How to internationalise your e-commerce business with Shopify Markets

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Shopify Markets is a new automated tool for e-commerce businesses that simplifies international trade and expansion into new target markets.  Installed inside Shopify, the simple web online store creator, is new functionality to help particularly small and medium-sized companies to start selling their products overseas, without making a significant investment. This provides a growth opportunity for brands and retailers, who can reach a greater number of potential customers thanks to this internationalisation of their e-commerce business. If you think it may be a good choice for your business, start by reviewing the profitability of your pricing strategy to assess the potential risks of embarking on internationalisation. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of Shopify Markets and how to take the first step into the international market.

What services do Shopify Markets provide to e-commerce businesses? 

The main advantage of Shopify Markets is that it is a centralised tool that allows you to manage everything related to international sales in one place. Specifically, it is responsible for performing the following functions for the convenience of retailers: 

  • Price conversion to more than 133 local currencies. 
  • Automated translation of store content. 
  • Integration of local payment methods.
  • Local domain creation with automated SEO optimisation. 
  • Application of price rules and price rounding by market. 
  • Performance reporting and market statistics. 

The adaptation of the e-commerce site to local languages and currencies encourages greater brand trust among users in other countries. Logistics is one of the greatest challenges of internationalising an e-commerce business. The two most advanced Shopify plans — Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus — include functions to manage order preparation centres by market.

Disadvantage: Commission payments to Shopify  

Along with the monthly fee for the chosen plan, the e-commerce business must absorb several costs for international sales transactions. These include a commission per order when converting currency and charges based on the buyer’s chosen payment method.

How to make a profit from the sale of your products in international markets

How to make a profit from the sale of your products in international markets 

Despite the technical capabilities offered by the Shopify tool, it doesn’t do everything for you. To boost sales and achieve a stable position in one or more international countries, you need to know in detail the unique characteristics of the market you are targeting. 

1.- Study local demand 

As you know, all consumers are different. Therefore, you should carefully analyse both the characteristics and needs of your product’s target audiences, and the level of demand for products similar to your own. Also, bear in mind their purchasing habits and the degree of e-commerce use. This will allow you to prioritise the items in your catalogue that will have a better reception in your new target countries and optimise resources. 

2.- Monitor competition abroad as well 

At the same time, you also need to know the selling prices of competing companies in these new markets to offer competitive prices to potential customers. Don't forget that users can prioritise local companies over foreign ones. Therefore, one option would be to offer attractive prices in line with the existing offer to attract their attention. It would also help you achieve strong competitive positioning. 

Given its importance, current competitor monitoring tools allow you to analyse the prices offered by competitors anywhere in the world, in any currency. In addition, they track sales prices within their e-commerce sites and in the different marketplaces in which they have a presence. This is valuable information for planning the most appropriate pricing strategy.

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