Shopify rolls out new solution meant to help merchants manage global commerce, cross-border shopping


Shopify continues to refine its platform and ecosystem, announcing a new cross-border solution the Canadian e-commerce giant is calling Shopify Markets.

Shopify Markets is a centralized hub with tools for merchants to manage global commerce, the company announced on September 14.

“We are now global by default,” Shopify president Harley Finkelstein told CNN in an interview.

The solution is meant to help merchants identify, set-up, launch, and optimize international markets—all from a single Shopify store.

Shopify Markets is available in early access globally as of September 14, and will roll out to all merchants in the coming months.

“We are now global by default,” Shopify president Harley Finkelstein told CNN in an interview, referring to cross-border, world-wide sales. “What we’re trying to do is make it that a merchant, again, no matter what size, doesn’t have to think about things like taxes or duties or languages or currencies and the best part is all of these cross-border tools are available to merchants right out of the box.”

Finkelstein told the broadcaster that, previously, that if small businesses wanted to access a global consumer base, they’d have to sell on a marketplace or through a retailer, which didn’t allow for direct sales.

“So when we think about things like duty, taxes, customizing a catalogue, international domains, international pricing, local payment methods, that’s a lot for a small business to think about, and now with Shopify Markets everything is streamlined,” Finkelstein said.

Global ecommerce had a record year in 2020: sales grew 25.7 percent to $4.2 trillion, according to Shopify, which noted that, increasingly, those sales are happening cross-border. By 2022, it’s estimated that upwards of one in four United States buyers will have purchased from a merchant in a foreign country.

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However, a report from eMarketer contends that worldwide, ecommerce growth will slow substantially in 2021, despite consumers’ newfound enthusiasm for digital shopping solutions. “We forecast that worldwide ecommerce growth will downshift to 14.3 per cent in 2021, partially because of a brick-and-mortar rebound and partially because so much growth was pulled forward to 2020.”

Shopify already operates cross-border solutions, noting that over 27 percent of all traffic to Shopify stores in July came from international buyers. And the company’s solutions such as international domains and multicurrency helped merchants generate $20 billion in cross-border sales in 2020.

Nonetheless, barriers to international sales include currency conversion, language localization, provision of local payment methods, and duties and import taxes.

The new solution provides merchants with a central dashboard for a unified view of their entire business.

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Using the solution, merchants can customize local currencies and payment methods; pricing and price rounding rules per market; product availability per market; local languages; and duty and taxes, to name a few.

Shopify Markets can convert 133 currencies at this time. The solution also provides merchants with analytics.

Shopify ranked second this year on the 2021 TSX30, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s program showcasing the 30 top-performing stocks over a three-year period.

Shopify showed growth of 846 percent over the three-year period. The TSX30 announcement comes hard on the heels of the news that the Canadian e-commerce giant had partnered with another unicorn, Israeli digital marketing firm Yotpo, in a $30 million deal.

Feature image courtesy of Shopify

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel's reporting and writing on technology has appeared in, Canadian Business, Report on Business Magazine, Canada's National Observer, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among many others. He lives off-grid in Nova Scotia.

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