The modern digital consumer has graduated from buying domestic products. Now, they are more confident and willing to make cross-border purchases. In fact, a recent Shopify survey found that 57% of shoppers make purchases from overseas retailers. Couple this with the facts that global eCommerce sales in 2020 reached a massive $4.28 trillion with an expected rise to $6.3 trillion by 2024, and you can see why e-merchants around the world would want a piece of the international eCommerce pie.
This is where Shopify Markets comes in, a solution introduced in September 2021 with the aim to make cross-border selling a breeze. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Shopify Markets and how it can prepare your store for the lucrative international eCommerce market.
What is Shopify Markets?
Shopify Markets is an update to the Shopify platform which enables easier cross-border selling from a single store.
Previously, for Shopify merchants to set their store up for foreign markets, various third-party apps needed to be installed and multiple region-specific stores had to be created. This made management of international stores a slight headache. Shopify Markets addresses these challenges. It eliminates the need for third-party apps, and allows e-merchants to identify, set up, launch, and optimize their store for international selling all in one place.
Let’s take a look at the precise features rolling out on Shopify Markets that will help you localize your store and easily break into international markets.
Shopify Markets Features
Currencies and Payments
Being able to make purchases in local currencies is an absolute necessity for cross-border shoppers. 92% of them express a strong preference in doing so and 13% abandon their cart if no currency converter is present.
The loss of sales is something you’ll undoubtedly want to avoid. Now with Shopify Markets, the prices on your storefront, checkout page, refunds, and notifications will be automatically converted to over 130 currencies via Shopify Payments. You and your customers can rest assured with the knowledge that prices are accurate as Shopify will round prices based on the latest exchange rates.
Another varying characteristic of consumers around the world is their preferred method of payment. For instance, in the US 82% of online shoppers prefer to pay with their credit or debit card, whereas many European customers would rather use bank-transfer or local payment methods. A hugely popular one in the Netherlands is iDEAL, accounting for over 50% of all online transactions. Also, a Shopify study found that Belgian consumers have a strong inclination towards a local payment method called Bancontact. Step out of the western world, digital wallets such as AliPay in China are the norm, and installation methods dominate in Brazil.
This can present a huge problem for Shopify merchants who want to optimize their payment options for international markets as some of these methods are not natively available, requiring the use of third-party apps. Fortunately, this will no longer be a worry as Shopify Markets provides support for bank transfer, digital wallets, and local payment options.
Domains and Languages
To really optimize your cross-border selling prowess, international domains and subdomains are vital. This is because it propels your SEO in the specific regions you are selling in, making your store much more discoverable.
With Shopify Markets you can choose whether to have a subdomain or country domain created for each of your markets. It will then automatically set SEO tags for them to enhance discoverability. Furthermore, rather than having to manage each separate store from varying dashboards, a subfolder is created the moment you create a new market, allowing you to manage the stores in one place. Visitors to your store will always land on the right regional storefront with the use of IP detection.
Choose whether to create country-specific domains or subfolders that will sit under your primary domain. (Source: Salehoo)
Another hurdle international e-merchants need to overcome is the barrier of language. 65% of shoppers yearn for viewing content in their own language. This will be made possible as your entire store can be translated in up to 20 languages using a combination of manual and machine translation on Shopify Markets. The translation of every part of a Shopify store was quite hard to come by on third-party apps so we’re sure many merchants will be pleased with this revelation.
A common pain point faced by customers is the lack of clarity when it comes to additional charges. A survey by Statista reveals that 18% of US adults abandon their cart when they are not able to calculate the total order cost upfront. The most common reason worldwide for cart abandonment is hidden fees adding up to more than what they expected.
International commerce merchants will undoubtedly need to apply duty fees and import taxes to stay compliant to regulations in addition to shipping costs. Shopify Markets will present these costs upfront to your customers at checkout, ensuring compliance to international markets and providing a trustworthy experience for people shopping at your store.
Complete Control Over Logistics
Selling in multiple markets has the potential to be a logistical nightmare. Various inventories must be managed to ensure you do not oversell. Also, you may need to incorporate different pricing strategies for profit or to fulfill specific agreements with retailers or resellers, or there may be ideal ways for managing related regions.
These obstacles are easy to overcome as Shopify has incorporated ways for e-merchants to manage their international markets in the way they see fit.
Do you wish to sell in a number of regions in Asia but retain the same approach?
Will you have differing strategies for your European markets thus needing to manage them separately?
Whichever scenario you fall into, Shopify Markets has got you covered. Merchants can configure their market areas to be managed either in regional groups whilst maintaining local currency and payment methods, or individually all via Shopify Admin.
You decide the best pricing strategy for each of your regions. (Source: Shopify)
Pricing for products can also be customized per market by uploading a CSV file or manually in Shopify Admin. Here, e-merchants are also able to make percentage adjustments to the costs of their products in addition to setting specific prices.
Finally, the fear of overselling can be completely negated as your international warehouses and inventories can be set to display the available items in every visitor's region.
This handy feature will allow e-merchants to automate how to best sell in different markets based on aggregated data from 1.7million global Shopify stores. With this enabled, you can be sure that your storefronts are optimized to provide the best possible experience for your customers. It includes determining the best payment methods to present upon checkout resulting in greater conversions. In fact, a study by Shopify found that adding the Bancontact payment option for Belgian shoppers resulted in a significant conversion increase. With such insights at hand, you can watch your international sales really take off.
View information that will help you choose which markets to enter and optimize your regional store performance with the help of the new Shopify Markets. (Source: Shopify)
Business performance can also be monitored through this function so you can make informed decisions on how to operate in each of your international markets.
Smart settings can be turned off if you’d rather keep manual control over how to sell in different regions.
If all of this isn’t quite enough, you’ll be glad to know that there are a few more features Shopify Markets has in store for you that are yet to be rolled out.
Soon, Shopify merchants will be able to create custom market-specific content rather than just simply translating the store. Unique products related to differing seasons, buyer preference and customs will also be enabled. Lastly, payments made in different currencies will be able to be routed to your business’ preferred bank accounts.
What Features Will I Get With My Shopify Plan?
Depending on what plan you are on, there will be some key differences on precisely which of the above functions you will have access to on Shopify Markets.
All Shopify Plans
The core features applicable to all Shopify Plans on Shopify Markets are:
- Management of how you sell in each market
- Currencies and local payment options with Shopify Payments
- Selling in up to 20 languages
- Custom domains for local SEO
- Smart Settings
Shopify Advanced and Shopify Plus
These plans will have access to the following additional functions:
- Duty and import taxes at checkout
- Custom pricing for each market
- Customization of catalogues and storefronts for each market
- Management of fulfillment locations per market
There are also commissions per order and charges based on payment providers. Shopify Advanced and Shopify Plus subscribers will be required to pay 0.85% per order when using Shopify Payments for duty and import tax calculations. This increases to 1.5% if you choose to use a different payment provider. All Shopify merchants using the currency converter feature will need to pay 1.5% per order.
Sell Globally By Default with Shopify
Shopify Markets is set to revolutionize cross-border selling for its subscribers by equipping them with all the tools necessary for international success. This will be especially great for Shopify merchants that are already selling internationally and feel they are spending too much on third-party apps or aren’t getting quite the desired functionalities from them. It’ll also be great for e-merchants who are thinking about breaking into international markets but aren’t sure how or where to start. Smart Settings will provide these merchants with a wealth of insights to make that decision more easily and will contain all the tools to allow them to get started right away.
Eager to make the leap into international waters now? You can request early access to Shopify Markets here. Happy selling!