case study


How Taikonaut Customized Shopify to Support the Chinese Language

Founded in 2005, Taikonaut is a global watch strap retailer that wanted to create a Traditional Chinese Shopify store to cater to shoppers from Taiwan. Learn the aspects of Shopify localization from theme selection to customizing all parts of the Shopify store for a smooth customer experience.

May 15, 2018
HK & Taiwan



services provided

Shopify site development, Shopify theme customization
Since its founding in 2005, Taikonaut has become a leading online watch band retailer with customers around the world. The Hong Kong-based company creates high quality watch straps and replacements for brands such as Bell & Ross and Seiko.

Update: As of May 2019, Simplified Chinese language support has been launched for the Shopify admin console.

Noticing significant traffic from Taiwan and given it’s close proximity, Taiwan was a natural expansion market for Taikonaut. However, Taikonaut knew that selling online to the Taiwanese market required a Traditional Chinese language website. They approached Wave Commerce to develop an ecommerce store that would meet Taiwanese shoppers’ needs while adhering to Taikonaut’s polished global brand identity. Wave Commerce worked with Taikonaut to create a customized Traditional Chinese Shopify online store solution to target the Taiwan market.

The Objective

Taikonaut wanted to build an online store using a platform that could deliver a stylish front-end to match their brand identity while providing a solid ecommerce infrastructure to help with tasks like inventory and order fulfillment. They wanted to leverage proven existing ecommerce platform like Shopify, but were concerned about the level of customization the English-based platform could provide for Chinese content.

Having developed on the Shopify platform for several years, Wave Commerce’s engineering team helped Taikonaut customize their Shopify store to display Traditional Chinese for every step of the shopper’s journey on the Taikonaut store.

Designing a Traditional Chinese Shopify Store Experience

Designing a Traditional Chinese Shopify Store experience requires thinking through the entire customer experience from storefront browsing to the shopper checkout flow. Wave Commerce took into account the cultural nuances of the Taiwan market and adapted our engineering efforts to customize Shopify’s English-based ecommerce platform to create a native Chinese language shopping experience.

Because Shopify’s interface and many themes are designed in English, we advised Taikonaut on selecting a theme that would be more suitable for building a Chinese language Shopify store. After Taikonaut selected a Shopify theme, Wave Commerce began work on localizing every part of the Shopify store that included:

  • home page
  • navigation and menus
  • collection pages
  • product page content
  • account registrations
  • check out pages
  • system messages
  • notifications and e-mails

Building a Chinese language Shopify store will require some customization at the theme template level. For Taikonaut’s chosen theme, one of the most complex components to modify, for example, was the dropdown navigation menu. Other components that required customization included the checkout page and translating some of the platform’s system messages into Chinese.

Creating Localized Chinese Content

After setting up templates to support Chinese, Wave Commerce worked on creating the store content. Wave Commerce took product information provided by Taikonaut and performed data cleansing to ensure completeness of product data, correct encoding of Chinese characters, and performed sanity checks to see if there were possible mistakes in the data. Certain terms on the store were refined (e.g., shipping from “送貨” for Hong Kong to “配送”) to help Taikonaut deliver an experience better catered for Taiwanese shoppers.

Handover and Technical Support

Upon successful completion, Wave Commerce handed over the website to Taikonaut and scheduled a follow-up meeting to answer questions and concerns. Wave Commerce also provided follow-up technical support for a 30-day period to ensure a smooth handover.

Results and Key Achievements

Wave Commerce helped Taikonaut respond swiftly to proven market demand with a localized website that delivered a smooth shopping experience for Taiwanese shoppers. Wave Commerce was able to make the required theme modifications and handover Taikonaut’s Traditional Chinese website for launch within a matter of weeks after project kick-off.

By investing in a localized store, Taikonaut is now able to localize their online sales and marketing efforts for the Taiwan market to drive growth. By leveraging Shopify, Taikonaut was not only able to create an elegant online store to suit their shoppers, but also use Shopify’s world-class ecommerce backend for their team to deliver a great ecommerce customer experience.

We had a really good experience working with Wave Commerce to launch our website. They delivered detailed work quality and were comprehensive about localizing our store to the Chinese language. Also, their timely service delivery resulted in getting the store ready in a matter of weeks. They were very knowledgeable and patient about creating our store, and thorough in answering any technical questions promptly that we had about Shopify. We would highly recommend working with Wave Commerce and we look forward to continuing to work with them."

Taikonaut Team