Are you an eCommerce merchant experiencing high traffic from a number of international markets? Maybe you’re a dropshipper, or wish to expand your business across borders. If you tick any of these boxes, adding a multi-currency app to your Shopify store could go a long way in bridging the gap between your business and international consumers.
Multi-currency apps arm your Shopify store with the ability to automatically provide monetary information according to the shopper’s location, and allow customers to purchase items in their preferred currency. These apps use live currency rates in order to accurately convert the products on a store to the user’s home currency.
But how necessary are such apps for eCommerce merchants and Shopify merchants alike?
Global eCommerce on the Rise
Shoppers the world over are increasingly turning to eCommerce stores that are not based in their home country. A 2021 study by Shopify reveals that 57% of shoppers make purchases from overseas retailers. We’re sure you’re itching to know exactly where these customers could be coming from and which markets would be the most lucrative for international expansion.
The biggest player contributing to eCommerce sales is China, accounting for just under $2.8 trillion in sales this year. The top five list is rounded off with the US, UK, Japan, and South Korea.
Cross-border spending is expected to show no signs of slowing down as we move into 2022. Statista predicts cross-border sales to account for 22% of the global eCommerce market share, and McKinsey believes that consumers will spend $2.9 trillion on international purchases in 2022.
So should you be offering local currency options on your Shopify store to lure shoppers in these lucrative markets to your site? Certainly! 92% of consumers prefer to buy products from sites that price in their local currency, and 76% of shoppers are actively looking for sites that price all products in their home currency. Additionally, the frustration faced by customers imposed by manual currency conversion is so strong that 13% of them will abandon their cart if they are unable to make a payment in their desired currency.
With this overwhelming evidence pointing to multi currency capabilities as a must-have for eCommerce merchants on the quest for longevity, it's time to take a look at Shopify’s top multi currency apps, and assess which ones could be the perfect fit for your store.
Top Shopify Multi Currency Apps
First, let’s see how the top apps with a free plan that isn’t time restricted stack-up against each other.
MLV: Auto Currency Switcher
Star rating: 4.8
Price: Free plan available, $9.95/month
This app comes out on top when looking at the features of free multi currency apps.
MLV Auto Currency Switcher enables Shopify merchants to choose from over 200 currencies, the most out of the three free apps we look at in this article. Shoppers can choose their desired currency from a dropdown menu once on your site, which the app will remember for future visits. It will use live rates from Shopify's XE API to accurately convert prices. It is also compatible with Shopify Payments, which means that your customers will be able to have their orders processed in their desired currency. Another great feature is that it is fully customizable, so you can adapt the look and feel to your store’s brand design.
Auto Currency Switcher lets visitors to your store select their preferred currency from the dropdown menu on the top-right of the page. (Source: Auto Currency Switcher)
A pitfall of this app is that only the paid plan uses the customer’s IP address to detect their location and automatically select the appropriate currency. Furthermore, prices will be shown to the second decimal point rather than rounded up or down, which inhibits user readability.
- 200+ ISO currencies
- Customizable UX
- Remembers users’ location
- Live rates
- Dropdown currency selection
Currency Convertor Box
Star rating: 4.6
Price: Free plan available, $9.99/month
Similarly to MLV’s app, Currency Convertor Box places no limit on the number of currencies that can be added to your store, albeit slightly smaller at 164 currencies. The exchange rate is refreshed every 3 hours for up-to-date pricing, and will remember the user’s currency selection. It is also pretty customizable, giving you the ability to choose from 8 default icon positions, 5 themes, create rounding rules, and set the position of the Currency Convertor Box icon.
Shopify merchants can choose where on the page they want the Currency Convertor Box icon to appear so visitors can choose their preferred currency for products. (Source: Currency Convertor Box)
Although flag themes are available with the free plan, high-quality flag images are only stipulated on the premium plan. Geo-location to automatically set the currency is also only available with the paid plan, and it does not convert once on the checkout page. The solution for the latter is to send a checkout currency notification to inform the shopper of the checkout amount in their native currency.
- 164 currencies with no limit on the number displayed
- 8 default float or stick positions
- Set icon position
- 5 themes
- Set rounded rules
BEST Currency Converter
Star rating: 4.8
Price: Free plan available, $9.95/month
In terms of available displayed currencies, BEST Currency Converter is quite limited when compared to the previous two. Merchants can only select up to 5 currencies with the free plan, however, this is out of a pool of over 160 currencies including Bitcoin. So should you be targeting a select few international markets, this won’t present a problem for your store.
The rates used for conversion are updated twice a day - also less frequently than the aforementioned apps. Additionally, this app is not compatible with Shopify Payments, so consumers can not pay for their baskets in their home currency. However, they can view the price in their local currency by hovering over the values on the checkout page.
Despite these downfalls, there are a few features that BEST Currency Converter’s free plan offers that the others don’t. It will automatically show a round number for the converted price, making for a more readable, user-friendly experience. Moreover, one of the 3 themes available includes flag display. Not only is this more visually appealing and intuitive, but this capability is also given on the premium plans of the other apps.
Setting itself apart from other free apps, BEST Currency Convertor can include flags when the Flag Theme is selected. The other two themes are the Layered Theme and No Theme. (Source: BEST Currency Converter)
- Choose up to 5 currencies from 160+
- Flag theme available
- Rounded monetary figures
Now, let’s turn to apps which will require you to pay for their usage.
Currency Converter Plus
Star rating: 4.9
Price: 30-day free trial, $9.99/month
Currency Converter Plus is definitely a standout app when analyzing premium multi-currency apps. It allows Shopify merchants to choose from 222 currencies including cryptocurrencies, with the exchange rate refreshing every minute for optimal accuracy. You can choose whether to let the app detect a user’s location to choose the currency, or allow shoppers to choose from a dropdown menu.
Most notably, it takes into account the numerical formats different countries employ when displaying conversions such as the use of decimal places and symbol position. It is highly customizable allowing its users to choose from flag displays, select fonts and styles, and set rounding rules. It integrates with third-party language and translation apps like GTranslate and Langify, as well as full compatibility with Shopify Payments.
Add as many currencies as you please, and even allow the customer to decide whether they want to auto-detect their currency or select for themselves. (Source: Currency Converter Plus)
Perhaps the only downfall is that it has slightly less currencies available than one of the apps we’ll talk about next, but we’re sure what is offered is plenty for you!
- Exchange rate updated every minute
- Accurate currency formatting
- Highly customizable
- Integrates with third-party language and translation apps
- Long free-trial period
Currency Switcher by Secomapp
Star rating: 4.9
Price: 14-day free trial, $9.95/month
This popular multi-currency app includes a number of features that will come in handy for your international endeavors.
Currency Switcher by Secomapp is the most customizable of the paid apps, providing merchants with support for customization should the 9 templates provided not be a great fit. In addition to automatically detecting a customer’s location to set the currency and providing a dropdown menu, the app goes further by allowing you to change the relationship between a country and a currency in the back-end so it matches the popular or preferred currencies.
Live rates for 132 currencies are pulled in from Shopify's XE API which syncs continuously in the background, and automatic rounding rules can be set. As with all the premium apps, this one allows shoppers to check out in their local currency.
It does not boast the same level of currency format accuracy of Currency Convertor Plus, however, it does seem to instinctively know the positioning of currency symbols. This app also has the lowest number of currencies available.
Here we can see that Currency Switcher places the Vietnamese Dong symbol in the correct place, rather than just having “VND” next to the price. (Source: Currency Switcher by Secomapp)
- Live exchange rates
- Highly customizable
- Change the relation between a country and a currency in the back-end
Multi Currency Converter
Star rating: 4.8
Price: 7-day free trial, $9.99/month
This is another great app that has some interesting features which set it apart from the others.
Multi Currency Converter has the highest number of currencies available for conversion at an astonishing 236. Should you be a merchant who prefers a consistent or particular exchange rate, this can be set within the app. Rounding rules can also be set, so you have a more welcoming pricing aesthetic.
Whilst providing a vast number of currencies, the absence of the flags found in other premium apps is less visually appealing and makes it comparatively harder to quickly identify the relevant currency. (Source: Multi Currency Converter)
There are a number of pitfalls with this app however when contrasted to the previous ones. There do not seem to be any customizable features or flag themes available. If you go with the exchange rates pulled into the app, these will only update hourly - the least of all the paid themes. It also has the shortest free-trial period.
- 236 available currencies
- Manually define the exchange rate
With the expected growth of cross-border eCommerce, e-merchants who want to succeed globally will need to start thinking locally. Providing consumers with the comfort and stress-free option of natively making purchases in their local currency is a great step in achieving a localized mindset. Shopify provides its merchants with a number of apps suited towards this goal, regardless of the scope of their international aspirations or budget.