Shop Etsy

Translating the Marketplace in More Ways Than One

Nov 12, 2013

by Jo Casley

With transactions occurring in 200 countries around the world, we’re proud of our vibrant, global Etsy community.  As Chad mentioned in his August blog post, one of our priorities is to make it as easy as possible to transact in our marketplace no matter where you are; we’ve translated the site into eight languages, namely English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese and Russian, so that buyers and sellers can easily navigate their way through Etsy in their native tongues.


However, up until today, most of our listings only appeared in English making it difficult for many shoppers to find and purchase items they love. Today we’re taking another step forward as a global marketplace as we add millions of local language listings in French, German, Italian and Spanish-speaking countries. We’re also improving the ways that shoppers in those markets can find listings, making it easier for sellers and buyers who speak different languages to connect on Etsy and helping sellers better understand where their buyers are coming from.

Listings Translations for All Sellers

Starting today we will be rolling out automatic translation of all sellers’ listings into English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and incorporating those listings into local language searches. The result is a dramatic increase in the listings that appear in these local languages — in some cases up from thousands to millions of listings. This is a huge opportunity for increased sales to buyers around the world looking for the unique, one-of-a-kind items found on Etsy who may have been stumped previously by English-only listings. Note: You need to support shipping to these markets in order for your listings to show up in local search results.

If you speak any languages fluently, we encourage you to continue creating your own translations and make your listings your own. But if you’ve struggled to translate your listings, you will no longer have to rely on an off-site translation service or friends and family to help.  Anyone visiting an automatically translated listing will see a small disclaimer beneath the item description and will be able to view the listing in the seller’s primary shop language.

Automatically translated listings will include an option to view the listing in its original language.

Automatically translated listings will include an option to view the listing in its original language.

Leading up to this launch, we spoke with a few sellers about the power of international exchanges on Etsy.  Check out the short video at the top of this post to get inspired about breaking down language barriers and expanding sales.

GPLA Soon in Four Additional Languages!

Google Product Listing Ads (GPLAs) have been a huge source of traffic on Etsy, with about a third of visits coming from visitors who are new to Etsy. Previously, Google could only surface ads for Etsy goods in English-speaking countries because of low listing inventories in other languages. But now, with millions of listings in French, German, Italian, and Spanish we’re enabling many more shops to be represented in Google Shopping. Since we launched GPLA, they’ve generated over 73 million visits to Etsy and have become an increasingly important source of site traffic. We’ll begin with GPLA in French and German and will soon launch Spanish and Italian. We hope this will drive additional holiday traffic to your shops, especially from new customers!

New Tools for Sellers

We believe that with listings in new languages available for syndication to GPLA, some sellers may start to see increased purchases and convos (on-site messages) from abroad. In order to support the direct, personal relationships between buyers and sellers that make Etsy special, we’re launching a tool that allows buyers and sellers to translate convos in all Etsy-supported languages. When you receive a convo with someone who has a different primary language setting, we’ll surface a “Translate to” hyperlink that you can simply click to see an automatically translated version within the convo. This means you’ll no longer have to visit an off-site translation service to understand your buyers’ questions. The buyer will also be able to translate the convo on their end.

We also want to help you understand where in the world your shop traffic and purchases are coming from, so we have created a world map view and ship-to suggestions in a new tab of your Shop Stats. By providing you with more information about your shop’s international reach, we hope that you can make more informed decisions about your shop — like which countries you offer shipping to, and what languages you should show your listings in. To see your world map, go to your Shop Stats and click on the new “Map” tab within it.

What’s Next?

We know many of you will have questions about supporting international sales and new on-site translations, so we encourage you all to join us in the Forums. We’ll be working hard to roll out additional languages and GPLA campaigns in 2014, further increasing the breadth and depth of our marketplace. At the end of the day, we’re hoping to build a more comprehensive experience for buyers regardless of which language they speak, driving more traffic to our sellers’ shops. Here’s to a wonderful holiday season with buyers from around the globe!


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