This guide is a part of the below ultimate guide:
10 Best E-commerce Software Solutions — The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Online Store
The growth of world trade opens multiple opportunities for businesses of different types and sizes. Together with the Internet and the globalization process, merchants get possibilities to sell online to any country in the world and boost their revenue significantly.
Usually, merchants start thinking about international sales if:
Well, the last reason is the most popular. Show us the merchant who doesn’t want to increase revenue. There are different ways how e-business owners can do this and international sales are one of them.
Benefits of being a global brand:
So, that’s a wonderful opportunity to get more traffic, leads, and sales. However, there are several questions you should consider before you start.
The desire to sell to other countries requires multiple preparations. This process must be approached with intelligence and consistency. In this article, we will talk about how to prepare your Shopify store for the foreign market and get revenue.
Getting the first customer it’s a moment of happiness for every merchant. A steady stream of customers is a reward for weeks or months of hard work. But just imagine the feelings that will appear when you get the first foreign customer.
Participating in international trade means a completely different scale. You get more responsibility, do more work, but the result usually exceeds all expectations. On the Internet, you will find multiple guides about how to start international sales. We also have a few recommendations for you.
Before you start selling abroad, answer the questions:
So, firstly, examine your target audience, learn their culture, assess your financial and physical capabilities. The preparation for the global market entry must be consistent and well planned. Of course, this requires additional financial investments. Let’s consider the main steps that must be followed on the way to international sales and success.
The multilingual checkout is also strongly required. Most of the customers fall off exactly at the checkout if the process of the purchase is difficult or not clear.
Let us say that this step is not only for international sales. It is a great tool for increasing sales in the local market too. As you may know, Canada has two official languages: English and French. Over 80% of Canadians speak English. It is not difficult to guess that most of the resources work in this particular language. Anyway, translating the store into French can help you increasing sales within one country. The same situation can be in other bilingual or multilingual countries as Netherlands, India, etc.
There are different ways you can do this. For instance, you can use different auto-translation services. They will save your time and create multilingual content in the minimum time.
Another way is to order a professional translation for your Shopify store, website, landing, or blog. This method guarantees the result of the highest quality. However, it has a few significant drawbacks.
Firstly, if you have a large amount of content, a professional translator will need a lot of time for the translation. Secondly, if you work in a narrowly focused field, accordingly you use specific vocabulary. Therefore, the search for a translator who can correctly translate your site may take an indefinite time.
We think, that the best variant if you can use the app that provides both (or more) types of translation. Below we will consider one of them. So, keep reading.
Localization is important for every web resource that’s preparing for the expansion. Without it, you risk getting into an awkward position in front of your visitors. Localization it’s a process of adaptation of your visual and text content to the local cultural characteristics.
For example, you need to adapt colors, design, symbols, humor, date and time formats, measurements, etc. You should also take into account local religion, beliefs, and traditions.
Just look at popular global brands like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, etc. They have different advertisements and marketing campaigns for every country or region. For example, in addition to the main menu, McDonald’s creates special menu positions that consist of local cuisine products or dishes.
Visual component and media content. The design of the website it’s the first you should take your attention to. Maybe you will be surprised, but the colors also matter. The most popular example is the white color. For Europeans and West culture this color means purity, innocence (brides wear white wedding dresses). But in China white color is associated with death. Chinese people wear white clothes at funerals. The same goes for symbols.
Of course, globalization affects cultures, the cultural boundaries become a little blurred. Anyway, it’s better to examine the culture before you start your expansion.
Support international currencies. This condition is extremely important when you start working with foreign customers. Furthermore, you should add not only currencies to your store, but you must also be sure that customers will see a multi-language and multi-currency checkout.
As you see, you have to take into account so many aspects that it is sometimes better to seek professional help. Often, this is a representative of the country in which you want to promote your business.
So, how can you translate and localize your Shopify store into multiple languages? Let’s consider one of the best translation apps in the Shopify App Store - LangShop.
Briefly about the LangShop application
LangShop: Translate & Currecy is one of the most popular translation applications in the Shopify App Store. It provides various translation and localization solutions. Here are a few facts about the app that makes it better than other translation applications:
That was a brief review of the LangShop application. Now we would like to get you acquainted with its functionality that can help you to make your store clear for foreign customers and get revenue from the target market.
App’s features: Translation
Well, first of all, let’s consider the translation services provided by the app. There are several types of translation: Auto translation, Pro translation, Agency translation.
Auto-translation is the simplest and fastest way to receive multilingual content for the Shopify store. You need to pass only a few simple steps to launch the auto-translation process:
LangShop uses different translation drivers in order to make the auto-translate feature better. Now the app uses Google, Yandex, Bing, Baidu, Watsons, etc.
For clarity, you can watch the video tutorial from the LangShop YouTube channel. There you will find a detailed guide and additional info about the app.
Note: Let us also mention that all translations can be edited manually by you.
Pro Translation feature means that you can use special services based on neural learning. For example, now you can use DeepL and Google Professional. This functionality is now in active development and improvement.
To provide quality translation and localization for your website, you can order a human professional translation or Agency translation. LangShop cooperates with different external services to provide its users with the translation of the best quality. So, if you need a special approach and a separate specialist, you can find it inside the app.
Here is an instruction on how you can order a professional translation for your products within LangShop.
Note, that you can add language (and currency) switcher buttons for your translated website. They are simply customizable and can harmoniously fit into your design.
To customize the selector you need to open the app => go to the Settings => click on Languages. All selector’s settings are there.
The large functionality can confuse you a little. Anyway, the admin has an intuitive design and the support team is always ready to help you.
App’s features: Localization
Now let’s talk about localization opportunities. LangShop is not the localization application. Anyway, it has some options that will improve the SEO of your Shopify store.
Every page, product, collection, article etc. has an SEO title and description. This text is shown in the search results. With LangShop help, you can translate SEO titles and descriptions. Therefore, your potential customers can see your products in their local language which will greatly simplify the selection process.
The app also supports over 80 currencies. You can add the target currencies to your Shopify store and your customers will have an opportunity to convert prices into the desired currency. With this small improvement, you will make your store more user-friendly and convenient. We are sure that you will agree that it’s better to make purchases when you understand how much you should pay.
Using the LangShop app you will get alternate links “hreflang” automatically. Thanks to this unique URLs will be set for each target language. URLs of your translated pages will contain language code in their name. This became possible thanks to the integration with the Shopify API.
And the most interesting feature is language detection. What does it mean? It means that your customers won’t even know about other language versions of the store because at the first visit they will open it in their local language. The auto-redirect feature allows linking the language version of the store by customers’ location or language browser.
That’s all that we wanted to tell you about this amazing app. If you want to learn more info about LangShop, you can visit their official resources:
You should also know that LangShop is available for FREE. Every Shopify user can try it for 14 days. All features will be available without limits (except Agency translation). You can test the app on the real store and see how fast you can receive the multilingual store.
Different countries have different payment preferences. Naturally, customers prefer to pay through the system they trust. So, should we say that it’s extremely important to add local payment providers?
For example, 2checkout and KCP are the most popular e-commerce payment gateways in South Korea. At the same time, in neighboring China people prefer to use Alipay, Union Pay, and 99Bill. Brazil has its providers as Adyen, PagBrazil, Mercado Pago, etc.
Yes, there are worldwide payment providers like PayPal. However, PayPal is supported not in all countries (for example, in Ukraine) and payment through this system can cause difficulties for customers.
The good news is that the Shopify platform is compatible with multiple payment systems. In total, Shopify supports over 100 payment providers. By the way, here you can see the list of payment providers that can be used in the Shopify store - Payment information by country or region. Just select the region and country of your interest and you will see the list of providers supported by Shopify.
Now imagine that the order is paid. Now it’s time to think about how you can deliver ordered products to the customer.
No matter what country you want to sell to. It can be the neighbor country or the country from another part of the planet. Anyway, you should deliver the order without damaging it. In such a situation, you cannot do without intermediaries. It is desirable to involve local delivery services.
The third-party services may not be very reliable. There is always a risk that something will go wrong and it is not up to you. However, such processes are best delegated to third-party companies.
The list of global fulfillment services is large. You will definitely find a good partner for your business.
To protect ourselves from mistakes you can examine the county’s rules and regulations. For example, the UPS service can help you a lot. There you can find a lot of facts about the target market that can affect your shipment.
Well, now your store is ready to be promoted to the foreign market. And we move on to the final stage of preparing the store for international sales - marketing.
No matter how beautiful and tasty the candy is, you will never sell it without advertising. No, you can sell it, but questions are “when?” and “for how much?”. If you want a stable income, you should advertise your product.
Your store has a semantic core, which consists of keywords. If you think that it’s just enough to translate the core, you are wrong. For every target country, you should find keywords that match its search queries. So, take the time to create a separate list of keywords for each language.
Use local social media to take into account the popular social networks because they are different in different countries. For example, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok are popular, especially in the West countries. But in China, these social media are blocked. Therefore, for the Chinese audience, you need to find other popular channels.
It would be great if you find some local bloggers and start cooperating with them. Nowadays, social networks and YouTube are full of influencers with a large audience. For example, if you want to sell cosmetics, you can send samples of your products to popular make-up artists. Sometimes, the advertisement from the blogger can be more effective than on other resources.
Don’t forget about the email marketing. From your first purchase start to develop an email list of your customers. In the future, you can offer them discounts or special services. Try to make every customer your regular customer.
At the same time, do not forget about Shopify applications (like Affiliate programs, SEO, Marketing analytics etc.) that can improve your marketing strategy. In the header of the Shopify App Store, you will find the Categories section. If you click on it and choose Marketing, you will see areas of marketing. You can select what suits you best.
For instance, some apps can set up Google Shopping for your products or help with email marketing. With new apps, you will get an opportunity to set up push notifications and automate cart recovery.
In the marketing strategy, all means are good. As you can see, there are many methods at your disposal to attract and retain your audience. The combination of these methods can bring you real success. Try them all and find your perfect marketing strategy.
So, we’ve considered the most important steps on the way to international expansion. Yes, the list of steps is large and requires hard work. Anyway, if you complete them all, you can count on success. Let’s sum it up. To get revenue from a multilingual store, you should:
The better you prepare, the easier it will be to sell. International sales are for those who are ready for some challenges. Like in a computer game that’s another level where you have multiple difficult challenges but the result is worth it - you win. In international sales, you also win when receiving such a long-awaited increase in sales and incomes. And don’t forget about auxiliary services as LangShop. It makes no sense to waste time on something that can be done in a couple of clicks.
And we wish you luck and success! Thank you for reading:)
Customer Acquisition at SoftwareSupp
Digital Marketing Manager at SoftwareSupp