How do we localize items on Amazon?

This article explains the process of localizing items on Amazon. You will learn what this process looks like and find out how we translate different parts of the item. 

Topics in this article:

Adaptive Translation System (ATS)

Each listing segment is translated separately using what we call an Adaptive Translation System (ATS), a sophisticated process that splits each listing’s sections (title, category, item specifics, attributes, description, conversion chart) and takes appropriate action depending on a variety of conditions before listing the item on a foreign marketplace.

Here’s a breakdown of ATS in action:

  1. Item selection process (more here)
  2. Title optimization process (more here)
  3. Original terms matched to our industry libraries
  4. Automatic/Manual translation
  5. Adaptation of international listings to marketplace rules
  6. Item is listed on a foreign marketplace

Translations which cannot be automatically translated using ATS are dealt with by our highly skilled linguistic team. Sellers can also define which terms they want to leave intact via our Translation Manager, giving clients who use specific vocabularies and brands more control over the quality of translations.

Here’s a summary of how we translate each items part.

Translating titles

Titles (and item specifics) are given the most priority because statistically most purchases are done based on the information provided in titles and item specifics.

Due to character limitations across all marketplaces, before listing a title our system does the following:

  • Removes useless characters (symbols, emoticons, redundant spaces, etc.) using an “expression filter”
  • Removes interjections, onomatopoeia and other trivial words
  • Removes terms that bring nothing of value to titles, e.g., free shipping, free gift, cheap sale, super gift, weekend offer, etc.
  • When the title has to be shortened due to platform character limitations, ATS removes words that are covered in the item’s subcategories, like color, size, gender, etc.

Read this article on how to adapt original titles for Webinterpret. Once all of the above conditions are met, and if the terms in the title aren’t in our database, the title is sent to our translation team.

Please note:

  • Upper cases are removed in titles. Only the first word and brand names keep their title casing, though we can detect simple patterns and reuse them.
  • Categories have different character limits in their titles.
  • Character limits are larger but will be reduced in the future.
  • Amazon title rules are different depending on the category
  • Sizes are not translated in titles
  • Other measuring units are converted in titles.
  • In most cases translated titles will not keep the original word order.
  • Book and CD titles are translated, but foreign expressions in titles will be left alone.

Translating item attributes

We either copy Item Attributes from original listings or translate them using our Adaptive Translation System if they are not in our database (e.g., colors that are not a variation, outer and inner materials, brand, model, manufacturer, etc).

Translating bullet points

We use our own industry-specific dictionary that is always updated by translators and linguists. We use an automatic error detection mechanism, and automatically update expressions with the help of team of professional quality control specialists.

Bullet points are translated by a patented machine translation that shortens content to fulfill Amazon requirements.

Translating categories

  • We use a patented mechanism to associate your original items to their international marketplace equivalents.
  • Not all categories exist between country marketplaces, but Webinterpret’s Adaptive Translation Mechanism is designed to properly match the original categories to existing international counterparts.
  • Categories are regularly validated by our specialists.  
  • If we can't automatically map a category, we do it manually.

Translating descriptions

We use the content from bullet points in descriptions. In some categories Amazon removes the bullet points, leaving them empty.

Translating variations & Conversion Charts

All variations are translated using Amazon's conversion charts. Size variations use our own conversion charts. If we don't have a particular size, then we translate it ourselves. If the conversion charts include numbers we copy them: pieces, quantity, etc. If it's colors we translate them.