Statista predicts global retail ecommerce will grow from an estimated $4.89 billion in 2021 to $6.38 billion by 2024. If you’ve been considering selling internationally on Shopify, now’s the best time to do it.
Shopify makes it easy to take your business global. But there’s a lot you need to consider when you sell internationally. Currencies, taxes, local compliances, and regional preferences — each factor can make or break your global expansion plans.
We’ll help you simplify all that and more in this guide to selling globally on Shopify.
8 Factors To Consider When Selling Globally on Shopify
Selling internationally does more than increase your online revenue. It diversifies the risks of selling online and allows you to extend the life cycle of your products.
Here are eight crucial factors you need to consider before taking the plunge.
1. Choose Your Target Markets Strategically
The first step in selling globally on Shopify is identifying where your target audience resides. Don’t just approach this task geographically, but also demographically.
If you already operate an online business, look at your website analytics to identify where you’re getting the most traffic from. This includes reviewing the demographics section of your Google Analytics account and the sessions by location report in the Shopify admin.
And if you haven’t started selling online yet, research demographics and potential competitors to identify the demand for your products. Conduct a SWOT analysis of successful local businesses in your target countries to forecast demand and opportunities for future growth.
2. Outline a Domain Strategy
Your domain name is one of the first things customers notice about a company when they land on your website. Even if you’re using a generic top-level domain such as .com, it helps to localize your domain name to your audience when targeting buyers in other countries.
You can approach this in two ways:
- Use a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) such as .com.au for Australia or .ca for Canada.
- Use a subdomain.
Although ccTLDs are stronger indicators of a local business, many countries have compliance requirements that make it challenging to purchase ccTLDs. So using a subdomain is often an easier way to sell globally on Shopify.
Another advantage of using a subdomain is that you won’t need a separate Shopify subscription for each store. You can add subdomains to your store and configure pricing and language settings in the domain management section of Shopify admin.
3. Localize Your Pricing Strategy
When selling internationally, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to buy from you. And supporting local currencies is the best way to do it.
Shopify Payments can help you offer products to customers in their local currency. You only need to add a new country or region and select the market you want to sell to, and Shopify will manage the currency conversions using real-time foreign exchange rates.
And if you want to take it a step further, you can use Shopify’s Geolocation app to update the currency based on your customer’s location automatically. Your customers will be able to shop in their local currency as soon as they land on your online store.
4. Explore Local Payment Preferences
Payment method preferences vary tremendously across the globe. Statista reports that most customers in the US prefer paying with credit cards. In contrast, those in the UK prefer PayPal.
Additionally, a 2018 survey by TrustedSite.com found that 92% of customers reported concerns about purchasing from unfamiliar websites. So you must explore regional preferences and support popular payment methods for your target markets.
Customers are often hesitant to buy from unknown websites. But when you localize the domain, currency, and payment methods, they’re more likely to trust your business and follow through with their purchase.
5. Investigate Local Tax Requirements
Tax and other business regulations vary significantly for each country. Moreover, customers might also expect a standard approach to calculating, displaying, and charging taxes while shopping online.
For example, in North America, product pricing is often displayed, excluding tax. Tax is calculated and charged during checkout based on the shipping address. But, in countries like Australia, regulations mandate B2C businesses to display pricing inclusive of taxes.
You need to configure your pricing and checkout to match the expectations of your demographic. We recommend consulting certified accountants in your target countries and optimizing your checkout process with the help of an experienced Shopify agency.
6. Research Shipping and Fulfilment Options
International shipping is often more expensive than local shipping. Moreover, when customers purchase from a global business, they also need to pay additional duties and taxes at the time of delivery.
Although the exact amount varies by country, it can significantly increase the purchase cost. Baymard Institute found that the top reason for cart abandonment was last-minute extra costs such as shipping, tax, or other purchase fees.
Further, 19% reported abandoning their purchase when delivery was slow. If you find shipping to your target markets might be slow or expensive for the customer, consider using a local third-party logistics service to simplify inventory management and shipping.
7. Translate Your Store Content
Translating your store content to your audience’s native language is just as important as offering local currency support. It helps them understand your value proposition, engage with your products, and purchase them.
Except for Shopify Lite, all other Shopify subscription plans allow you to translate your store into multiple languages. They let you set up translations manually using CSV files or automate them using a Shopify app from the app store.
Shopify also adds hreflang tags to help search engines crawlers categorize and serve your site pages to the right audience. You won’t struggle with duplicate content when selling globally with Shopify.
8. Localize Your Marketing Strategy
We’ve covered a lot about localizing the shopping experience when selling globally with Shopify. To leverage it for sales, you should localize your marketing strategy as well.
Like with payment preferences, the best marketing channels for your online store can vary by country. So it helps to research where your ideal customer spends most of their time online and target those channels to maximize your marketing returns. Personal research or a local marketing company of the region can also provide insight and tips.
Focus on creating targeted campaigns for each country with region-specific copy and promotions. It’s important to reduce the friction upfront to drive traffic to your store and maximize conversions.
Ready To Sell Globally With Shopify?
We hope our guide to selling globally on Shopify helps you identify opportunities and strategize your growth as you venture into new markets. Whether you take a single-store or multi-store approach, make sure you prioritize building a frictionless shopping experience.
Global ecommerce is full of possibilities. But it’s highly nuanced as well. An experienced Shopify development partner can help you navigate the uncharted waters of global commerce with an online store that’s built for scale. Contact Endertech to learn how.