Machine translation for eCommerce marketplace success story

Machine translation for eCommerce marketplace success story

Launching a localized shopping experience to increase engagement and revenue.
In collaboration with the client, a continuous localization program was developed to support the company's global expansion goals.


A leading global eCommerce marketplace for luxury items identified a strategic opportunity to expand internationally given that forty percent of their sellers and thirty percent of their traffic were already located outside of their domestic U.S. market.

With a focus on Western Europe and to improve the user experience and conversion of global users, the client set out to launch a French and German website.


Our client wanted to launch a fully localized experience, from product discovery, to checkout, logistics and customer service. Together with the Acclaro team, a continuous localization program was developed to help capture and increase engagement and conversion in the company’s target markets.

Due to the high value of products across a variety of categories, the quality of translations had to meet a high standard. Due to the sheer volume of their inventory (over 1 million unique items), the company looked for a solution that could:

  • Translate hundreds-of-millions of words under tight timelines
  • Leverage automated solutions that connect internal content creators and multiple content management systems
  • Cover different translation process for legal content, marketing taglines, SEO content, front end messages, emails, customer support articles, machine translation, and more
  • Evolve the localization program into a highly automated maintenance phase

The company needed a process that was easy to manage and stayed within budget.


The Acclaro team approached the problem in a consultative way. First by interviewing the client’s teams to come to a deep understanding of not only what needed to be done, but how things work internally.

The key objective was to identify the best approach for the different components of customer-facing content.

In close collaboration with the client, the Acclaro team took a multi-faceted approach with machine translation (MT) at the heart of it due to the high volume of content.

To achieve the best possible results, it was essential that the right tool and process was identified for each content type:

  • Product titles that do not follow a formal sentence structure
  • Product descriptions that provide detailed information in a traditional sentence structure
  • Product titles string together the key attributes of an item just like a sales slogan. For this non-standard content, we developed a custom-built neural MT engine. This custom engine was trained on the client’s content and the unique sentence structure of product titles or page headlines. As a result, this custom MT engine produces high-quality translations to convince and convert prospective, international buyers.
  • For product descriptions and customer support content that follow a more traditional sentence structure, the Acclaro team evaluated and compared several commercially available, third-party MT engines. In collaboration with the client and in-country resources, the engine that produced the best results was selected.

Then, both the third-party and custom MT engines were integrated into one automated translation process.

Strategic planning and evaluation were key to identifying the precise solution to fit each unique content type as well as supporting large volumes and quick turnarounds with an integrated, comprehensive workflow.

According to the client, Acclaro stepped up with a comprehensive MT solution that is fully integrated and automated. The solution includes a maintenance mode that continuously improves the quality of the output. For high impact marketing assets that are highly nuanced, our client leverages our team of vetted, in-county linguists.

Highlights and results


Our client is now able to provide better support to both international buyers and sellers, and expect the localized marketplaces will help them connect better and have a more satisfying experience. According to the client, they couldn’t have done this without Acclaro’s team of MT and localization experts.

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