Comprising 5 main marketplaces – UK, Germany, France, Italy & Spain – Amazon Europe receives an estimated 295 million visits per month.
Germany (Amazon.de) and the UK (Amazon.co.uk) are the biggest marketplaces, with 124 million and 91 million visits per month respectively. The other three – France (Amazon.fr), Italy (Amazon.it) and Spain (Amazon.es) – account for a combined 79 million monthly visits.
By comparison, Amazon.com is estimated to receive 444 million visits per month – based on these figures, Amazon Europe is approximately two-thirds the size of Amazon.com right now.
However, with a population of over 700 million people and lower competition than in the US, the growth potential in Europe for Amazon Sellers is immense.
With Amazon Europe presenting a significant opportunity, as outlined by the statistics above, Sellers must look beyond basic translation and seek to optimize their listings for maximum success there. In this article, I will show you how.
Below, we can see how few people speak English in the the key, non-English speaking markets of Amazon Europe (Germany, France, Italy & Spain) – just 22% in Spain!
Surprisingly, there are a number of US & UK Amazon Sellers who make the effort to expand and list their products on Amazon Germany, France, Spain and Italy, but present their listing in English. This significantly limits their potential customer base.
We have a clear takeaway here : list in the native language of each of these countries, or the majority of your potential customers will be unable to read about your offering!
So, you want to optimize your product listing(s) for Amazon Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
We recommend you review your listing(s) in English first – do you have some improvements to make? If so, focus on this before considering optimization in any other language(s).
The reason is that the consultant or agency who will work on optimizing your listing(s) in a new language, will likely start by reviewing your listing(s) in English – this will allow them to learn about your product(s), brand, target market and your preferred style of copywriting.
The better listing you can provide in English, the better listing you will get at the end from the consultant or agency.
We strongly advise hiring native language professionals to write and translate your listing(s) for Amazon Europe – beyond mastery of language, their knowledge of the local culture (and its customers) will be key to ensure your products are marketed in the right way.
For example, when hiring someone to write your listings for Amazon Spain, a native from Spain (that speaks Castilian Spanish) is generally advised. Although Spanish is the native language of most countries in Central & South America, a different dialect is spoken in these countries (referred to as Latin American Spanish), and translators from these countries will likely use words and phrases that are not used by natives in Spain.
It’s important to hire writers with a strong command of English too – this will ensure they fully understand the style and nuances of your English listing (the source text), in addition to your instructions.
Make sure to verify the language credentials of the consultant or agency you are hiring – perhaps they can translate a small sample of text that you can have a friend look over, or they can point to previous jobs done (reviews and testimonials), or certifications held.
If not, you might end up like one of these unfortunate Sellers on Amazon France!
Translation is the process of changing written text created in one language into another language.
When your goal is to get an Optimized Amazon Listing in a new language, there is more than translation to account for – two key factors must also be addressed, Localization AND Keyword Research.
As a Seller, your goal is not just to get a listing that is translated accurately. You want a listing that will encourage customers in that market to buy your products.
And so, your listing must not only be translated, but localized.
Localization comprises a combination of translation and copywriting, and involves adapting your listing to the local market you are targeting – the aim is to generate sales copy that is tailored to the local culture and encourages buying behaviour.
Hiring listing writers that have experience with copywriting, as well as excellent translation skills, is recommended – the focus is on conversion, not just translation.
This is required to identify the best keywords in the target language (those which customers use to find a product like yours) – and include them in your listing and back-end search terms.
Failure to do keyword research in the local language is perhaps the biggest reason why sellers struggle when moving to Amazon’s non-English speaking marketplaces.
Comprehensive keyword research involves identifying the most important seed terms in your niche, and from these, generating all related and long-tail keywords that customers on Amazon will use to find a product like yours.
Without comprehensive keyword research, keywords will be omitted from your listing or search terms (in the back-end of Seller Central), causing you to miss out on relevant traffic and thus, sales.
Important to note – your product will not appear in Amazon’s search results if a customer performs a search using keywords that are not in your listing or search terms.
Many writers who can effectively localize and translate your listing’s sales copy for their local market, will not have the required expertise and experience to perform quality and comprehensive keyword research.
As such, a second hire may be required to perform keyword research and ensure your listing includes and targets the best keywords in that language / marketplace. If this is the case, do the keyword research first, as the top keywords identified should be prioritized in your sales copy.
Now that the importance of keyword research is highlighted, here is some guidance when it’s time to do keyword research in German, French, Italian and / or Spanish:
There are a number of tools that can be used to do keyword research for Amazon Europe, including:
Bottom line – keyword research is a vital process (one that is worth time and investment), as it has a significant impact on the amount and type of traffic directed to your listing.
Ensure your writers are familiar with Amazon’s guidelines / rules for product content, and are aware of the character limits that apply to the different sections of your listing (title, bullets and description).
The same principles apply as titles written in English for Amazon US or UK – your title should combine copywriting (encouraging customers to click on your listing) and important keywords you want to rank for (both high-volume and relevant to your offering).
We recommend you request 2 titles for each product listing – perhaps 1 longer and 1 shorter version – you can then test which one is the better performer in terms of traffic, conversion rate and ultimately sales.
Emphasize that your text must not only be translated, but localized and adapted so the style is appealing to customers in the target market.
Make sure that units of measurement in your US Listings are adapted to those used in Europe – you can convert many common measurements here.
We present below some tips for sales copy in each marketplace – of course these points are generalizing and consumer behaviour varies at an individual level, but they aim to provide a feel for the different approaches that can be applied in these markets.
German customers tend to be performance and detail oriented. They will often spend time researching for the very best product, and look for evidence of quality in your product listing.
They tend to be more receptive to shorter text and content that is detail and logic oriented, rather than longer and more sales oriented text.
Customers in France and Italy also tend to be methodical when purchasing goods online, often doing research to ensure the product meets their particular need(s).
They place high value on the trustworthiness of your brand and product, with particular focus on customer reviews and feedback.
Informative and reassuring product descriptions are suggested.
Lastly, they display a particular sensitivity to the quality of writing and pictures in your listing – presentation is key.
Spanish customers place high value on your brand and product’s social recognition, but tend to be more spontaneous in their purchasing approach.
Your sales copy should remain simple and clear (avoiding details that are not essential), and focus on the best features of your product.
It’s best practice to have another native speaker review your newly localized / translated listing(s) – perhaps you have a friend that can do this, or you can hire a freelancer.
Your new listings should be proofread at a minimum – spelling mistakes or basic grammatical errors will cause you to lose credibility in the eyes of potential customers.
Ideally, the person reviewing your listing should bear the following criteria into their evaluation:
Let’s evaluate the two common groups that Sellers hire to write and translate their listings for Amazon Europe – freelancers and general translation agencies:
If translation agencies sound like a good fit for your needs, there are a number of them listed here.
As an alternative to freelancers and translation agencies, you can also hire a Listing Optimization Specialist to produce your Amazon Europe listings.
At AMZ Europe, we specialize in optimizing and localizing listings for Amazon Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK. It’s an all-in-one service, created by European Amazon Sellers, and designed to put you in the best position to succeed on Amazon Europe.
Offering a unique combination of native copywriting / localization, keyword research and Amazon expertise, we generate optimized listings, designed to increase traffic and conversion rate in your target market.
For each optimized listing ordered, you will get:
Amazon Europe does not currently allow sellers to display different images for each marketplace – as such, the same pictures will be shown in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
If you have pictures displaying text that (a) is important for customers to make a purchasing decision, and / or (b) enhances your chances of making a sale; we highly recommended you translate this text for each applicable marketplace, and incorporate the translations into your pictures – by doing so, you ensure that customers in each marketplace can read your essential text. Not doing this can frustrate potential customers who can’t read English and hurt your conversion.
Multilingual presentation in an image (like the example provided below) can achieve this:
To ensure the text is visible, opt for shorter messages, as it will need to be displayed in up to 5 languages (English, German, French, Italian and Spanish).
We recommend performing split tests (also known as “A/B Testing”) on your product listings in each marketplace, and analyzing data to see what works best there. What works best may well vary by country / marketplace.
Key parts of your listing that can be tested (without any language skills):
We hope you enjoyed this guest post on how to optimize your listings for the non-English speaking markets on Amazon Europe (Germany, France, Italy & Spain) – we tried to draw on our experience of optimizing listings in these marketplaces and make it as practical as possible.
If you have any questions on this topic or some points to add, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Thanks to Dave and the AMZ Europe team for writing this guide on how to optimize listings for Amazon Europe! I believe this is the first such detailed article of its kind. This guide is a must read for anyone who is already selling or plans to expand their business to European marketplaces.
If you want high quality listings for your products, I truly recommend AMZ Europe and their listing optimization services.
Dave and his business partner Jérémie run AMZ Europe, a business that offers services to assist Amazon Sellers in Europe. AMZ Europe specializes in optimizing and localizing / translating product listings for the big 5 Amazon Europe Marketplaces - Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK.