Stability and excellent support
“It integrates well and doesn’t create trouble. Only once we had a minor issue, caused by a WordPress update; however, it got resolved with a new WPML update a few days later. Can absolutely recommend WPML!“
Conclusion and upcoming improvements to multilingual WooCommerce
WPML team is aware that WooCommerce Multilingual has room for improvement. At this very time, we are completing a major update to WooCommerce Multilingual. This update addresses a number of usability problems which we have already identified.
The configuration is getting a reorganization uplift, so that it will simpler to set up the multilingual options of e-commerce sites.
The biggest boost in this version is in the new product translation editor. We are changing everything in the current editor, making it easier to find products that require translation and to translate them.
Translation will also be possible for both site admins and the ‘translators’ of the site.
We are planning a first beta release in about two weeks and a production release shortly after.
What is your experience?
How about you? Have you ever built an online store with WordPress? Maybe you have some plans but also some doubts. What are they? Please share your experience with us.