Shopify is making international selling easier than ever for you through its new Shopify Markets program.
And for brands looking to scale their cross-border sales, listing your product in multiple countries through Shopify Markets means you can quickly tap into a newer, wider audience.
One reason Shopify has not had a lot of sway internationally, however, is that it can be hard for small- and mid-sized Shopify merchants to offer their products in different countries.
Until September 2021, Shopify-based brands would need to create new Shopify stores in every country where they want to sell online, rather than simply replicating their primary store for many different audiences.
In general, even Shopify-based brands have turned to other e-commerce platforms, including Adobe’s Magento, when they want to sell to new markets internationally.
Shopify Markets can change that—and by giving Shopify sellers easier access to global customers, it is helping them tap into a global e-commerce audience worth $4 trillion.
Here are some of the most important new features of the Shopify Markets program—and why you should consider activating them:
Shopify Markets automatically converts your storefront prices into local currencies — with local payment methods — so that shoppers don’t have to convert from USD on their own. It even lets you create custom pricing per market.
Shopify has said that even such a seemingly small tweak can make a big difference for customers. Its customers are 40% more likely to buy a product when the prices of that product are shown in their local currency.
Shopify currently offers over 130 international currencies, and it changes the prices in real-time based on fluctuations in conversion rates. To unlock this feature, however, your brand needs to be enrolled in the Shopify Payments program.
One secret of how most search engines work is they tend to prioritize websites whose country-level domain names match the country where the person is searching.
Someone entering a search term from the UK, for instance, is more likely to see a bunch of “.co.uk” domains in the results than someone who enters the same search term from the U.S.
Shopify Markets has a quick fix for this.
When you create a new store outside of the U.S., Shopify will automatically assign it a new domain name ending specific to that country. So your store in Canada, for instance, gets a .ca domain, meaning it will be indexed more highly in Canadian searches.
One of the most important and challenging aspects of selling in different markets internationally is crossing the language barrier. When your products and policies are very nuanced, you want to be sure that customers can read your site in their local languages.
Shopify says it will translate your product descriptions for you into over 20 languages.
To do it, the site will lean on a number of third-party translation apps available through the Shopify App Store, plus some manual translators. That is certainly a low-risk offering for brands.
Also, especially when you’re trying to get your online store into as many e-commerce markets as possible, it’s a good way to enable a quick localization of your site.
Still, if you’re regularly selling in another country, it might be worth hiring your own translator, given that different language nuances may be lost.
Just because you want to bring your U.S.-based Shopify store to another country doesn’t mean you have to duplicate that store.
Shopify Markets lets you customize which products are available to customers from every country.
So if there are local laws that might make selling a particular item tricky—or if you have a product with a low enough profit margin that it isn’t worth it for you to sell that product outside the U.S.—then Shopify Markets lets you filter those out country-to-country.
If you’re subscribed to a Shopify Plus plan, you get access to additional features that make international sales so much easier.
One key feature is that Shopify can estimate at checkout how much in import taxes each customer will likely have to pay.
That takes some of the opacity out of the import taxes/duties system, and it also ensures that your customers won’t be hit with additional charges that they weren’t expecting.
The exact cost of Shopify Markets varies depending on which features you decide to activate. When the duty and imports calculator is turned on, for instance, Shopify charges a .85% fee.
Meanwhile, it takes a 1.5% cut of sales when currency conversion is turned on, and another 1.5% when it refers international customers to a local payment provider.
After you set up international storefronts, it’s important to make sure you have customer support teams in place who can help navigate the influx of new customers throughout the purchasing journey.
Chatdesk hires flexible customer service teams who can respond to users wherever they are, whether that’s in a live chat on your website or in the comments or DMs on social media.
To see how Chatdesk can help Shopify entrepreneurs and brands smoothly run their businesses, schedule a demo.