Two frequently overlooked ways to get more international sales with a Shopify e-Commerce store

Robert Jones from Noovo Creative, says now is the time to act, the time to direct your efforts towards your e-Commerce strategy. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a huge shift in consumer behaviour towards online purchases, not just in the UK, but internationally too. This growth in online activity shows absolutely no sign of abating and with some of the ongoing uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, it would be prudent to act now to prepare your website to take more sales from new markets and opportunities overseas.

Shopify has enjoyed a stratospheric rise to become one of the leading development platforms internationally for e-Commerce stores. Like all web solutions, it must be worked at and in this article I outline two ways you can get the best out of Shopify to help increase your international sales.

Activate Shopify Multi-Currency

One of the most common reasons for cart abandonment in international sales is confusion in currency exchange rates. It is often unclear to the customer how much they are going to pay in their final bill, which is not surprising given banks’ differing ways of charging for international money exchanges.

Shopify’s Multi-Currency feature is an easy to facilitate option within the software that will allow you to retail your goods in every significant currency on the planet. So, whether your customers wish to checkout in Euros, Dollars or Indian Rupees, you will have it covered. This free feature is available to all who process their payments through Shopify’s in-house payment provider. Furthermore, the feature has an exchange rate damper. This means that your customers won’t see fluctuations in pricing when visiting your site and you will get paid in your store’s native currency.

The whole process of adding multi-currency transactions to a Shopify store usually takes around 10-15 minutes. It is included in your stores fee level and is very likely to have a positive, immediate effect on your international conversion rate.

Translate your store into alternative languages

Nearly 65% of Spaniards don’t know a single word of English. If you find that surprising, then consider that much of the French, German and Italian population also don’t know enough English language to make a single online purchase. If you truly have a desire or need to sell in other markets, then getting your site content in order should be an absolute top priority and frankly, a courtesy.

Fortunately, within Shopify, this isn’t technically difficult. As users of the system will know, the Shopify App store is a godsend for the easy addition of useful features to your store. Setting up for multi-language use is no different. Apps such as Weglot and Langify make the process a doddle with Weglot even adding the all-important tags to your page. This makes displaying the correct language to the correct country much simpler.

The real key however, to getting this right and seeing the benefits of increased international sales, is the quality of your translations. Perhaps the largest single factor in an international sale breaking down is trust. Trust can be conveyed through different visual messages on your Shopify site, but the true strength will come from contemporary and relevant translations of your original content.

My advice is start off slowly and add a language at a time. It can be a large task on some sites that have hundreds or thousands of stock keeping units (SKU’s). I have often found the language schools at universities are very eager to help, and at a good price. There are also many fantastic translation service companies available in the North which could help you. Once a comprehensive translation is completed and you are able to provide a competitive delivery service to your chosen market, you will in effect have two websites for the price of one.

For further advice and support on how you can use Shopify and other tools and techniques to increase your international sales, apply to join the Department for International Trade’s Selling Online Overseas Accelerator Programme. This is a six-week opportunity available to businesses in Yorkshire, free of charge, where I and other industry experts will show you how to effectively set up and sell online, to enable you to deliver your products or services to overseas customers. You can apply for the programme at bit.ly/sellingonlineprogramme. I look forward to meeting you there.

Enterprise Growth Solutions, in partnership with the Department for International Trade, is delivering the contract for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which provides £7.1 million of support for first time, but also experienced exporters as part of the Exporting for Growth Programme.