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Online merchants have different reasons to expand their business internationally. Selling products or services internationally means increased sales potential, brand strengthening, broad customer base, and diversified revenue through various trading cycles. However, the process is not easy for all merchants. Going international can be overwhelming for businesses considering the change in currency, culture, storefronts, language and more. Stay tuned with this blog as it covers nine ways you can go international with your products or services.
Also read, top 9 mistakes to avoid during a Shopify migration
Cracking International Commerce: 9 Shopify Plus Strategies
Take a look at the nine ways to break the barrier of international commerce with Shopify Plus. Strategies will not work if the basic steps are not followed as per your informed decisions. If your brand’s revenue is between 5-100 million dollars, Shopify Plus is the one that will take you beyond borders to sell your services and products.
1. Create Localized Shopping Experiences with Community
Maximize worldwide appeal with Shopify Plus and its 9 clone stores feature to deliver localized shopping experiences. Your online store can be customised with regard to language, currency, and culture for various markets. You can also handle promotions with ease and make content more suited for global audiences. Now simplify your business processes, increase client satisfaction, and rule the international market. You can boost your brand with Shopify Plus, where unmatched e-commerce brilliance combines with localization.
Entering into new markets can feel daunting to online merchants. One can learn a lot about global e-commerce with new market-specific trends, customer segments and local competition. Many brands take the bullet to expand internationally and attain immense success to fulfill their vision. You can connect with the market experts who went international with their offering to gain some insights into global e-commerce. Check out LeanLuxe, Foundrs, 2PM, Online Geniuses and eCommTalk to connect with market leaders and get started with your international journey today!
2. Sell in Popular Languages and Currencies
Selling to other countries may be a no-brainer for your business; still, ensure to calculate the fruitful territories. Google Analytics can help in getting a list of countries you want to sell your products or services to while noting the different currencies and languages you will need. Get on-board with Shopify Plus with the following:
- A Storefront for Currency and Language Variations: Either have a separate store that provides the ability to shop in different languages and currencies or a combination of both.
- Currency Switcher: Enable your customers to view your store in their preferred currency. Currency switcher comes handy with Shopify Plus themes. Implementation is also easy!
- Pop-Up and Geo Detection: Use this tool to suggest relevant storefronts/stores for high traffic based on the detected locations.
Which architecture should you use on Shopify Plus to go international with your offerings? Generally, merchants go with a multi-store route with many stores synced to minimize operational overheads. Use Shopify Plus Multi-Currency to power different storefronts from one store. Headless architecture is also beneficial to offer many language and currency combinations with one store in the backdrop.
3. Use Best SEO Practices
Ensure that your online store is generating organic traffic for your store from different locations that you may want to tap in future for global expansion. With any global website, content is replicated that can confuse Google. For example, your product may exist on de.yourbrand.com/products, fr.yourbrand.com/products and yourbrand.com/products. All these links reflect the same content in different languages. It causes two problems:
- How to inform Google which store to showcase to which audiences?
- How to inform Google that the content is the same on all stores?
Use HREFLANG tag to save SEO value from being mitigated across all stores and also inform Google which store version should appear on search engine results of different locations. Be smart with your store’s domain structure. As a result, always distinguish yourself from the competition to target new locations through your domain.
4. Study New Regulatory Requirements
Keep yourself updated with any new regulations and rules when you are tapping a new market or region. Several laws are made for online data protections. Regulations do not stop brands from using white-hat marketing strategies. A Shopify Plus Expert can help you understand the rules and regulations of all the markets or areas that you want to cover with internationalization.
Other regulations and rules are product-specific. For example, certain chemicals are banned in the California states. So if you are tapping California with your products and services, you must inform the buyers about the risks involved in using the products. Take help from a Shopify Plus partner to check rules and regulations of overseas markets. The rules and regulations are applied to your business so that you are not liable to operate business physically and access site visitors data in various locations.
You can also read 9 most important features of Shopify Plus
5. Optimize Checkout Page
It is important to optimize your store to expand your business globally. Address layouts are not standard; it differs in orders from place to place. For example, your UK customers will fill their postcode while the US audience will use a ZIP code. Shopify Plus take care of such issues on your behalf. However, Shopify suggests that an address validation app should be used to legitimate the entered addresses so that products will be shipped to the right places.
Select any payment methods at the checkout to continue your journey of internationalization. A customer in the Netherlands might wish to pay through IDEAL while your Indian customer wants to pay in Indian currency via net banking. Essentially, you will provide localized payment methods with Shopify Plus. If the payment method does not work in any location, you can use checkout plugins to provide a smooth shopping experience.
6. Sales Tax
Managing sales tax is a crucial factor to consider when selling products abroad. Most countries will insist on collecting the tax if your brand is present in their country. Stock owned by employees or even an agent acting on your behalf would all be considered this.
Remember that you can be required to pay sales tax in every state where you sell if you have a nexus in the US due to the South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. decision. You must submit taxes in that state if you sell for more than this amount.
You must consider VAT (Value Added Tax) if you export to the UK and EU. This should be rather simple if you ship straight to your foreign consumers from your domestic warehouse. But things get a little trickier when you reach a point where you require an international distribution center.
The quick response is that if you're growing abroad, you should speak with a tax attorney. For calculations and tracking when your company must begin paying taxes for new locations, experts also suggest Avalara Avatax.
7. Duties and Taxes
Tapping into new markets means new rules and tax rates. Depending on your shipped product value, your targeted country may impose a tax or duty. You have two options- Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) and Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) to cover the tax or duty cost.
- DDU: Most carriers will charge your business upfront because you absorb the fees and taxes applicable to your shipments.
- DDP: Upon receiving the ordered products, you customers pay the taxes or fees on the shipped products.
Many Shopify Plus Experts suggest businesses adopt DDU to offer a better user experience. Nonetheless, keep your customers informed about the fees or taxes upfront and update the same on all your online stores.
8. Customer Support
Expand your customer support team with your store expansion in different countries or regions. Improve customer service strategy to acknowledge and understand other checklist’s points. Deliver a localized experience to your customers in the currencies and languages relevant to them. Give support on all channels to connect with your customers and deliver customer service in their time zones.
9. Exchanges or Returns
Returns and exchanges are part of the international growth strategy. Logistic operations are not challenging as they may seem. However, you have to handle these aspects efficiently to meet your customer satisfaction. To offer a seamless shopping experience, you have to find return or exchange partners who work with global carriers that are available in your targeted countries. With Shopify Plus, one can have an auto-service returns interface in the store from which the customers can print their return labels. Employ third-party partners to handle logistical operations and include return slips in all orders.
Must read- 9 tips to sell your products or services in global market in 2023 with Shopify Plus
Have you researched enough to understand cultural nuances? A go-to-market strategy can assist you enter new international markets. Everyone would be doing it if expanding a business globally was simple. Doing extensive research beforehand, though, can guarantee that you're ready for the difficulties that come with expanding internationally. To determine whether you're prepared or not, carefully review your business data, examine customer insights to identify your USPs, and analyze market reports to comprehend the opportunities and risks that come with expanding into new markets.
Never enter the market without getting advice from locals. Use both advice from experts in the field to help you establish yourself and input from your target market to help you develop and localize your offering. But, in your pursuit of globalization, never lose sight of the qualities and principles that make you unique.