If you’ve built your business on selling your products to local customers, expanding that scope internationally can either extremely intimidating or terrifically exciting. The usual determining factors for whether an entrepreneur is enthusiastic or fearful about expanding their sales to an international audience through online sales include:
- How well their products resonate with a multicultural, international audience
- The professionalism and user experience of their online store
- How easy and affordable it is to ship their products
- Their online store’s ability to communicate localized costs and accept payment in international currencies
- How well they are marketing to international audiences through channels such as Facebook, Google AdWords and Twitter
Fortunately for small retailers looking to expand into their sales into th4e, there are cloud-based e-commerce platforms like Shopify which don’t require a team of app developers, and the associated costs that go with them. Shopify web designers can professionally feature your products and content for an international audience.
Optimising customer experience and online store conversions
One great way to increase the frequency of completed shopping cart transactions on your online store is to present pricing options in multiple currencies. Doing so doesn't just inform your customers of your pricing, it also demonstrates to international prospects that you are committed to doing business in their region, and you prioritize ease of doing business with international markets.
One of the compelling features of Shopify’s e-commerce platform is its extensibility through modular plug-ins which are available from its App Marketplace. The XE Currency Converter for Shopify can be tailored to transparently communicate where your business is willing and able to ship your products. It can be tailored to fit seamlessly into a web store, so it looks like it seems to be an integrated part of your website theme.
Not all countries use credit cards as their preferred method of payment, so make sure you research alternative payment methods.
Catering to International Customers with Regional Digital Storefronts
To sell online into multiple geographic territories, some Shopify store owners run multiple regional accounts, which can enhance customer experience on each country or continental website. A simple country selector navigation option can guide users to a sub-site which is custom-built for their region. For example, you could have separate websites for Europe, North America and Australasia. A currency converter could save you from needing to runmultiple websites and managing the repeated content that goes with that.
Even though your business might be new to international sales, you don’t want to make that fact too obvious. Ensure your Shopify Payments settings are configured properly to ensure you can accept payments in multiple currencies, or have a backup plan in place like electronic money transfer service.
Deciding which countries to sell to should be based on consideration of:
- Inquiries you’ve had from overseas prospects
- Reviews of where your web traffic is coming from on Google or Shopify Analytics
- Proactive research into the suitability (and legality) of your product offerings to different cultures
- Shipping costs, whether your customers will pay for shipping or it will be absorbed into your margins
- Destination country import guidelines
- Payment gateway or electronic money transfer service support
- Costs of doing business with specific countries, such as translations and customer service
A Shopify article indicates that 92% of shoppers prefer to make purchases in their local currency, and about a third of shoppers will likely abandon a purchase transaction if they can only make a purchase in US Dollars.
Speak Your Customers’ Languages
Though you and/or your employees may not speak multiple languages, it’s worth the investment in a translation app, or better still, a translation service. Some automated translations lose context and could be cause for misunderstanding.
- 75% of customers surveyed by Shopify want to buy products in their native language
- 49% are reluctant to buy from English-only online stores
- 67% of those surveyed prefer website navigation, copy and content in their local language
If you feel like your business has reached a plateau selling within your own country, and are ready to compete on a global scale, consider these ideas to increase your odds of success.
Install the XE Currency App for Shopify (Standard Edition) for free. Or expand your online sales to over 170 countries, with advanced customization flexibility with the Premium
Need help understanding how the the XE Currency App would appear and work on your website? Browse the XE Merchandise Store, and experiment with a few currency options in the top-right hand corner as you shop.