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Shopify Goes Cross Border with International Strategy

November 17, 2021 Kelly Kovack
November 17, 2021
Avelino Calvar Martinez via Burst

Shopify's 1.7 million merchants are concentrated in English-speaking countries, with 50% in the US, 8% in the UK, and 6% in Australia in 2020. With global e-commerce growing 25.7% to $4.2 trillion in 2020, Shopify is targeting international growth by making it easier for merchants to sell globally from a single storefront.

Shopify already powers cross-border commerce with international domains and multicurrency solutions, facilitating merchants to generate $20 billion in cross-border sales in 2020. But this is a drop in the basket considering in July 2021 alone, over 27% of all traffic to Shopify stores came from international buyers. A study by Cross-border Commerce Europe and FedEx projected cross-border sales in Western Europe and Scandinavia will increase 51% by 2022 to $251 billion.

The company recently announced a global e-commerce hub for merchants called Shopify Markets and added B2B features to premium platform Shopify Plus last month. The goal is to alleviate the difficulties that localization merchants face selling cross-border by centralizing and enhancing Shopify's cross-border capabilities to help identify, set up, launch, and optimize international markets—all from a single Shopify store.

Harley Finkelstein, President, Shopify, said, "We believe the future of retail is retail everywhere. And with Shopify Markets, we're making it even easier for merchants—no matter size or budget—to turn their global aspirations into a reality."

Shopify has seen conversion rates for storefronts with localized languages and currencies increase by 1.13x and 1.40x, respectively. The platform helps merchants with:

  • Pricing and price rounding rules per market
  • Product availability per market
  • Local languages
  • Local domains with automatic SEO optimization
  • Automatically show the right currency / language based on buyer country
  • Duties and import taxes on behalf of the buyer to eliminate surprise costs at product delivery (merchants can now account for these fees at checkout)

The platform will also optimize cross-border operations with actionable insights and smart settings helping merchants determine where, when, and how to most effectively sell in a new region based on aggregate data from Shopify's more than 1.7 million merchants globally. Smart settings let merchants automatically optimize for the best results, without needing a dedicated global operations team.

Merchants can seamlessly create localized storefronts from one store, which means they can manage all cross-border commerce in a single place in the Shopify admin with tailored consumer experiences in each market while providing a unified view of their entire business.

Sara Panton, co-founder and CEO of vitruvi, said, "As a Canadian-founded brand with customers across North America, Shopify has allowed us to scale our business both at home in Canada and in the US. Running multiple eCommerce stores in separate regions can be challenging and the ability to centralize our digital efforts creates a tremendous amount of operational efficiency. At vitruvi, we're incredibly excited for the launch of Shopify Markets. It provides a unique opportunity to streamline our eCommerce operations while still offering a curated shopping experience for our customers--wherever they live and shop from."

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