By David Anzalone,
Jul 1, 2020
Agency X Podcast: International E-commerce on Shopify
On this episode of the Agency X Podcast, John and I talk about international e-commerce and some specific considerations for brands on Shopify and Shopify Plus. This topic is important to our agency as many of our clients are known throughout the world, (we even wrote an ebook on it). This is part one in a series of International e-commerce episodes, as the topic has many aspects and complexities.
We talk about:
- New features from Shopify Reunite
- Different approaches and considerations
- When to go international
News from Shopify Reunite
The international features announced at Reunite were high wishlist items for global brands. With Local Domains, merchants will be able to natively set up country-specific domains with proper currency and language associations. In addition, these domains will use hreflang, which helps Google drive customers to the proper version of a merchant’s store and aligns with SEO best practices. Custom FX (Foreign Exchange) will allow merchants to offer products in over 100 currencies, get paid in their own currency, and create various pricing strategies for each currency. This streamlines both e-commerce management and marketing initiatives with stable pricing structures. Both of these yet-to-be-released updates strengthen Shopify's in-house value to brands while boosting the platform’s viability as an international e-commerce solution.
Considerations & Approaches to International E-commerce
While brands can go international with Shopify Plus right out of the box, proper setup requires detailed planning on the many considerations when selling to a global audience.
- How many to offer?
- Unique rates or standard conversion?
- A store for each region, domestic and international?
- Can multiple stores be managed?
Shipping & Checkout
- Regional shipping rates
- What does the checkout experience look like?
- Simple translation or specific copy?
Products and Content
- How are different products rolled out?
- Will product and lifestyle imagery differ by region?
- How is inventory synced and maintained?
When to go International
Becoming an international brand is obviously no small decision. Even if you’ve thought through all the logistic considerations, you need to figure out whether this action is viable and profitable. Review what your customers say about your brand. Is there a significant number of social and support messages asking about selling in different countries? Does your brand have high enough recognition, sell enough volume, and is properly staffed to support an international solution? Really, the best solution for most brands with appropriate fit is to start small in markets you know there’s a demand, then review the data and test to ensure that it’s scaleable for further expansion.
If you’re a brand or an agency that wants to learn more about international eCommerce, you can listen to the full podcast and download our eBook. Stay tuned for future parts of the series in coming weeks.