Setting up multi-lingual Shopify transaction emails with Orderly and Weglot

July 05, 2019 4 min read

Shopify has around 20 built-in transaction emails which are sent during different stages of the buying and fulfillment process such as order confirmation, delivery notification, etc.  These emails need to be set-up in several languages if the store targets multinational customers. The goal of this blog post is to explain how to create
  • professionally designed
  • multilingual
transaction emails with Orderly Email templates and the Weglot translation apps which are available in the Shopify app store.

Because the process involves a couple of components and is repetitive, I'll introduce a workflow, which is very efficient. If you follow these steps exactly, it will take you probably not more than one hour to have complete bilingual versions of all (about 20) transaction emails.

Pre-requisites

Before you start you need to
  1. buy Orderly Email Templates from the Shopify App Store
  2. Within Orderly, configure first all emails in your shop's main language. We'll be using German for our example)
  3. install the Weglot app
  4. create a Weglot account and configure your language setup

Why Orderly

Although Shopify provides customizable transaction emails, many Shopify customers prefer apps like Orderly to have a professionally designed look to communicate with customers

Why Weglot

Shop owners who prefer to serve their customers with one single Shopify instance need apps like Weglot or Langify to make their Store multi-lingual.

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The Workflow

In summary, you need to edit all Shopify transaction emails (which can be found in Shop admin -> Settings ->Notifications) and insert some cryptic HTML code for each language. You don't need to have any programing skills. I'd like to advise you to follow the steps below exactly to avoid touching the same emails again and again, and scroll unnecessarily through the code. The task you need to complete is highly repetitive and you can save a lot of time if you do it right. Here are the steps:

  1. Replace the current email text with a code snippet, that makes your emails multi-lingual
  2. Follow the Orderly guidelines to copy the code for your native store language
  3. Complete the orderly setup for the target language, in most cases for international shops, this will be English
  4. Follow the Orderly guidelines to copy the code for the target language
  5. Make the subject lines multi-lingual

1 Replace the current email text with a code snippet, that makes your emails multi-lingual

If you are dealing just with to languages, your online-store is set-up in German as the primary language, and translated to English by Weglot, you'll need this code in each of your emails:


{% case attributes.lang %}
        {% when 'en' %}
            ENGLISH EMAIL CODE
        {% else %}
            GERMAN EMAIL CODE
{% endcase %}

It is important to put the primary language below the {% else %}. Let's say your primary language is English you need Weglot to translate into French. Then you need this code:


{% case attributes.lang %}
        {% when 'fr' %}
            FRENCH EMAIL CODE
        {% else %}
            ENGLISH EMAIL CODE
{% endcase %}
If you're dealing with more than two languages, here is an example for a store set-up in German:

{% case attributes.lang %}
        {% when 'en' %}
            ENGLISH EMAIL CODE
        {% when 'es' %}
            SPANISH EMAIL CODE
        {% when 'pt' %}
            PORTUGUESE EMAIL CODE
        {% else %}
            GERMAN EMAIL CODE
{% endcase %}

2 Copy the Orderly code for your native store language

You first need to set up all Orderly Email Templates for your native store language. When you are done, you need to substitute the line below {% else %} by the code created by Orderly. In the example above, substitute the line GERMAN EMAIL CODE with the German email code which you created with Orderly.

Start from the Orderly editor and complete this step for each transactional email.

3 Complete the Orderly setup for the target language

Now you need to substitute the target language section in the code snippet from Step 1. In most cases for international shops, which were originally set-up in another language than English, the targen Language will be English. When you're done with all of your emails in the store language, go back to the Orderly editor and change the language of your emails and complete the email set-up.

4 Copy the Orderly code for each target language

Start with the first email which is the Order Confirmation, click finish and copy the generated code into the target language section. In our German-English set-up example, you need to substitute the line ENGLISH EMAIL CODE with the English email code which you created with Orderly. Repeat this step for each email.

5 Make the subject lines multi-lingual

Within Shopify settings -> notifications use the snippet from Step 1 to adjust the subject line of each email. Be aware that there are place-holders (variables) for e.g. Ordern No. whch you need to insert into all language versions.