Shopify Gift Cards: A Unique way to boost your bottom line

Offering physical gifts to your loved ones may not always be adored by the one you are gifting. The reason behind this can be that they didn’t like what you gave, the gift you gave was useless to them and many more.

Therefore it would be preferable if you send them a physical gift card having some value. So that, your loved ones could buy anything of their choice using the gift card.

Well in the same way, if you offer your online store’s customer to buy digital gift cards option it would not solely increase your sales but also make your Shopify store more “gift giver friendly”.

 

Introduction to Shopify Gift-Cards

Shopify introduced the Gift-Cards option for all the Professional and Unlimited plan user in the year 2013.

Gift cards offer a versatile manner for your customers to get a present for somebody from your store, creating it simple for them to share their love for your brand while also maintaining full freedom of choice for the recipient.

As indicated by a study directed by the National Retail Federation, 81% of Americans will buy at least one gift card during the holidays. Indeed, about 70% of the customers who are receiving the gift cards, will spend more than the value on the card. It’s a win-win situation.

Shopify Gift Cards are extremely flexible and allows you to enhance the gift card experience on your site. As an example, you can:

Specify the price values available to your customers ($10,$25, $50, $75, or whatever)

  • Personalize the email notification sent to your customers after purchase
  • You can send your customers their gift card balance and manage gift cards in your Shopify admin.

 

How do they work?

When your online customer is making a purchase in your store they can redeem the value (amount of money or balance) of a gift card by entering its unique code at the time of checkout. A gift card holds a balance which can be used to spend over more than one order.

Shopify gift card offers you as a store owner to view and manage the status of each gift cards in your Shopify admin.

Some Requirements to sell and redeem Shopify gift card:

  • You must have Shopify plan or higher. Basic Shopify plan is not supported to use the gift card.
  • Need to activate the gift card feature in your Shopify admin to start selling.
  • Go to Product > Gift Cards from your Shopify admin panel.
  • Click on ‘Start selling gift cards on my store’.

You are done. Your first gift card is created immediately, but it is hidden from sales channels by default.

Shopify also offer you to sell and redeem physical gift cards, all you need is:

The Retail Package:

The retail package is meant to assist you to create a full retail store experience, so the majority of its features work only with Shopify POS for iPad.

If you use Shopify POS for iPhone, then you will be able to add the retail package to use a Swipe card reader with a supported third-party gateway and physical gift cards.

Physical gift Card Enable:

If your store is in the Shopify plan or higher and you have got the retail package, then you’ll be able to purchase physical gift cards from the Shopify Hardware Store.

Sales Channel that supports gift card

Your online shopper can redeem their gift cards on any of your sales channels that use Shopify’s checkout :

  • Online Store
  • Buy Button
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook (when you use Shopify’s checkout)
  • Messenger (when you use Shopify’s checkout)
  • Shopify POS

For Facebook and Messenger sales channel, your customer won’t be able to use the gift card if you use Facebook’s checkout. They have to use the Shopify’s checkout to make use of gift cards.

 

Benefits to You and Your Customer

Today’s consumer adores digital Gift cards due to their instant deliverability. For the already occupied, last-minute shopper, sending gift cards to favorite local businesses may be a lifesaver for them.

Offering visitors of your online store the alternative to purchase a gift card for their friends and family is a sure fire way to participate in the season of giving and to give your sales a boost at the same time.

Here’s what your customers can do:

  • Use the gift card multiple time.
  • Use more than one gift card for a single purchase.
  • Check their gift card balance by opening the unique link sent via email after purchase.
  • Use gift cards jointly with other discount codes.

Many shoppers are more likely to buy gifts from your store if they know a gift card option is available. This can calm nervous buyers who aren’t quite sure about size, color or which item might be the best for the recipient.

When using gift cards many Shopify stores see a decrease in exchanges and returns. Since it’s difficult to select the right item (or size or color), letting the recipient choose it themselves means it’s less likely to get returned and since returns and exchanges can be very costly and time-consuming, the more you can cut down on those things, the better.

 

Conclusion :

Even if the gift card feature does require the Shopify plan or higher, many store owners see a significant return on this investment with a rise in gift sales. Additionally, the Shopify plan comes with advanced reporting tools and a lower process rate, so those features and the benefits of selling gift cards can often result in a big advantage for your business.

 

Optimizing the Local Market for International Selling

The cross-border commerce world is booming rapidly. With just a click of a button on smartphones, you can buy and sell anything across the globe. As per the Forrester study, the cross-border commerce is likely to double by 2021. This will bring a phenomenal increase in the outcome of sales and revenues. Thus, a majority of the online shoppers are going global in their search for sales and purchases. This has given a little run for money to the retailers. However, some of them have joined the bandwagon in the global marketplace.

For instance, the cross-border market of China will see a remarkable progress in 2021 with a huge increase in sales and purchases in this market. India and US are also following suit.

Let us understand the major considerations for the success in the global market.

Optimize local markets

As per research, a majority of online shoppers prefer using the globally recognized marketplaces. They focus on gaining a potential profit margin. This gives them a global recognition and a great customer outreach. It is necessary for these merchants to understand the market rates and values. Also, timely analysis of these helps them to increase their market.

Consumers should look out for multiple benefits to shop at marketplaces:

  • Best deals
  • Free shipping and delivery
  • Ease of searching what you what at one click
  • Wide range of products for all categories
  • Faster delivery time
  • Customer Loyalty Points
  • Quality products
  • Great customer experience
  • Brand loyalty

Cross-border market strategies

Marketplaces have crossed international divides. There has been a substantial increase in the purchase of online marketplaces. This ratio is high when compared to retailer websites.

These cross-border market strategies succeed based on a lot of factors:

  • Retailer’s market presence
  • How much risk a retailer has to undertake?
  • What difference lies between a marketplace’s and retailer’s own assortment?
  • Is the retailer fully aware of the cross-border policies and charges?

Be like the locals and pose like a foreigner

The US, China, and India have an astounding cross-border market. Whether it is clothes, cosmetic products, food products and electronic items, they hold their positions in the marketplace.

It is essential for these online shoppers to know the insights of the local markets. They have to be aware of the conditions of the local markets, policies and the tax benefits. They have to understand and analyze the demand and supply of their products in these areas. This is the biggest challenge though. But from the sell-side, it is the most important thing to consider while entering the global markets.

Participation in the national market

The online brands have to actively participate in the national markets. They have to continuously strive to build their presence. This gives a good exposure in terms of markets and the consumers. They have to keep the important things while expanding their business globally.

  • They have to understand the fiscal policies.
  • They have to be well prepared for regulatory challenges.
  • They should do proper calculations of the border taxes and custom duty charges.
  • They should ensure the import/export compliance.
  • They have to do accurate shipping and product costs’ calculations.
  • They have to manage logistics effectively and efficiently.
  • They have to process the data and conduct secured payments.

Focus on the brand and quality

It would be tough to survive in the global market if marketers rely completely on the brand. Product perception has to go hand in hand. As per a survey, 70% of the consumers make at least one cross-border purchase annually. This is because of the attractive pricing and discounts they get as well as the strong perception of the product aligned with local needs and quality expectations. Also because of the variety, they get in the products and its qualities.

It is quintessential to localize the brand. They need to create its online presence to enter the new global market. They have to deliver quality products and create a brand awareness to the local consumers. Thus, they have to look like an outsider but have to behave like the locals. The brand equity and the product quality matter among the consumers in countries such as India, China, and Hong Kong.

Manage the inventories and outlets

There are few of the retail brands that have managed to build empires. They have made the most of both cross-border and the domestic deals. These global brands do not enter the market directly. They have to plan and strategize cautiously. They have to manage the resources and the entire system. They have to be quick and efficient in delivering goods and services to their consumers.

Managing the inventory globally is one of the prime concerns for all the online retailers. They have to look into the challenges such as currencies, language, geographical distance, instant delivery and customer satisfaction. Regardless of the time zones and the cultural differences, they have to manage the inventories most effectively.

Conclusion

Brands have to evaluate the market position before entering into the cross-border commerce. As per the geographical and historical conditions, they might have to face huge challenges. But, they have to equally focus on the local brand perceptions to rise and stand out in this global market. Once they ensure compliance for all sorts of cross-border transactions, they surely can gain maximum success in multiple markets.

 

 

Top 5 Strategies for Harnessing Cross-Border Commerce Success!

By 2021, the cross-border market will boom up to $1 trillion, as per recent Business Intelligence reports. There has been an exceptional rise in global purchases due to the ample reach, given by cross-border commerce along with its price and quality benefits. The driving force behind cross-border commerce has been the lack of access to goods domestically. Also, the better product pricing and affordable shipping contribute to its success. Thus, most of the consumers are turning to international vendors who are prevalent in local online markets.

Consumers in the countries like China and US import and export several products and services. For instance, people in China tend to everything from baby products to gadgets online owing to their lack of quality in some local markets. In response, merchants aim to expand their businesses to a global level, while making sense of the local sense, language, flavour, and preferences. They target the overseas market and expand their horizons to new global customers for obvious reasons.

Major Strategies that can leverage cross-border commerce benefits

Are you thinking about entering a new cross-border market or are keen to expand your eCommerce business globally? Here are some strategies you need to pay attention to.

  1. Select the market appropriate to your business

Do your homework. Determine who will be your international customers. Understand your product value in terms of their demands and your supplies. You can consider the following factors before finding the best product :

  • What is the condition of your selling product in the market?
  • Will there be a substantial growth of your business with your product?
  • Who are your competitors and your consumers?

Possibly, there is a solution for all your queries.

  • You can search for the most trending products on Reddit, Alibaba and more.
  • You can decide accordingly and refine your selection later.
  • Finally, dive into the data analytics to validate your idea.
  • Check out the competition in the global market on the basis of surveys and reports.
  • Analyze your sales and calculate the profit margin.

  1. Research on the trends in the international markets

A proper and efficient research always helps in providing effective results. For international markets, you have to be keen on the trending strategies and policies. You have to take into consideration the competitors, their product quality and the discounts they offer. You have to analyze your production rates and its corresponding market values. You have to focus on the product quality and its marketing so it can stand out in the international market.

You should not miss out on the data security and customer’s satisfaction. You can hire an international support in that case. These are going to be a real wealth of your company and its market value.

  1. Focus on the payment modes

There are multiple payment options available in the market. Some have global access, while some are limited to local markets. You have to be very careful and precise considering the most secured payment modes in eCommerce. The payment modes vary largely in terms of countries.

In order to successfully scale globally, you have to focus on integrating and accepting all payment options. But again, know what your target market prefers. You can always consider the standard secured payment options such as Visa, MasterCard. Later, as per the market and sales, you can add the appropriate ones. You also need to take account of the local currencies and conversions for cross-border markets. Most importantly, you have to promise the consumers about their money security.

  1. Be aware of the tax rules and regulations

This is the most important point when thinking about expanding your eCommerce across borders. You have to be well aware of the government taxes and how to apply them to your products. You have to investigate the custom duties charges and taxes. You have to inform about the additional charges to your customers.

You have to understand the free trade agreements before venturing to do business across the borders. You should also know the market policies and tax rules. Ultimately, these will be inclusive of the costs, packages, shipment of your product. Hence strategic pricing and quality based on local market conditions and competitions is highly important.

  1. Set up an International returns policy

When you think about the cross-border market, you ought to consider the international returns and policies. You have to understand the local laws and the overhead costs. You have to be transparent about the return fees or the restocking amount. Also, you have to be clear to your consumers about the full refunds or the store credits.

You have to consider the approaches for faster and secured refund options. For this, you can build partnership with the logistic services or set up a local returns center. These can offer a number of return options to the customers. This altogether, helps you manage and simplify the process efficiently.

Apart from all these, one also needs to take the ownership of the business. You have to upscale the entire process not as an individual, but as a team. So, it is better to appoint the right manpower, resources and logistics in the local region too. You should also focus on the technology and services for delivering a standard process. This will help your business get major visibility globally.

That said, to make an impactful start in the cross-border markets, you need to identify the right marketplace. This can help you earn cool profit margins for your global business.

Devising International Payments for Cross-Border Commerce

Devising International Payments for Cross-Border Commerce

Selling internationally can be a thrill and a hassle as one needs to process international payments efficiently. The good news is that e-commerce sellers do have loads of options to make global sales easy enough for buyers and sellers.

Do US Merchants Accept Payments from Abroad?

In most cases, they do not accept international payments since the processing fees are high enough with huge risk of fraud and chargebacks. For working with customers in other countries, one would have to set up an account for those orders specifically.

International Merchant Accounts give owners dealing with cross-border commerce with multiple solutions meant for small businesses. These accounts have the ability to accept money and process varied payments automatically. They also feature fraud prevention and other attributes. These accounts also offer alternatives to payment aggregators like PayPal, and even present buyers a view of an established business along with currency exchange rates as part of fees.

Once you’ve opted for international merchant account for allowing international transactions, here are some things you need to do

  • One needs to pay set-up fee to obtain processing equipment along with relevant software.
  • After installing the software, and set account information, link the account with business bank account.
  • The money received through the merchant account will be converted to U.S. dollars and transferred to bank account.

Instructions to link international payment service with marketplace

To link the payment service with the storefront, follow the rules and create your checkout process. Here are some payment aggregators and services that would aid cross-border ecommerce and international payments.

  • PayPal

Being the most popular payment processor for online sales, PayPal now operates in a staggering 190 international markets and even accepts payment in 24 currencies without one needing a merchant account. Transaction fees are mostly lower than the fees levied by banks, most transactions are also swift and secure. It can be set up with an email account and a credit card only and there are several free tools for shipping and tracking reports.

One does get charged per transaction, withdrawals and currency conversions and one can set out adequate product prices for including those fees.

Set pricing for international customers in relevant currencies that are available for you to accept and the money can get transferred to the local bank account within a couple of days. Consider a dedicated merchant account if there are consistent transactions along with a dedicated chargeback department for the services.

Payment comes in default currency through PayPal based on account preferences. One can convert money at the standard rate to account for any wayward currency fluctuations. PayPal monitors foreign exchange rates and adds its own fee of 2.5 percent to the transaction especially when funds are moved from PayPal to bank account.

  • Individual credit card firms

One can work directly with merchant accounts including the popular Visa, MasterCard, and the like. But these provide limited international buyers’ options and thus limit sales.

  • International money orders

Your customer from another country can purchase money orders from their bank, and are mostly considered secure. Fees are minimal, but payment process takes up 8-10 days. Also these international money orders are liable to frauds!

  • International wire transfers

If one has forged a relationship with an international customer, international wire transfers can be swift although expensive at $35 – $60 per transaction.

  • Google Wallet

This wallet is available in limited countries and the UI is uncluttered and boasts of a good online presence, and many cross-border commerce organizations have started using it.

  • Telegraphic Transfers between banks

These transfers have been used for several decades and now they are losing importance owing to convenient payment options.

  • Personal check

Major marketplaces discourage use of personal checks owing to huge chances of fraud. One can even consider the checks on a case-by-case basis if you are the prime decision-maker and comfortable with varied taxes, currency exchange and ancillary fees.

Conclusion

Payment terms and methods are few and far between that actually work in an online marketplace. Check out the best mode of payment for your cross border commerce strategy although do encourage every channel for hassle-free payment for customers.