Expanding your brand globally has become an essential part of any ecommerce growth strategy. International markets were already growing at a fast rate before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but then brick-and-mortar closures resulted in an unprecedented ecommerce boom. In 2022, the global ecommerce market is expected to total $5.55 trillion, and that figure is estimated to rise even more over the next few years.
Some markets are growing at a staggering pace: China is currently outselling the world and by 2024 is thought to make up more than 58 percent of global online retail. China is followed by the United States, the second largest ecommerce market, then the UK, Japan, and South Korea. These top five ecommerce markets are believed to remain unchanged until 2025 at least.
Going global is a massive opportunity for your brand, but it’s also one of the most complex challenges you will face as a merchant. There’s a lot more to it than just translating your online store into other languages to boost sales—for example, customers also prefer to shop in their local currency using a payment method that’s common in their country. Thankfully, Able Sense is a partner of Shopify providing a global platform built for scaling internationally that makes diving into new markets to sell easier and faster than ever before. In this article, we’ll discuss three things that can help you take your first steps towards expanding your brand internationally with Shopify and Able Sense.
Which Markets Should You Target?
Before you prepare your store for international selling, you’ll need to carry out research into where to expand. Analyze your current traffic and sales-by-country data, and you might even find that you’ve already gone global without knowing it. Then narrow your target by assessing the regional market potential for your business. Get a good understanding of the local market and how your brand could fit in, take cultural differences into account, and think about the return on investment you could achieve.
Expand your Store Across Borders with Shopify
Once you’ve decided which countries you want to target, it’s time to prepare your ecommerce store for global expansion, and there are a few things to consider that can be hard to get your head around at first: How do you make sure customers see prices in their local currency, for example? Should you focus on a single store, or does a multi-store approach suit your needs more? One way that makes it easy to sell to multiple countries is Shopify’s new Shopify Markets solution. The cross-border management tool enables you to create tailored experiences for your customers with localized currencies. It will also automatically convert your storefront prices to 130+ international currencies and rounds them up based on the latest foreign exchange rates and assure compliance in each market you do business in.
Other options you might want to consider include using Shopify Plus’ nine expansion stores, partnering with a local reseller that is already established in the market you want to target, or launching a wholesale channel to reduce your risk and monitor local consumer demand.
Optimize the Global Customer Experience
Localization plays an important role in personalizing your online store for international shoppers. To scale your global business, it’s important you offer them a frictionless, inclusive shopping experience wherever they are in the world. This means not just automating translations and at least having experts check the translations—including visuals—for accuracy and cultural nuances, adapting clothes sizes and other measurements to the local region, and tweaking form fields so they accept international names and addresses that may include a special character, umlaut or diacritic, or be written in a different script than the English alphabet.
Simplify your Global Logistics and Cross-border Shipping
When you expand into new markets, you’ll also want to make the fulfillment process as streamlined as possible. This can include establishing a supply chain with local manufacturing in your target region, setting up or leasing international warehouses, or outsourcing part or all of the distribution and fulfillment services for your business (for example using the Shopify Fulfillment Network). To bring inventory closer to customers, you can also set up blended local checkout options like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS), or transform physical locations into shipping hubs by setting up simple local delivery programs—both options are fully integrated within the Shopify admin and the Shopify POS app.
Expanding your business international needs to be done correctly and a proper strategy is necessary to succeed in these markets in order to meet your customer's expectations. You need to consider what markets you are going to be your priority, and make browsing your site and buying your project a simple process.
Able Sense is an award-winning design and development agency and a Shopify Plus Services Partner. We work with select clients who value our focus on research, strategy, and content, as well as our dedication to user experience.
As a dedicated Shopify Plus partner agency we can advise you on which setup would best suit your business, which factors you need to consider to ensure the success of your international store, and how to prioritize them. Contact Us to start a conversation about your site and how we can help you.
Able Sense is an innovative ecommerce studio specializing in Shopify Plus strategies and custom implementations for businesses around the globe.