Selling international can be an excellent way to broaden your audience and grow your brand. However, selling internationally does have a number of caveats not present with domestic sales – mainly with currency differences. In order to sell internationally, you'll need to have a store that supports multiple currencies.
Shopify is one of the largest eCommerce store platforms in the world. One of the most common questions we receive about Shopify is whether or not the platform supports mult-currency transactions. The short answer to this question is, yes – Shopify does support multi-currency transactions, but there's a caveat.
When international customers see your products hosted on Shopify, they will see the price in their own currency. In addition, prices are adjusted for real-time international exchange rates, so your customers get an accurate idea of what the product will cost. However, shoppers cannot purchase the product in their own currency – they must purchase it in the base currency of the store. Customers in Germany would have to use American Dollars to purchase a product from a Shopify store headquartered in the United States – presenting a major hurdle to many shoppers.
The internet offers a number of currency exchange programs that your customers may use, but this adds an extra step to the purchasing process most would rather avoid. Many shoppers will immediately leave your store when they realize they cannot make a purchase in their own currency. Fortunately, there are other strategies you can use to bring your products to international customers.
Shopify supports multiple region shops, allowing you to localize your products and currencies with relative ease. When you localize your store, your customers can pay for their purchase in their own local currency – no currency conversions necessary. Shoppers will see prices in their own currency, and they can purchase them as easily as domestic customers.
There is no “one-touch” localization option. You need to establish multiple region shops to implement localization. Set up multiple region shops with ease using the following steps:
- Register local stores with seperate Shopify accounts: Give each store a name that relates to its location. If your store is based in the United States, but you want to set up a local shop for the United Kingdom, name your account “storename-uk.myshopify.com” in order to keep track of your stores. This name is not visible to your shoppers, but it will help you stay organized as your stores grow.
- Use subdomains for your stores: Unlike the step above, your subdomain will be visible to your customers. Pre-fix your domains with country codes, such as “ca.” for Canada and “uk.” for the United Kingdom (i.e. “ca.mystore.com”). When shoppers see this pre-fix, they will know immediately that they've reached the right store for their region.
- Clone your store: You want your store to remain consistent across your shops. Duplicate products, designs, prices, descriptions, navigation, and all other aspects of your site in order to prepare for localization.
- Re-direct shoppers using their IP address: Your customer's IP address determines their location. Fortunately, Shopify's Country Selector option makes it easy for you to automatically re-direct shoppers to their appropriate regional shop. There are many options for this feature, which you can set to your liking during the process.
By setting up multiple region shops, you can bring your store to shoppers around the world. There are other hurdles involved with international selling, but using localization, you can provide your customers with a seamless checkout process they are sure to appreciate.
How did you localize your online store? Which hurdles did you have to overcome when setting up multiple region shops? Let us know in the comments below!