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By Luke Haslett

Our team of Shopify specialists can help you sell to international markets, guide you through the features available & how to leverage the full functionality of the platform. Here’s everything you need to know about getting started with internationalization on Shopify.

Why consider selling internationally on Shopify?

Gone are the days where brands had to go it alone & build their own internationalization tech stack. Shopify has removed the barriers to international commerce through their release of “Shopify Markets''. Shopify Market’s is a cross-border management tool that helps merchants identify, setup, launch, optimize & manage their international markets all from a single store. The platform’s flexible & continuously evolving technology empowers merchants to deliver a seamless online shopping experience no matter where their customers are in the world.

In a time of global disruption, decreasing the risks & economic exposure of trading in a single market have never been more important. Rising inflation, CPMs & CAC place an additional strain on brands striving to reach profitability & those chasing handsome returns for their investors, alike.

Expanding into new markets enables merchant’s to diversify their single market dependency, decrease their exposure to economic downturns & to reach new audiences at potential lower CPMs & CACs.

Knowing when & where to internationalize

As with any business strategy, there are fundamental financial, logistical, cultural, regulatory & risk factors to consider before launching into a new market, such as;

  • Market Dynamics:
    • Comprehensively understanding the target market's demographics, purchasing power, & cultural preferences.

    • Evaluate market size, growth potential, & existing competition

    • Identify key trends, consumer behaviors, & preferences

  • Regulatory Environment:
    • Research & understand local regulations, including trade policies, import/export restrictions, & product compliance standards

    • Be aware of any legal barriers, intellectual property considerations, & industry-specific regulations

  • Cultural Awareness:
    • Consider cultural nuances, traditions, & customs that may impact consumer preferences & buying behavior

    • Adapt marketing strategies, product positioning, & messaging to align with local cultural norms

  • Logistics and Distribution:
    • Evaluate the logistics infrastructure, including transportation, distribution networks, & warehousing capabilities

    • Determine the most efficient & cost-effective supply chain strategy for delivering products to the market

  • Economic Factors:
    • Assess the economic stability of the target market, including GDP growth, inflation rates, & currency exchange rates

    • Understand the local pricing dynamics & adjust pricing strategies accordingly

  • Consumer Behavior:
    • Study consumer buying patterns, preferences, and shopping habits.

    • Determine how the brand's products or services fit into the local lifestyle & meet specific consumer needs.

  • Customer Support and Service:
    • Develop a strategy for providing customer support, including language-specific assistance & culturally sensitive communication.

  • Scalability & Long-Term Commitment:
    • Assess the scalability of operations & infrastructure to accommodate future growth

    • Evaluate the long-term commitment required & align business goals with the market entry strategy

Considerations when preparing your Shopify store for international selling

When it comes to preparing your Shopify store to sell to international markets there a lot factors to consider before finalizing your go to market strategy;

  • Should the business use a single store or a multi-store strategy?

  • What are the tax implications of choosing a single store over a multi-store strategy?

  • What are the currency conversion implications of choosing a single store over a multi-store strategy?

  • How will you structure your international domain architecture?

  • Should you use a localized TLD?

  • Should you use a subfolder or subdomain?

  • If you use a subfolder or subdomain, what are the SEO implications

  • How will you ensure customers see prices in their local currency?

  • How will you translate your content & are there cultural considerations that you need to be aware of?

There are many more factors to consider. At an initial scoping call, we’ll walk you through our internationalization strategy checklist to ensure you’re aware of all the considerations you need to be mindful of.

How can we support your international expansion on Shopify?

Whether it’s architecting a new Shopify website that supports your international objectives, localizing your customer experience to align with unique regional requirements, mapping out the SEO considerations of your internationalization project or optimizing an existing store to improve conversion rates, our team of Shopify specialists have the capabilities to support your internationalization project. If you’ve an internationalization project in mind & you’d be interested in hearing our proposed approach, request a proposal & we’ll be in touch.

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