Online shops can succeed even on the demanding German market
If your online shop is doing well on the domestic market, you logically start looking for other opportunities. Our customer is TT Holding a.s., which sells windows for new constructions and reconstructions under the brand name "Skladová okna" on their domestic (Czech) market. The company scores well with customers due to the high quality of its products and its competitive prices.
The focus of our client’s foreign expansion became German‑speaking markets, specifically Germany and Austria. The company decided to expand into new markets under the "Fenster Sofort" brand name.
WHY GERMANY AND AUSTRIA?
Germany and Austria provide attractive opportunities for many online shops. The local prices are usually high and so many customers prefer to buy from cheaper sellers abroad. However, in such cases, customers expect good quality products, the best customer support in German and positive references. This can be an opportunity for handy online shops to break through on the German market and gain new customers there.
The Czech Republic has a good reputation in Germany and Austria. Czechs are perceived as suppliers of quality products at reasonable prices. Czech online shops operating in Germany or Austria tend to have perfect sales service and after‑sales care. All communication must be in German, customers in these countries like it that way.
PROCESS OF EXPANDING THE ONLINE SHOP TO GERMAN‑SPEAKING MARKETS
Online store translation and localization in German
The translation of the website and online store took place in a non‑standard manner. The customer translated the texts on their own, with the company’s employees working on the translation in their free time. The result was a compilation that could not be used for presentation on the demanding German market.
The translated text needed to be proofread and significantly corrected in terms of grammar and style. Our native German adapted more than 1,000 standard pages of text exported from the editing system into CSV files so that they sounded natural, attractive and readable for German and Austrian visitors to the website. To properly set the tone‑of‑voice for the identified target groups, we used a Style Guide, which codifies the desired style of brand communication.
The large volume of text contained a great deal of similarities. This had to be taken into account using the right CAT tool. In our case, we used Memsource because it works online and allows multiple linguists to work with a single translation memory and glossary.
Deployment and checking of the online shop prior to launch
After the linguistic and marketing proofreading of the texts was completed, the following steps were undertaken:
1. Insertion of final texts in the website interface
2. Visual inspection of the website and online shop (www.fenster-sofort.de) focused on the detection of untranslated texts, text wrapping, CTA buttons, menu items, etc. The inspection also included the so‑called “customer journey”, during which we went through the entire process, from enquiry through ordering to fictitious delivery and after‑sales service. The inspection resulted in a number of changes that ensured the smooth functioning of the online shop.
3. Credibility analysis, in which native German speakers “clicked” through the entire site and assessed how credible it was to them as visitors to the site. The results of the analysis were additional valuable insights that qualitatively improved the online store and ensured higher conversion rates (number of orders, etc.). For example, our native speakers drew attention to references to already completed projects in the Czech Republic. This was considered irrelevant or even counterproductive for the Austrian and German markets, as this fact emphasized the Czech origin of the products. As a result, the customer chose to highlight projects in Germany and Austria, sidelining the Czech ones.
LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND FULFILMENT OF LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
After the translation and localization of the online shop was completed, legal assistance came into play. German legislation requires each online seller to provide the following documents:
- AGB: general terms and conditions
- Impressum: company details
- Widerrufsbelehrung: form for withdrawing from a contract
To create the required documents, it was necessary to combine German legislative requirements with the specific customer processes of our client, such as the delivery options, the complaints process, GDPR, invoicing, etc.
Legal aid process in Germany:
- We first sent the customer questionnaires in their native language (Czech) regarding their specific processes, delivery options, complaints procedure and returns policy. Our native German speakers were available for consultation if needed.
- Based on the answers from the questionnaires, we created the required documents in German. Our specialists paid particular attention to ensuring that the documents comply with current German legislation.
- The created documents were subsequently translated back into Czech so that the client had an idea of the exact content of the documents and the obligations arising from them.
- After the approval of the content by the customer, the documents were posted on the German online shop website.
ONLINE MARKETING IN GERMAN
For the successful operation of the online shop on the German and Austrian markets, we continue to provide the customer with translations associated with the operation of the German version of the site. These are mainly translations for PPC campaigns and social media posts. That is, texts designed to increase brand awareness, provide sales support, inform customers about new products, etc. All content is translated by the same linguists to ensure the terminological and stylistic consistency of the translated texts. The website and online shop www.fenster-sofort.de are therefore authentic, understandable and attractive to visitors.