Updated February 2020
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 the key steps when it comes to going international.
1. Choosing a Squarespace ecommerce template
If you’ve yet to set up a Squarespace store then the first place to start would be choosing your template.
Choosing the right Squarespace ecommerce template for your international store is always going to be a tricky decision. With the numerous options available to you it’s difficult to decide what online presence you want to give your store.
Luckily for Squarespace users there are some seriously slick ecommerce templates to choose from. And the best part about using Squarespace as your CMS of choice is that this drag-and-drop website builder makes it even easier to customize their templates so you can make quick and simple adjustments to the template of your choice without having to use a single line of code.
Let’s take a look at a Squarespace ecommerce template that grabbed our attention.
It’s undoubtedly a classic in the Squarespace world, but there’s a reason why Brine has stuck around for so long.
The flexibility is endless. Move around the logo position, navigation and shopping cart elements with ease. A problem you might face is just how customizable this template is – the options are just endless which is a bonus for you and making this template more “you”.
If you do want to keep things simple then you only need to change the colors, add your logo and products and you’ll have a pretty great looking Squarespace store with little to no effort. Within the Brine family here are dozens of different templates to choose from.
The only reason for choosing one of the other is if they are more aligned to your brand and will mean less customization for you.
A real life example of a multilingual Squarespace ecommerce store using the Brine family is Splish. This international store added both Danish and English to their site so appeal to their home country and other English speaking markets.
Other Squarespace ecommerce templates to look into are Foster, Fairfield, Cacao, Jaunt, Clay, West, Hyde, Mars, Thorne and Pedro.
2. Choose your overseas markets
Once you’ve created your site, the next step is to decide which countries or regions you want to sell in. These decisions will be largely dependent on economic, cultural and market risks and whether there are potential customers for the products you’re looking to sell to.
Understanding the economic and political policy of the country will show you whether there is a market for your products.
Your success will increase depending on how much market research you carry out beforehand. This is integral to understanding your competitors and how to price your product for your intended market.
For those that already have a Squarespace ecommerce store up and running, you can get a good indication of possible markets to sell into but looking at your Google Analytics.
Go to your Google Analytics Dashboard > Audience > Geographical Data > Language.
This will highlight the countries that are currently visiting your store. This pool of people are already interested in what you’re selling on your Squarespace ecommerce store and can be good markets to consider selling in.
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.
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.
Key questions to ask yourself include:
- 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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).
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.
- Choose the right Squarespace template to sell internationally
- Discover through market research and/or Google Analytics what markets to enter
- 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!