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Could Safari’s rumoured in-built translating help you break into new markets?

The worldwide ecommerce scene’s phenomenal growth has continued unabated, with online sales across the planet totalling 3.53 trillion US dollars in 2019, according to Statista. That yearly number is expected to touch 6.54 trillion by 2023, hinting at further exciting opportunities for e-tailers.

However, is your online store available in those languages spoken by its visitors? If not, a recent report about translation features potentially coming to Apple’s Safari browser could be of interest.

What’s the (translatable) word on the street?

Of course, every year, Apple unveils a new, major release of its iOS and iPadOS – iPhone and iPad – operating systems. This year, Apple isn’t quite expected to lift the shroud until June 22, when its yearly WWDC conference – on this occasion, an online-based affair – gets underway.

Nonetheless, major Apple news site 9to5Mac reports obtaining an “early build” of iOS 14 where, for the first time, the stock web browser will come with its own, in-built translator. Hence, Safari users will be able to translate websites without needing to call upon any third-party app or service.

9to5Mac posits that, while users will “likely” be capable of manually activating the translation feature on a site-by-site basis, there will also be the option of “automatic” translations, where Safari will quickly discern the loading site’s language to ensure an accurate translation.

How these features could leave a positive ripple effect on your site

A browser-based ability to automatically translate websites is nothing new; Google’s Chrome, for example, has similar functionality. However, as MacRumors suggests, these new Safari features, if indeed in the pipeline, are probably lined up for the iPad and Mac operating systems, too.

These developments would be especially good reason for you to sit up and take notice, given suggestions that Apple users across the world are relatively affluent. The research firm IDC observes that, in developed and developing countries alike, this user base “probably encompasses a lot of the purchasing power.”

If the rumoured Safari translation features turn out to be as reliable as reported, they could help save you an otherwise time-draining job of not only translating your site manually in several languages but also subsequently analysing the translations to verify their accuracy.

The world population remains a vibrant kaleidoscope of languages

According to figures shared by Internet World Stats, while English is the most represented language online, it still accounts for only 25.9% of internet users. While at least some of these may use English as a second language, the implication of the statistic remains clear…

If your ecommerce website can’t be easily read in multiple languages, you risk alienating many potential customers – Apple users or otherwise – in the event that you try reaching out to new, overseas markets.

Even automatic translators might not be able to save you if, say, much of your site’s current text is in graphics. This is why we urge you to phone us on 01325 582112 if you would like help with priming your online store for previously unchartered waters.


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