International Shipping - Marketing and Sales Expansion

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Hi -


I'm the ops manager with Pappy and Company - we are a bourbon lifestyle brand and a family company associated with Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. We specialize in cigars, bourbon aged food consumables, home and bar products, and apparel. 


We recently launched international sales into Canada and the EU, and looking to add Australia soon. We are using Zonos to calculate our DDP charges, including duties and taxes. We built custom rules to account for tobacco excise taxes for importation. We are using DHL Express right now for our carrier, and for Canada have Livingston acting as our customs broker since tobacco and food products are a bit complicated in Canada.


Question for the group - we've built the operational and website capability for international shipping. I know we have a brand that is well known around the world with the current bourbon boom. Now how do we bring them to the website? Shipping internationally doesn't work if no one knows you can or about your website. We are spending money on some Facebook ad spend coming up next month in Canada and the EU. 


Does anyone have any experience moving from marketing (social, direct, email) domestically in the US to an international audience? Are they are companies that specialize in e-commerce marketing to a global audience?



Jon Nichols



Reply 1 (1)

Shopify Partner
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Hi Jon, 


It seems my colleague has already been in touch with you, but without proposing an actual solution for EU and UK compliance. I will propose some solutions for you which will make sales at least easier before you begin spending money on marketing.


Europeans are not accustomed to same display of price as US customers, they prefer to see a VAT inclusive price throughout their shopping. Having the price jump at checkout is a deterrent for Europeans, cart abandoning is massive. Different currency from the buyers is not nearly as big of an issue as the presentation of price. 


The goal should be to have a single-action purchase for the customers, to reduce the returns. DDU is just simply out of the question. DDP tends to be prohibitively expensive for your range of prices. 


Which is why we recommend you take advantage of the simplified VAT schemes both EU and UK offer. This results in major reduction in costs. In EU the scheme is called IOSS. The IOSS allows you to collect VAT at checkout and have a simplified customs process for speedier, significantly cheaper deliveries and 0 duties (we recommend having a postal solution as option because of this). The only limit is that the shipment value without taxes and shipping cannot exceed 150€ or 135£ respectively. For a crash course on EU and UK VAT have a look at our blogs: and help centre. UK has been clever with their scheme and it is called simply UK VAT. 


It is not possible to have inclusive and exclusive pricing on one website, which is why we recommend having a mirror site with different rules. Shopify has very good instructions on how to mirror sites (I am assuming it works the same for Plus users). 


For the EU and UK compliance just get in touch with us. We are no-code onboarding, fully automated and charge only when used + you will get access to our indirect taxation expertise, not just our SaaS. So, before you start spending money on marketing lets get you ready for the conquest. 



EAS EU & UK Compliance app is a fully automated European VAT solution for Shopify.