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1. The advantages of expanding internationally with Squarespace

Squarespace international shipping: How to start selling globally

The allure of global ecommerce is undeniable. Yet, the maze of international shipping often deters businesses from scaling beyond borders. Squarespace, acclaimed for web design, also shines as a beacon for those eager to explore global markets. 

This guide unveils the path to harness Squarespace's tools, making international shipping less daunting and more accessible. Dive in, and let's elevate your local storefront to a global powerhouse.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Access a diverse global audience, diversify revenue streams, enhance brand visibility, and use Squarespace's intuitive ecommerce tools for international sales.

  • Research target international markets, adapt content for cultural relevance, and set up multi-currency pricing to cater to worldwide customers.

  • Use Squarespace's features to add shipping zones, set region-specific rates, and choose between flat, weight-based, or carrier-calculated shipping rates. Utilize tips for cost-effective shipping like bulk shipments and ePacket shipping.

  • Understand customs procedures, differentiate between duties and taxes, and use Squarespace tools to handle customs documentation. Set clear policies for customs charges and international returns.

  • Integrate with Gelato for local print on demand services across 32 countries, ensuring quicker deliveries and reduced carbon footprints while accessing a vast global consumer base.

The advantages of expanding internationally with Squarespace

Stepping into the vast expanse of international markets can be intimidating, but the rewards are unmatched. With Squarespace as your ally, the process is not just easier but also loaded with benefits:

  • Expanding your customer base: Venturing globally means accessing millions of potential customers. With every new market, there's a chance to resonate with a diverse audience, driving more traffic and sales.

  • Diversifying revenue streams: Relying on a single market can be risky. By selling internationally, you spread that risk. Economic downturns in one region can be offset by gains in another, ensuring consistent revenue flow.

  • Improving brand visibility on a global scale: A global presence enhances your brand's reputation. It signals trustworthiness, ambition, and the quality of products that appeal to a worldwide audience.

  • Utilizing Squarespace's user-friendly interface for global sales: Squarespace is known for its intuitive design. This extends to its ecommerce tools, making the complex task of setting up international sales straightforward. Navigate, set-up, and manage with ease, focusing more on your business and less on technicalities.

With these advantages in tow, it's no wonder that businesses are rapidly turning to Squarespace to unlock their global potential.

Preparing your Squarespace store for international sales

Launching your brand on the global stage is a thrilling venture. However, the foundation for such an expansion needs to be robust. Here's how to prep your Squarespace store for an international audience:

Researching target international markets

Before anything else, gather insights. Understand the demographics, purchasing behavior, and preferences of your target market. Which countries have a demand for your product? What competition exists? This research informs your strategy, ensuring you're not venturing into the unknown.

Adapting your website content

Not all content resonates universally. Beyond mere translations, consider cultural nuances, local customs, and values. Modify your imagery, color schemes, and even product descriptions to appeal to each specific audience. Squarespace makes it relatively simple to adapt and customize your website content and develop multilingual content for diverse audiences.

Setting up multiple currency options

Nothing frustrates an international customer more than inconvertible currency. Allow shoppers to see prices in their local currency, ensuring transparency and trustworthiness. Squarespace’s platform provides functionalities that aid in multi-currency setups, making the shopping experience smooth for global customers.

Taking these steps ensures your Squarespace store is not just globally accessible, but globally appealing, setting the stage for a successful international expansion.

Setting up international shipping options

Once your Squarespace store is primed for a global audience, the logistics of shipping become paramount. Delivering products across borders can be a maze, but with Squarespace's built-in tools, you can simplify the process:

Navigating to Squarespace’s shipping settings

Start by accessing the shipping settings in your Squarespace dashboard. Here, you'll find an array of shipping methods tailored to manage and optimize international shipments.

Adding shipping zones and setting region-specific rates

Not every region will have the same shipping costs. Use Squarespace to define specific zones, be it continents or countries. Once zones are established, set rates tailored to each. This ensures customers get accurate pricing for a specific shipping zone, reducing unexpected costs for your business.

Choosing between flat rates, weight-based rates, and carrier-calculated rates

Each product and destination may have its shipping nuances. Squarespace allows you to select:

  • Flat rates: A fixed shipping cost irrespective of the product or quantity.

  • Weight-based rates: Costs vary based on the weight of the products.

  • Carrier-calculated rates: Real-time rates are provided by the carrier based on product dimensions and destination.

Assess your product range and choose a method, or a combination, that best fits your needs.

Tips for cost-effective international shipping

1. Bulk shipments

Combining multiple orders can lead to savings. By shipping in bulk, you can take advantage of volume discounts and more favorable shipping rates. Additionally, bulk shipping often allows for streamlined processing and documentation, further simplifying the international shipping process.

2. Leverage ePacket shipping

For lightweight items, ePacket can be a cost-effective method. Originating from China and Hong Kong, ePacket provides quicker delivery to a range of countries at a fraction of the cost. It's especially beneficial for ecommerce businesses that deal with smaller, lightweight products, ensuring timely deliveries without exorbitant costs.

3. Negotiate with carriers

As your volume grows, negotiate better rates with your shipping providers. Building a good relationship with your carriers can pave the way for exclusive deals and customized shipping solutions tailored to your business needs. Remember, consistent volume and reliability can be leveraged to get more competitive rates and make your shipping process cost-efficient.

4. Use a freight forwarder

These agents can help consolidate shipments, leading to reduced costs. Freight forwarders have extensive networks and understand the intricacies of global shipping routes and regulations. By working with them, you can ensure that your goods are shipped in the most efficient manner, often bypassing common logistical bottlenecks and ensuring timely deliveries. As a result, you can lower

Understanding and handling customs and taxes

Navigating the waters of international trade means dealing with the inevitable: customs and taxes. These aspects can be complex, but with proper understanding and the right tools, you can streamline the process and avoid pitfalls.

Basics of customs: What is it and why is it essential?

Customs is a regulatory procedure that governs the import and export of goods between countries. It ensures that products entering a country comply with its regulations, and any duties or taxes due are collected. Navigating customs is crucial as it affects shipment time, costs, and the overall customer experience. Incorrect or incomplete customs documentation can lead to delays, penalties, or even the return of shipments.

Duties and taxes: Understanding the differences

Duties are tariffs or taxes imposed on imported and sometimes exported goods, determined by the product's value, type, and origin. Taxes, on the other hand, are based on the sale price of the product and vary from country to country. While duties are more about the product and its classification, taxes concern the sale and its locale. Being clear about these distinctions helps in accurate calculations and smoother transactions.

Squarespace's tools for handling customs forms and documents

Squarespace provides a suite of tools to help businesses generate and manage essential customs documents. This ensures that your shipments are accompanied by accurate paperwork, reducing the risk of hold-ups at borders. From detailed product descriptions to Harmonized System (HS) codes and declared values, Squarespace aids in creating compliant documentation.

Setting clear policies for customers: 

  • Who pays customs: Clearly state whether duties and taxes are the responsibility of the buyer (Delivery Duty Unpaid, DDU) or the seller (Delivery Duty Paid, DDP). Being transparent can prevent unexpected surprises for customers and reduce disputes.

  • How returns are managed: Detail the process for international returns. Address aspects like who bears the return shipping costs and how duties and taxes on returned items are handled. A transparent return policy can instill confidence and increase global sales.

Partnering with reliable international carriers

One of the most pivotal steps in achieving successful international sales is choosing a trustworthy shipping partner. An effective partnership ensures timely deliveries, satisfied customers, and smoother operations on a global scale.

Importance of choosing the right shipping partner

The shipping partner you choose can make or break the customer's experience. A timely delivery can enhance brand trust and customer loyalty, whereas delays or mishandlings can result in customer dissatisfaction and negative reviews. Furthermore, a reliable carrier can assist with customs clearance, reducing potential barriers in the shipping journey.

Popular international carriers and their integrations with Squarespace

Squarespace seamlessly integrates with numerous renowned international carriers such as DHL, FedEx, UPS, and USPS. These integrations ensure that you have access to a wide range of shipping solutions, from express deliveries to more economical options. Leveraging Squarespace shipping integration, businesses can automate shipping calculations, provide live tracking, and generate shipping labels directly from the platform.

Factors to consider when choosing a shipping partner

  • Speed: Depending on your product and customer expectations, speed can be a critical factor. Consider whether you need express delivery options or if standard shipping suffices.

  • Reliability: Ensure that the carrier has a good track record of timely deliveries without excessive damage or loss incidents.

  • Cost: Balance between affordability and service quality. Sometimes, paying a bit more for a reliable service is a worthwhile investment.

  • Tracking options: Modern customers expect to be kept in the loop. Offering comprehensive tracking options increases transparency and trust.

A judicious choice of international carriers, combined with the functionalities of a Squarespace website, can empower your business to offer impeccable shipping experiences to customers worldwide, cementing your brand's reputation in the global marketplace.

Managing returns and refunds on international orders

Even with the most meticulous planning, international orders may sometimes necessitate returns or refunds. Addressing these gracefully, while ensuring minimal losses, is vital for a thriving global ecommerce operation.

The challenges of international returns

The process of managing returns from international customers is intrinsically more complex than domestic ones. Costs can be higher, shipping times longer, and customs documentation further complicates matters. Additionally, there's the potential headache of recalculating duties and taxes, and the possibility of goods getting damaged or lost during the return transit.

Setting up an efficient and clear return policy for global customers

  • Timeframes: Clearly specify the period within which returns or exchanges can be made. For international customers, this might need to be longer than for domestic ones, given the extended shipping times.

  • Return costs: Decide and articulate who bears the cost of return shipping. Some businesses offer prepaid return labels, while others expect the customer to bear the expense.

  • Condition of returns: Specify in what condition the product must be for a successful return. Should it be unused, with tags intact, or in its original packaging?

  • Refund methods: Explain how refunds will be processed, whether as store credit, a direct refund to the payment method, or some other form.

Using Squarespace’s tools to streamline the return process

Squarespace offers tools to assist businesses in handling returns smoothly. From generating return labels to managing refund transactions and restocking inventory, its features reduce the administrative burden. Moreover, by integrating with third-party apps, businesses can offer seamless return portals where customers can initiate and track their returns. 

Effectively managing international returns and refunds not only ensures customer satisfaction but also safeguards the brand's reputation on a global scale. With clear policies and the right tools, businesses can turn potential challenges into opportunities for building lasting customer relationships.

Join hands with Gelato to boost your global sales

In the realm of ecommerce, successful international sales require smart partnerships. Enter Gelato. As the world’s premier platform for local print on demand, Gelato effortlessly integrates with Squarespace, transforming the way businesses approach global sales. With a catalog boasting t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, photo books, wall art, and more, businesses can now produce items right within the destination country. This local production means two revolutionary things for your brand: incredibly faster deliveries and a substantial reduction in carbon footprint. By choosing Gelato, you're not only optimizing sales but also championing sustainability.

And with a reach spanning 32 countries, connecting to nearly five billion potential consumers, the world truly becomes your marketplace overnight. Don't let global sales intimidate you. Instead, let Gelato be your trusted partner in this venture.

Ready to redefine your global sales strategy? Sign up for Gelato today and make international selling a breeze.


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