Shopify is a powerful platform that allows e-commerce sellers to easily expand their business to international markets. According to Shopify itself, the number of cross-border transactions on the platform increased by 60% in 2020. In this article, we will discuss how you can set up and optimize your Shopify webshop internationally.
Steps to get your Shopify webshop ready for international expansion
To grow your Shopify online store internationally, there are a few crucial steps you need to take:
- Market research: Identify potential target countries and analyze the competition, demand, and consumer needs.
- Customize your online store: Localize your online store (see next section), adapt product offerings and prices, and provide multiple currency and language options.
- Manage payments and shipping: Choose payment options and shipping options suitable for international customers (we’ll get back to this later). Take into account taxes and regulations.
- Ensure compliance with European VAT and other taxes and regulations (we’ll also get back to this later).
Localization of your Shopify webshop
To sell successfully internationally, you need to localize your online store for different markets. This includes:
- Translation: Provide professional translation of your online store in the languages of your target countries.
- Currency: Integrate multiple currency options to make it easier for customers to pay.
- Unit of measurement: Adapt units of measurement (e.g., metric or imperial, meters vs. inches) based on the market.
Payment and Shipping Options for International Sales
Offering a variety of payment and shipping options is crucial for the success of your international Shopify online store:
- Payment gateways: Choose payment gateways that are internationally accepted, such as PayPal, Stripe, and Shopify Payments. Consider local payment methods (e.g., iDEAL in the Netherlands) to increase customer trust.
- Shipping options: Partner with reliable international carriers, such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS. Also, offer various shipping options, such as express and economy, to meet the needs of different customers.
Taxes and regulations: European VAT and beyond
To be compliant with taxes and regulations in international markets, it’s important to consider:
European VAT: If you’re selling within the EU, you need to take into account European VAT regulations. Ensure you have a valid VAT number, file your VAT return on time, and apply the correct rates to your products.
Outside the EU: Educate yourself about local taxes and regulations in countries outside the EU and ensure compliance. Customs: Take into account customs charges and import restrictions for both EU and non-EU countries.
Selling internationally with your Shopify online store can lead to significant growth for your e-commerce business. By localizing your online store, adjusting payment and shipping options, and taking into account taxes and regulations, you can establish a successful international presence.
For expert, tailored advice on expanding your Shopify online store to international markets, please contact us. We can guide you through the complexities of international VAT rules and e-commerce and help grow your business. We can do this by applying for VAT numbers or filing your VAT declarations for you, including the One Stop Shop. Contact us today for a no-obligation chat.