Weglot blog

How to take your Squarespace ecommerce site global

If you’re one of the thousands of users currently running an ecommerce business using Squarespace as your CMS of choice, 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 ecommerce 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.

We’ll take you through three key steps when it comes to going international.

1. Choose your markets

The first step is to identify the markets you want to reach with your Squarespace store.

Deciding to simply start selling internationally wouldn’t make for the most wisest of strategies. For this you’ll want to look further into who is actually already visiting your online store.

To do this, it’s a simple look at your Google Analytics. Go to: Google Analytics Dashboard > Audience > Geographical Data > Language.

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This will give you a nice overview on what countries are currently visiting your site and essentially the ones that are already interested in what you’re selling on your Squarespace ecommerce store.

If they’ve come across your store in your original language, chances are they’ll be even more receptive to your messaging if you start speaking their language.

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 might be down to the fact you’re not searchable in their market as naturally if you’re only selling in one language, you’re not optimized for multilingual SEO yet.

It does mean though that you’ll want to carry out much more in depth research to identify the potential growth of that market and whether there’s space for your products.

Lessons can certainly be learnt from big brands when it comes to jumping into markets without the necessary market research. Take Starbucks for example – a chain loved by millions, but which failed to penetrate the Australian market and ended with a $150m loss.

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, ask yourself…what’s the current competition in the new markets you’re hoping to enter.

2. Infrastructure

It not only requires essential research into your new markets to determine market opportunities, but also whether you have an infrastructure in place to handle the demand for your products if you do take your Squarespace ecommerce store international. Such as:

  • Can you distribute your products easily
  • Is there an increase in distribution costs – how will this impact your profit margins

You need to have this 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.

2. 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 ecommerce 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 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.

3. 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 ecommerce store.

But, with 55% of online shoppers only purchasing things in their own language, it’s time to make your Squarespace site multilingual.

There’s little point in offering ‘international shipping’ on your Squarespace ecommerce store if your website is still in its local language.  

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.

Check out this simple guide for installing Weglot on your Squarespace site and discover it firsthand through our free 10 day trial.

But, let’s not forget why you wanted to enter new markets in the first place – to speak to a new audience.

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 professional translators through the Weglot dashboard, who understand the colloquialism of your new market and can make small adjustments quickly. It’s then integrated into your website within 24-48 hours (without you having to do anything).

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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.

To summarise

  • 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.

About the author
Elizabeth Pokorny

Content Manager at Weglot

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