One of the primary advantages of selling online is the ability to sell anywhere in the world. The international market lets merchants tap into new opportunities to expand their reach and sell more of their products. Global ecommerce sales are anticipated to reach $5.545 trillion in 2022 and will continue to increase year over year. Unfortunately, international ecommerce has been notoriously difficult to break into.
Language, currency, logistical barriers, tax laws, government regulations, and other issues have caused many sellers to restrict their business to within their own country. However, Shopify has released its innovative global ecommerce solution allowing merchants to sell their products easily in international markets. We’ll cover how Shopify Markets work and how it can help you.
Understanding Shopify Markets
Shopify Markets is a cross-border management system that helps merchants sell their products more efficiently in the global market. It is a significant update made to the Shopify ecosystem, which was introduced to revolutionize the international ecommerce market.
Until now, sellers who wanted to sell their products globally relied on other marketplaces or even third-party retailers. However, that’s all changed with the roll-out of Shopify Markets.
Selling internationally has never been more convenient. Shopify Markets lets you sell directly to global consumers without the use of third-party tools. You can manage, strategize, and convert international customers all from a single platform.
Shopify Markets provides sellers with the freedom to tailor online shopping experiences for different buyers throughout the world. Business owners can curate markets to target specific regions or countries, and you can also group several regions or countries to simplify your expansion efforts.
This means merchants can reach new customers and markets globally with only a few clicks. They can scale their businesses faster and control their markets using one centralized dashboard. Sellers can better track their store’s KPIs and easily compare their store with competitors, A/B test their ads, and personalize their marketing strategies. Shopify has even created an optional smart setting feature to optimize operations and monitor their store performance automating updates along the way to boost sales on real-time data.
Shopify Markets Features
For many sellers, getting into international selling has always been challenging due to the logistical, currency, and language issues that inevitably arise. It’s a very time-consuming and expensive process to deal with currency exchange rates and translate content into multiple. However, Shopify Markets comes with many different features to simplify these processes.
Shopify Markets lets sellers translate their entire store to offer a native linguistic experience to global customers. Translating your product details and content into the visitor’s local language is crucial to break into new markets. 65% of shoppers prefer the site to be in their language, even if the content is of poor quality. Shopify Markets utilizes third-party translation apps to fully translate your store, meaning every page, from product to checkout pages, will be translated to their native language.
In the past, currency conversion was a major undertaking. Your international store visitors are unlikely to take the extra step of having to convert your store’s currency into their local currency.
Fortunately, Shopify Markets features 133 local currencies, and everything is calculated automatically, so customers know the exact price they are paying for your products. You’ll also be paid out in your local currency.
Additionally, Shopify Markets provide international secure payment methods to match local expectations. Thus, it eliminates the guesswork of international purchases, leading to increased checkouts. In fact, 92% of customers prefer to buy from sites that provide prices in their local currency, and 33% of American customers will leave the site if pricing isn’t in US dollars.
Duties, Sales Taxes, and Shipping
If you sell internationally, there’s a good chance your customers will be charged additional duties, sales, and import taxes when they receive their shipments. Every international online shopper wants to know exactly how much a product will cost before going through the checkout process.
One of the primary challenges for ecommerce stores in global markets is providing these extra fees upfront before the shopper clicks the purchase button. As a seller, you need to know the duties and import taxes that may affect the total cost of their order.
Shopify Markets automatically processes this information and informs the user how many duty and import taxes are due at checkout. Your customers will see the total cost of the item to avoid being surprised by the additional charges that may come their way.
Nobody likes surprises. Unexpected shipping costs and fees are an important factor driving abandoned carts. Customers may feel deceived by the lack of transparency along their online shopping journey and choose not to make a purchase. By eliminating additional unexpected costs, merchants prevent negative experiences and promote positive feedback.
Provide your international customers with simple and secure payment methods. The available payment methods can have a significant impact on conversions. Many customers choose to pay with payment providers that they are familiar with and trust, which may differ depending upon their country. For example, in North America, credit cards are highly preferred over digital wallets like PayPal, Venmo, Shop Pay, and Apple Pay.
Conversely, some European countries rely on bank transfer-based payment methods.
Shopify Markets makes it easy to incorporate popular European payment methods into your checkout, which helps reduce abandoned carts.
Region-Specific SEO and Domains
Shopify Markets can provide localized domain names associated with a country or language to offer a native experience for international visitors, making them feel right at home on your storefront. Localized domain names can improve customer confidence that they are browsing a relevant, local version of your site. As a result, customers can trust your site and are likely to pay in their own native currency. The feature will offer language defaults and domain set pricing specifically for each market that is being targeted.
Having an international domain for your ecommerce store can help your SEO and boost your organic reach. It can also improve your store’s credibility and increase conversions. Shopify Markets lets you create region or country-specific domains with ease.
Let’s say you want to open a storefront in Australia. You can title your domain name something like mystorename.com/en-au. There’s also the option of using a subdomain, like au.mystorename.com, or a country-specific domain such as mystorename.com.au. After selecting your regional domain strategy, Shopify will automatically generate SEO tags so that visitors can find you through the search engine. If visitors navigate to the wrong domain, Shopify uses their IP address to direct them to the right store URL for their location.
Depending on your fulfillment strategy, you may opt to have inventory locations around the world. You can dedicate certain suppliers to specific regions of customers; merchants can tailor their products to customers in different regions based on where their inventory is located.
For instance, you might have two warehouse locations: one in France and one in the United States. European visitors will only see the inventory from the French location. That’s because shipping cost varies, so it might not be profitable for you to ship products from your United States warehouse. This also ensures that stock levels are managed properly and avoids overselling certain products when you have multiple warehouses in different markets.
Because Shopify Markets allow you to manage the inventory for each market, you can create separate catalogs for each region as well. This means you can tailor your products to specific regions. And if there are products that don’t fit in certain regions, those buyers won’t see them in your store.
While Shopify Markets automatically converts your pricing into the local currency, you may need to do more than convert your prices. For instance, your primary market pricing strategy could be different from your secondary market strategy. In your primary market strategy, you may already have an established customer base, allowing you to maximize your profit margins due to their income levels or existing interest in your products.
Conversely, in the secondary market, you may want to lower your margins to attract new customers. Shopify Markets provides complete pricing control. You can easily adjust your pricing for each market directly within the Shopify dashboard.
Smart Settings and Analytics
Shopify Markets enables merchants to define market areas relevant to their store by forming a single country market or grouping multiple countries together. Depending on the nature of your industry, it could be more viable to manage regions as a group rather than individually, making it convenient to deliver strategies more efficiently without having to duplicate work for each individual market.
Their automated market optimization feature automatically optimizes international markets based on changing market conditions and relevant data. Keeping up to date with shifting market conditions is a demanding task, and you shouldn’t need to do it in addition to all your other responsibilities. Fortunately, Shopify Markets leverages data and insights from about one billion international Shopify orders to assist you in quickly entering new markets to boost store conversions.
Market analytics lets you track your performance across markets, so you can forecast demand in specific regions and establish sales goals. When enabled, smart settings continuously analyze the performance of your business in various markets and make automatic optimizations and adjustments to achieve the best outcome possible.
With such a comprehensive list of features, Shopify isn’t done adding new features. They plan to release a set of many new functionalities that provides merchants with even more control and customization over their international market operations. As a result, this means that international buyers will also have better user experiences in your store. Here are some features that Shopify plans to add soon:
- Payouts: Depending on your needs, you can route payouts earned in different currencies to various bank accounts for a more organized accounting system.
- Market-specific content: Simply translating your site isn’t enough. Present your international visitors in specific markets with unique content that is tailored to their needs. For instance, let’s say you run a travel store. Visitors in warm climates may need different products compared to visitors in colder climates.
- Market-specific product catalogs: Tailor your offerings to market regulations and laws, preferences, and seasonality.
What’s Included Based on Your Shopify Plan?
Shopify Markets has been available since September of 2021. It works slightly differently for merchants based on the type of plan they have. Here’s an overview of what’s included in each plan:
All Shopify plans:
- Manage each market from one dashboard
- Sell your products in 133 currencies with Shopify Payments
- Offers local payment options with Shopify Payments
- Translate your store into up to 20 languages
- Set up custom domains for your store to improve local SEO
- Smart settings that optimize international market operations
Additional features for Advanced/Plus plans:
- Set custom pricing and inventory for each market
- Customize storefronts and catalogs for each market
- Collect duty and import taxes at checkout
- Manage fulfillment locations for each market
Fees for international transactions:
- 0.85% fee per order when duty and import taxes are calculated with Shopify Payments and 1.5% fee when using an alternative payment provider
- 1.5% fee per order when a currency is converted
International selling is the future of ecommerce. Brands that aren’t able to effectively sell globally or at least expand past their local or domestic region will miss out on a lot of potential opportunities.
With Shopify Markets, it’s now easier than ever to set up global commerce. Many customers from around the world are likely looking for what you have to sell. But without the proper setup like language translation, currency adjustments, and other factors, it is hard for potential buyers to feel comfortable making a purchase.
Merchants can now benefit from easily managing their storefront and strategizing their business in different markets around the world. Ultimately, it’s great news for merchants, and every seller should know how to leverage the power of Shopify Markets.