Today everyone prefers to do their shopping online, coupled with a decrease in transitional shipping rates, and its more feasible than ever to sell to a global audience 4.54 billion People now have access to the internet, according to a Statista survey in January 2020, so the addressable market is larger than ever. International selling allows you to broaden your reach and expand your business, as well as spreading the risk.
But for every yin there is yang—there are key points to consider when adopting a cross-border e-commerce strategy (especially for those running on Shopify). Planning with these actionable tips will help you avoid the common pitfalls of international e-commerce. But before diving into that, you have to make sure it’s worth selling internationally.
Is it worth selling internationally?
Just as your addressable market will grow when you sell internationally, so will the factors you need to consider:
Have you calculated the cost of shipping to countries you operate in?
Have you decided whether you’ll offer free shipping? Or will you bake shipping costs into the price?
Have you considered the feasibility of getting your product to the customer? In other words…
How long will it take?
How many suppliers are there?
What’s the risk of the product being stolen or damaged in transit?
A good question to consider: will the profits from selling cross-border be worth your company’s effort to enter these new markets?
Once you know which international markets you want to tap into, try calculating the cost of running international operations. Will your projected additional monthly revenue from expanding cross-border outweigh your projected additional monthly cost?
If so, it’s time to prepare your Shopify site for more international traffic.
Use a multi-currency strategy
Selling in multiple currencies lets your customers pay for their orders using their currency. If your business is in one of the following situations, multi-currency is a home run feature:
You have one or more stores that have international traffic and product page views, so you want to boost your conversions among international shoppers.
You’d like to offer regional stores e.g. you want to sell in the U.S. and Canada (geographically close and share holiday shopping seasons, but they use different currencies). You could sell primarily in the U.S. (offering multiple currencies) while offering a “regional experience” to Canadian shoppers.
You’re running on Shopify Plus or have multiple stores with strong international traffic. One of your international stores uses multi-currency to sell to customers who live in countries you haven’t yet marketed to.
In addition to these use cases, adopting a multi-currency strategy has several benefits:
Optimize for conversions
It’s no secret that offering prices in shoppers’ currencies increases their confidence in your brand.
Multi-currency ensures that customers see the pricing for every product as a simple, rounded number.
Minimize abandoned carts and refunds
According to Worldpay, merchants see a 13% increase in cart abandonment when customers are shown prices in a foreign currency. This is partly due to fears of conversion fees, plus additional charges that may occur if you choose to pay in a foreign currency.
By displaying a shoppers’ native currency as a payment option at checkout, you’re building customer trust and increasing your chances for a purchase instead of an abandoned cart.
International customers will appreciate both your straightforward approach to pricing and the lack of effort required on their end to see you’re pricing in their native format.
How to offer multi-currency
With dozens of highly-rated apps in the Shopify market, it’s easy nowadays to offer multi-currency on your store(s).
Automated software on the Shopify app store can easily help you:
Convert currencies for your customers at checkout
Automatically round up prices to match your pricing standards
Make refunds in foreign currencies without using a third-party app
But first things first: do you know which currencies you’ll offer on your storefront? Will it even benefit you to offer multi-currency? What will your multi-currency strategy look like? And how do you even get started?
Know where your customers come from
Before you download any apps, consider where your customers come from. While this includes knowing which marketing channels are driving the most traffic to your product pages, which campaigns are working, etc., it also means you need to know which international markets have the most interest in your products.
If you primarily market to American customers but a growing number of orders are coming from Australia, it’s time to shift your approach and make sure you’re shopping and checkout experience is excellent for Australian shoppers, too.
Here are a few multi-currency tools that will help create a seamless experience for international customers:
Bold multi-currency is a free currency converter app on the Shopify app store. The app lets shoppers change currencies quickly and easily via a built-in currency switcher, which works with any Shopify theme.
Supports all currencies, with every currency included free
Merchants can set a specific rate for any currency
Supports multiple rounding rules for more accurate pricing, plus allows different rounding rules for different currencies
Makes pricing consistent for shoppers by rounding at the product level and carried through into the cart
Best Multi-Currency Converter
This Shopify app is a mobile-oriented converter tool aimed at stores that primarily sell internationally. The app offers an auto-currency switcher that can run 100% in the background, plus…
International selling has several unique benefits, such as: Multi-store growth, tapping into new audiences, higher potential success for products that may perform better in other markets. But to be successful and profitable, your pricing strategy must be informed by the right currency considerations, the correct shipping strategy, and accurate calculations for the metrics that matter.