Shopify launches cross border e-commerce solution

Shopify has unveiled Shopify Markets, an end-to-end cross-border commerce solution that aims to help independent merchants sell to consumers around the world.

The solution does that by enabling merchants of all sizes to identify, set up, launch, and optimize for selling to international markets from a single Shopify store. 

Complexities such as currency conversion, language localization, providing local payment methods, and duty and import taxes can all act as barriers to effectively selling internationally. To minimize those barriers, Shopify says it is going global by default with the launch of Shopify Markets, which it describes as a centralized hub with all the tools needed for merchants to manage global commerce.

Shopify Markets, together with the existing solutions like international domains and multicurrency, aims to help remove the complexity of international commerce and to power cross-border commerce for Shopify merchants. The global e-commerce company says its merchants generated $20 billion in sales in 2020 using the two existing cross-border tools.

“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 U.S. Running multiple e-commerce stores in separate regions can be challenging and the ability to centralize our digital efforts creates a tremendous amount of operational efficiency,” said Sara Panton, co-founder and chief executive officer of natural scenting manufacturing firm vitruvi. “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.”

In the 30 days ending July 31, 2021, nearly half of Canadian merchants selling on Shopify were selling cross-border. Moreover, over the same period of time, approximately half of the consumer traffic to its Canadian merchants was international, a spokesperson for Shopify told itbusiness.ca.

With Shopify Markets, merchants can enable new markets and open their businesses to more global customers. Merchants can then manage these markets from a central dashboard for a unified view of their entire business. It also helps merchants optimize cross-border operations with actionable insights and smart settings. 

In addition, Shopify Markets allows merchants to provide tailored experiences for each market by enabling them to customize: 

  • local currencies and payment methods
  • pricing and price rounding rules per market
  • product availability per market
  • local domains with automatic search engine optimization
  • automatically show the right currency/language based on buyer country
  • calculate 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)

“As the entrepreneurship company, Shopify has always given our merchants the tools they need for cross-border commerce,” said Harley Finkelstein, president, Shopify. “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.”

Global e-commerce had a record year in 2020: sales grew nearly 26 per cent to $4.2 trillion, according to eMarketer’s Global ecommerce update . Increasingly, those sales are happening cross-border. By 2022, eMarketer’s Cross-border retail ecommerce, US report estimates that upwards of one in four U.S. buyers will have purchased from a merchant in a foreign country.

Source: eMarketer

Shopify Markets is now available globally in early access. The company says the solution will be rolled out to all merchants in the coming months. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the river Yamuna on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing fanatic who also loves to prepare beautiful, healthy and delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not. Can be contacted at psehgal@itwc.ca or 647.695.3494.

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