Impact Story

Meeting customers in their own language

E-commerce is about speed and scale. Including how quickly retailers can get products listed in their webshops.

But it’s not as simple as just posting them. Studies show 72% of consumers spend all or most of their time on websites in their own language.76% of them prefer to buy products described in their native tongue. 72% of consumers spend all or most of their time on websites that are in their own language. And more than half of them (56%) consider being able to get information in their own language more important than even price.

In other words, it’s difficult to sell products in languages they’re not available in. For large e-commerce companies with hundreds of thousands of products, that could take weeks using traditional translation and localised content development services. Leading to underperforming turnover rates and higher stocking costs until markets can shop in their own language—and profitability lost in translation.

Bringing the right words to market

To answer that unmet need, two students with backgrounds in e-commerce—and based in Helsingborg, already a strong e-commerce centre—came up with a simple idea: Contentor, a crowdsourced translation agency. Starting in 2007 and benefitting from the proximity of Lund University Campus Helsingborg, the founders established a network of Swedish and foreign students to work part-time on writing or translating product descriptions, newsletters or any other content needed for e-commerce clients.

Contentor has always been based in Helsingborg, and grown in step with the region’s development. It is closely allied with the Mindpark hub of the Helsingborg Innovation District, and its E-Commerce Park resources. Access to nearby Lund University Retail Management and data education programme students is directly translating into innovation of the Contentor offer. And continual cross-collaboration with locally-based e-commerce actors, investment networks, and a growing community of innovation-focused city, business and academic partners has had a direct impact on Contentor’s continued growth.

More recently and to meet the increasing speed and accuracy needed for today’s e-commerce clients, Contentor has incorporated AI solutions and expertise into translation optimisation. New tools, in combination with an expanding pool of talent, mean Contentor is able to offer content-as-a-service to automatically translate all products for an e-commerce company in minutes, while backing it with human support as needed or if preferred.

Accelerating e-commerce

With new tools in machine learning and generative AI, texts can now be created or translated much faster and for a fraction of the cost. Much as that presents an opportunity, it also creates a workflow challenge: how to control and leverage these continually-evolving capabilities to reach a global audiences with precision and cultural relevance.

With their unique combination of AI, e-commerce, and translation and content development expertise, Contentor has grown into a go-to resource for large Swedish and international companies to manage their global digital commerce communication platforms.

Faster text handling translates directly into higher profits for e-commerce. With over 400 translators, writers, proofreaders, and AI machines, Contentor has handled hundreds of millions of words since their inception. And is poised to accelerate transformative global impact innovation for the e-commerce industry in the years to come.

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