Lucas and Pitstop start your week off right by showing how and why Shopify and e-commerce store owners should look far, afield and to the frozen North for their next big market to break into.
While the e-commerce explosion set off by last year’s COVID 19 pandemic has calmed and settled down as the crisis continued and people found ways to adapt their old ways of doing business to this new reality, online sales continue at a pace only dreamed of a few short years ago. This has given Shopify and e-commerce retailers unexpected avenues of revenue, and made available previously unexplored consumer groups and buying cultures, even just next door. Here are some important import/export tricks and helpful tips, care of Lucas and Pitstop, to help you take advantage of spring and summer selling seasons 2021.
- Howdy neighbor! With the vast majority of Shopify users being American, be it as store owners or customers, there’s a tendency to stay within that market both intentionally (saving on shipping costs within a closed network) and unintentionally (not accounting for monetary conversion rates in pricing offered to foreign buyers). Break this mold this year and try selling to your neighbors to the Great White North; we speak the same language, share the same consumer and entertainment culture, have relatively on-par dollars, terrific trade agreements and shipping from one to another requires insubstantially less cost compared to the potential gain of a fresh 33 million person market.
- Search your segmentations you know them to be true. You may already have your toes in a new market and not even know it. Look at your traffic and sales data for where customers are coming from, where items are being shipped to, and most importantly what foreign buyers are most interested in. Your product may be otherwise unavailable in-country, handing you an accidental trade monopoly, if only you notice the way the winds are blowing. Always mind your segmentations, and adapt to where they show trends moving. For Canadians, many popular products are frequently delayed due to in-country production agreements, with many maple blooded consumers more than willing and used to spending a little more to get the latest American toy, fashion foodstuff ahead of the curve. Take advantage of this market every opportunity you get.
- Follow the path. You’re not the first person to trade beyond your nations’ borders, and you will be far from the last. Don’t try to set up shipping yourself, shop around for the best deal in logistics, as the market is packed with companies big and small who will be more than willing to negotiate a better rate with you to move your product north, south east or west. Many of these will also have ways to get better deals on taxes and duty, giving you a chance to help save your customers money, making a sale even more enticing.
- Strange ways and days. Contrary to what some popular 90’s movies may claim, Independence Day isn’t a universal holiday. Instead, Canadians for instance celebrate Canada Day just 3 days before, on July 1. Be mindful of the cultural practices and activities of any group you are selling or delivering to, not only for Social Media Holidays you can take advantage of and pitch sales or introduce brands around, but as potential obstacles to be avoided or adapted to, such as delays in postal delivery or processing payments over services like PayPal.
- Plan for the long haul. Build your new market towards goals that work for you. Expanding into Canada or other markets is great on paper, but never lose track of how to incorporate it into your larger strategies and goals. Consider how you can then bring that new market into already existing campaigns, like Black Friday/Cyber Monday, while incorporating their regional tastes, cultures and expectations, like spreading the major purchasing habits of BFCM all the way to the post-Christmas Boxing Day event. Simply paying attention to the calendar and planning accordingly can turn a one week event into months of active and continuing sales.
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