What are Shopify translation apps?
Translating (or localizing) your Shopify store may be one of the quickest ways to expand your sales to eager customers abroad so they can enjoy browsing your store in their native tongue.
Translating your Shopify store is easier than it used to be, thanks to Shopify's multi-language features but there are limitations and it still tough to do well.
Most of the Translation shopify apps help you auto-translate your website text using Google Translate's translation services. While they are surprisingly good, we'd recommend a manual QA to avoid any awkward or unusual phrasing in another language.
There are a lot of things that go overlooked when translating a Shopify store, here's what to look for and consider:
What to look for in Translation apps
- Translated Page URLs: Shopify's native multi-language feature creates a "version" of your store at a URL extension. For example, your France store would be yourshop.com/fr and it will automatically set the proper hreflang tags in your foreign stores so Google understands they are the same store but in a different language. Note that some apps will create a subdomain for each language version, for example your Spanish store would be es.yourstore.com. This seems trivial but it allows your URLs to be translated (e.g. example.com/about-us -> es.example.com/sobre-nuestros)
- SEO Metadata Conversion: It's not only about what you can see on the page, you'll also want to make sure your SEO metadata is translated as well so Google can index your language-specific store with the proper tags.
- Consider app translation: 3rd-party apps that are important to the customer journey will may not translate. You'll need to check with each app developer to see if app translation is possible. But consider someone trying to subscribe to your products and your subscription app checkout page is not translated — not a great customer experience.
- Language auto-detection and conversion: Look for an app that can redirect a user in another country to their language-specific site automatically. If you're using a separate app for currency conversion, you may want to check that the implementation works on your foreign language store or find a translation app that also converts currency so there's no confusing mix-ups (e.g. a user seeing a French language site with USD prices)