I love handmade crafts :-). If you have an online shop of your handmade crafts and arts with Etsy, here is a good news: Etsy is currently undergoing translation of their website into Japanese.

You might have heard of so-called “English allergy” of the Japanese. That is, only a small percentage of the Japanese are “confident” enough to communicate in English in day to day situations. They don’t dare to buy anything online unless they can communicate with the online shop in Japanese language. This, in turn, makes business opportunities for “import service providers”.

There are a number of such personal services available for the Japanese. The import service providers basically bridge the language barrier and they do not pitch products to their consumers, which means, here’s the point, those Japanese customers do have English proficiency, good enough to locate what they want, but they balk at dealing with the sellers in English. So, the English allergy of the Japanese, after all, is not the out-and-out situation, but rather confidence issues in practical use, if you ask me.

It seems that Etsy’s translation project is focusing on this particular segment of the Japanese consumers. Once the platform of the website is translated, covering from order placement to troubleshooting, then the Japanese may feel comfortable shopping with Etsy, even though the other information, products and shop owner details, stays as they are in English.

Oh, and of course, the Japanese loves handcrafting, so I’m sure that Etsy is eyeing on that side as well.