If you’re one of the thousands of Squarespace users currently running an ecommerce business, you’ll have probably at one point in your entrepreneurial journey contemplated selling internationally.
Your aim: to sell more and increase your market reach. But is it the right move for you? Moving into new markets can be daunting, but ultimately the rewards can out-way the risks.
The advantages of making your Squarespace ecommerce site global are tenfold. An increase in sales, contacts and reach is never a bad thing, right?
What’s more, taking your Squarespace store international can actually make your revenue sources more stable, as you’ll no longer be relying on just one market.
But, there’s probably a lot holding you back, or a lack of understanding on what’s needed to make selling internationally a reality with your Squarespace store.
Choose your markets
The first step is to identify the markets you want to reach.
Deciding to simply start selling internationally wouldn’t make for the most wisest of strategies. For this you’ll want to look further into which foreign languages are most used on your Squarespace ecommerce site.
To do this, it’s a simple look at your Google Analytics. Go to: Google Analytics Dashboard > Audience > Geographical Data > Language.
This will give you a nice overview of what countries are your ‘best bet’ for success.
If they’ve come across your Squarespace ecommerce store in your original language, chances are they’ll be even more receptive to your messaging if you’re speaking their language.
That’s one side of things, but there could also be a market you want to target that hasn’t appeared in your Google Analytics.
This doesn’t mean there’s no demand from this market, it could simply be because your website is not currently in their language, so you’re lacking localization.
However, when there’s not a clear demand shown in your analytics that a market is interested in what you’re doing, it does require much more in depth research to identify the potential growth of that market.
Lessons can certainly be learnt from big brands. Take Starbucks for example – a chain loved by millions, but which failed to penetrate the Australian market. This equated to $150m in loses.
And why did they fail? A lack of research into their new market and zero localization. Starbucks simply couldn’t compete with the ‘local’ coffee culture preferred by Australians.
So, a few questions to ask yourself when considering to take your Squarespace ecommerce site global…what’s the current competition, how feasible will it be to enter that market, e.g. can you distribute your product easily, is there an increased cost in doing so, and if so, how much will this impact your profit margins.
You need to have a proper infrastructure in place before you even consider going global. First impressions count, and if you’re not ready to provide a seamless buying process to the consumer in a new market, then your hopes of taking your Squarespace site global need a little more time.
What can we learn from big brand fails? Do you research. Is there a demand for your product/ service, and if so, is there already a more successful local version of it which you’ll simply not be able to compete against.
Setting up shipping zones on your Squarespace ecommerce store
Turning to the practical side of things, you’ll need to make international shipping available on your Squarespace store.
Squarespace has a useful article on choosing the right shipping options.
You might have already done this in the original setup of your store, but it’s worth noting that you can limit these options for different shipping zones.
If you’ve arrived on this article before you’ve set up your Squarespace store local shipping, then you’ll need to create general shipping rules before you set up your shipping zones.
When you choose your shipping zones there are two different options:
- Ship everywhere – choose “rest of the world” or,
- Ship to specific countries – search for the country of your choice (for the US and Canada, you can go deeper and choose specific states, provinces, cities and postcodes)
These are your ‘shipping rules’ – for which you’ll have a different shipping option depending on the country you’re shipping to.
To edit existing shipping options go to the Home Menu > click Commerce > then click Shipping > open a shipping method > click the Shipping zones tab. A more detailed explanation is explained in this Squarespace guide.
Translating your Squarespace ecommerce store
You’ve done the hard part – you have your business strategy in place, and the key markets that will bring you that all important revenue boost to your Squarespace store.
But, with 55% of online shoppers only purchasing things in their own language, it’s time to localize.
There’s little point in offering ‘international shipping’ on your Squarespace ecommerce store if your website is still in its local language. This also goes for your marketing strategy.
While of course you do need to consider brand consistency, different markets will have different reactions to sales and marketing approaches – so there’s no room for a copy paste job.
This is also reflected in the channels you use. In China, you’re not going to be able to use Twitter, in Brazil Facebook is the more favoured social media channel etc. Know your market and where your customers are.
So, with that in mind it’s time to get technical.
Making a Squarespace site multilingual was previously a tricky process with a lot of workarounds needed.
But, the quickest and easiest way to turn your Squarespace website multilingual is with a translation solution.
Which is why at Weglot, we made it a focus to work on this technology and design a simple yet powerful solution that brings a multilingual feature to your Squarespace store.
By installing a translation solution like Weglot, you save time, money and gain a multilingual Squarespace site that’s SEO optimised.
What’s more, the Weglot can be used by both developers or those with zero coding experience, as the simple user interface and setup process is foolproof.
But, let’s not forget why you wanted to enter new markets in the first place – to speak to a new audience.
With this in mind, going for the automated translation option alone won’t necessarily cut it. Within Weglot you can manually review all your automated translations to ensure it’s exactly how you intended it, or, if you really want to give an added value to the local market, the add on of a professional translator will really help fine-tune your website translation.
You can order high quality translators through the Weglot dashboard, who understand the colloquialism of your new market and can make small adjustments quickly and is integrated into your website within 24-48 hours (without you having to do anything).
There’s also some other practical things to consider when it comes to your Squarespace multilingual language switcher (which we’ve talked about in great length here).
Such as using flags to indicate languages. Don’t forget that flags represent countries not languages. Portugese is spoken in both Portugal and Brazil, but using the country flag for Brazil will alienate anyone from Portugal.
Best practice would be to use the language name (in the language) to ensure no confusion. But this will really dependent on the countries you’re trying to enter.
Then the last point, and it’s a big one – SEO. You’ve translated your Squarespace ecommerce site – but what’s the point if you’re then back to ‘square’ one in terms of optimization…
Which is why when you choose Weglot, it ensures all translated content is properly indexed on Google, without reducing the speed of your Squarespace store – so you’re optimised and good to go.
If you want to enhance your multilingual SEO even further, we’ve written a useful post on the steps to follow here.
- Discover through Google Analytics what markets to enter
- Research from a practical and strategic point on view how viable it is to enter your chosen markets
- Set up your shipping zones through Squarespace
- Translate your Squarespace store using a solution like Weglot
- Order additional manual translation through your Weglot dashboard to fine tune your translation
Have any questions on how to utilize Weglot on your Squarespace ecommerce site? We’re always here to help!
Want more? Read: How to Create Value to your Audience by Internationalizing, 9 Tips for Designing a Multi Language Website. You might also be interested in: How to Create a Multi Language WordPress Site.