Claire from Simply VAT recently posted her ten top tips for trading internationally. You’re probably familiar with many of them, but a couple really stood out for me:
Make sure your online store is mobile/tablet friendly
Whilst we’re constantly being told in the UK that mobile and tablets are fast taking over traditional desktops for browsing, it’s even more so overseas.
Some countries simply never had the infrastructure that we have in the UK and for many their first and only way to connect to the Internet is via smart phones. If you’re targeting overseas customers being mobile friendly is an absolute prerequisite, whether it be on eBay, or your own website.
Don’t rely on search engines to translate your website – you might not be saying what you think you are! Sometimes things just get lost in translation, even if it sounds right it might not be what you meant to say. If you don’t speak the language get a native speaker to at least cast an eye over your translated text.
We’ve all purchased products at some point that have had the instructions literally translated from Chinese and they’re not easy to follow – Don’t make the same mistake with your online listings.
Read the Consumer Rights Directive
You’re a business right? So you hopefully are already familiar with the EU legislation and know consumers rights and what information you’re required to provide. However we know many sellers are a little lax and whose terms and conditions haven’t been updated to the latest Consumer Rights Directive.
Whilst you may get away with this in the UK, in other countries they’re a lot tougher on companies who don’t get their Ts and Cs spot on. In Germany for instance, it’s not unheard of for a retailer to sue their competitor for loss of business! If for instance if you fail to provide a phone number the reasoning is that they have and you’ve saved money by not providing a phone number and so have been able to afford to undercut them as your cost base is less… You might think that’s total madness, but that’s why you need to get your Ts and Cs spot on.
Don’t be put off. There are experts to help
There are plenty of sources who can help you with everything from translations, localised payment options, drafting your Ts and Cs and tax compliance requirements.
You’re an online seller so help is always only a click away!
You can read the full “10 Top Tips For Trading Internationally” on the Simply VAT website.