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    The Ecommerce Revolution: How Shopify Markets Expands Global Reach

    Last Updated | January 8, 2024

    In a world already buzzing with e-commerce activity, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed online shopping to unprecedented heights as lockdowns forced millions of consumers to embrace the convenience and safety of digital transactions. Between 2019 and 2021, ecommerce sales surged by an astounding 50%.

    In 2021, global retail e-commerce sales reached approximately USD 4.9 trillion, with projections indicating that this figure will soar to around USD 7.4 trillion by 2025.

    Today, the ability to shop online, anytime and anywhere, is at the fingertips of anyone with a laptop or smartphone. For e-commerce businesses, the prospect of tapping into this vast international market is both enticing and daunting. The path to global expansion is fraught with challenges, including international shipping rates, handling multi-currency transactions, and overcoming language barriers.

    Shopify, a leading e-commerce platform, has recognized these hurdles and developed a valuable tool known as Shopify Markets to assist online merchants in their quest for international growth. However, it’s essential to note that Shopify doesn’t endorse Markets for all businesses.

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    In this article, we will delve into what Shopify Markets can and cannot do, enabling you to make an informed decision about its suitability for your business. We will also explore alternative strategies for global expansion if Shopify Markets isn’t the right fit.

    What Is Shopify Markets?

    Shopify Markets is a cross-border management tool designed to aid business owners in discovering, establishing, launching, enhancing, and managing their e-commerce presence, all from a single storefront. Its primary objective is to simplify international shipping, streamline payment processing, and address language-related challenges within the expansive realm of online stores operating on the Shopify platform.

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    This tool is currently available to merchants in select countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US.

    Shopify Markets Release Timeline

    Shopify Markets made its debut with early access on September 14, 2021, and subsequently became available to all merchants on February 11, 2022.

    Key Features of Shopify Markets

    Merchants who opt for Shopify Markets gain access to several critical features:

    • Custom Domain Names: Shopify Markets allows businesses to target specific countries or regions effectively by purchasing and creating customized domain names and subfolders for new market-focused stores. Localized domain names can instill trust and demonstrate commitment to the target market, enhancing search engine relevancy and conversion rates.
    • Multi-Currency Support and Language Localization: Recognizing the preference of international customers to shop in their local currency and language, Shopify Markets enables merchants to display prices in local currencies and utilize translation apps to make their stores more accessible.
    • Duties, Shipping, and Taxes: To provide transparency to international shoppers, Shopify Markets estimates and collects duties and import taxes at checkout. It also accommodates popular local payment methods, ensuring a smooth checkout experience and reducing cart abandonment risks.
    • Configurable Market Operations: Merchants have the flexibility to define market areas according to their business needs, such as creating single-country markets or grouping multiple countries together. Additional features include smart default settings and personalized recommendations to boost conversion rates.

    When Does Shopify Markets Make Sense?

    Shopify Markets is an excellent choice when you wish to replicate your existing store quickly to expand into new geographical markets. Essentially, you maintain one central store that can be duplicated with customized configurations to establish new stores in different regions. This approach is ideal for businesses with globally dispersed teams managing operations centrally.

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    Limitations of Shopify Markets

    Despite its impressive functionality, Shopify Markets has certain limitations, including:

    • Limited Language Support: Shopify Markets cannot fully translate stores into certain variations of Chinese (simplified or traditional) or Portuguese (Brazilian or standard).
    • Checkout Constraints: Stores using third-party checkout solutions outside Shopify’s checkout are not supported.
    • Country Mismatch: Stores targeting a different country than their primary domain are not accommodated.

    When Shopify Markets May Not Be Enough

    There are scenarios where operating separate stores might be more suitable than using Shopify Markets:

    • Absence of Shopify Payments: If your country does not support Shopify Payments, you cannot access Shopify Markets.
    • Desire for Greater Flexibility: When you need more freedom to customize themes, images, language, or product catalog for specific international regions, separate stores are preferable.
    • Geographic Tailoring: When different geographies experience varying seasons or require distinct product promotions, separate stores provide the necessary flexibility.
    • Global Team Structure: If your team is dispersed worldwide, managing separate stores may be more efficient.
    • Setting Up a Different Business: If you are establishing a completely separate business or a subset of your existing one, creating a separate store is a better fit.
    • Amazon Selling: Amazon sellers should be cautious, as Shopify Markets’ pricing fluctuations might violate Amazon’s rules.
    • Targeting Diverse Customer Segments: Tailoring marketing strategies to different customer segments often necessitates multiple stores.
    • Outletting and Sub-Branding: Maintaining separate stores may be advantageous when offering discounts on specific products or creating sub-brands without compromising your brand’s integrity.

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    Save Time with Rewind Staging

    For those seeking international expansion strategies beyond Shopify Markets, consider using Rewind Staging. Available to all Shopify merchants, Rewind Staging facilitates ongoing synchronization between source and destination stores. It automatically copies changes made in one store to others, including price adjustments, theme modifications, and product updates.

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    By using Rewind Staging, you can efficiently manage multiple stores while allowing your in-house developers to focus on more strategic tasks, such as innovation and experimentation.

    Conclusion About  Shopify Markets,

    Shopify Markets is a powerful tool for expanding your e-commerce presence globally, but it’s crucial to evaluate its suitability for your specific business needs. If it doesn’t align with your goals, alternative strategies, such as maintaining separate stores or utilizing tools like Rewind Staging, can provide the flexibility and customization required for international success.



    Folio3, a Software Powerhouse established in 2005, is one of the leading eCommerce solution providers for SMBs and Fortune 500. The Company has expertise in diverse industries such as Animal Care, Retail, Automotive, Food and Agriculture, and Health care. From ecommerce store design and development to full-scale ERP deployment and integration, Folio3 has done it all.