Back on the show today is Nadine Eich from Enida, the Amazon VA Agency for the German Marketplace.
In the last episode, we talked about German customer service. Today we’re discussing the challenges and opportunities of the German Amazon listings as well as selling in Amazon Germany. After all, brilliant customer service is great but you’ve got to have the listings up to sell to get customers in the first place.
Don’t just use Google Translate. Don’t put the text of your English listing in and think you’re done. Firstly, there are character limits for the title, bullet points and description of Amazon listings and Google Translate won’t get that right! But more importantly, the language in your listing is crucial so you must get it right.
As discussed in the last episode, you need to understand some things about the German people in order to effectively sell in Amazon Germany. One important thing to know about Germans is that if you don’t use German perfectly, they won’t trust you. This is how the Germans work. Nadine is only 25 and very international, and even she feels this way. So people of older generations feel this even more strongly; they would never buy from someone who has typos or grammatical errors in their listing.
In terms of translations, you could hire a translator from Fiverr and then copy and paste the translated text into the German listing. But even though this is a step up from Google Translate, it’s still not going to play out well.
If you speak German and know the rules and the grammar, you could try it because there are good freelancers out there. But if you have no idea about the language, do not do it.
There are so many mistakes that can happen and you will have no idea and no way to check that the translation you have gotten is actually error-free. In printed text industries there are strong quality control processes in place, and with good reason. Nadine knows she makes mistakes, everybody does. That’s why at Enida she has a team of 4 people checking everything because 8 eyes are better than two!
Don’t let any of your text go into the public realm with errors because everyone’s judging you. German customers, in particular, have high standards about this. The language in a listing needs to be top quality because if it’s poor, it gives the first impression that the quality of your services and products are also poor.
Obviously, a rough translation isn’t good enough, but even a good translation won’t be enough for an Amazon listing. It might be correct linguistically in terms of translating exactly what the English text said, however, you need more than just accurate translation.
For an effective Amazon listing, you need a mixture of copywriting and translating. It also needs to fit the character limits of Amazon, it needs to be in marketing speech and it needs to be in a casual tone.
That means you need a native speaker who knows how to do keyword research. Straight English keywords won’t translate properly either. You will need to start from the ground up again with keywords. Do the research in the language and in the marketplace that you’re selling. Then you get the listing written, through a blend of copywriting and translation. It’s a tough combination but Enida has these people.
The tone of voice that you use in the listing is very important when selling in Amazon Germany. It’s important because really formal language and tone can make people disengage. You have to take the product and think about the customer. The tone isn’t an extra when trying to sell, it’s the entire deal.
Very traditional marketing thinking is the core of what we should be doing. However, it’s easy to forget on Amazon and the internet. The more you know your customers, the more you can think about the photos you use, the language you use, the product packaging and everything with your particular customer in mind.
In Germany, the market is still pretty small. A few Amazon sellers from the U.K. and U.S. are trying to expand, but it isn’t really there yet. But if you do it now and do it properly, with the proper support by people with the expertise in the German language and German customer, you increase your chance of success.
If you want to check out Enida, get in touch. They have a free resource sheet that can help you get the right support for your listing. And as a special service for AmazingFBA listeners, they will give you 10% off their services and take extra care of you. Just mention the code “ENIDAMAZING” to get the deal!