The internet knows no borders, and neither do online shoppers. Today’s consumers are global, with 76% of online shoppers having made a cross-border purchase in 2021.
Selling internationally represents a business’s biggest growth opportunity, with cross-border ecommerce sales reaching $1.2 trillion in 2022—a 344% increase from 2016. While opportunities in international markets are endless, capitalizing on them is easier said than done.
Brands need to navigate customs restrictions, import duties, taxes, currency volatility, and fraud with every new market they sell to. Not only does every market have its own unique local taxes and regulations, but every market has different expectations toward the online shopping experience. And once you navigate all the regional nuances, it's a challenge to get fast and affordable international shipping rates.
All of these complexities often result in brands missing out on key growth opportunities and leaving money on the table. That’s why Shopify is launching Shopify Markets Pro, a new cross-border solution to help brands of all sizes grow internationally. Markets Pro is currently in early access and will be generally available in spring 2023.
What is Shopify Markets Pro?
Shopify Markets Pro is an all-in-one cross-border solution that helps brands enter hundreds of markets in just a few clicks. Markets Pro is an extension of Shopify Markets, which launched in February 2022.
Brands that use Shopify Markets enjoy a centralized hub of cross-border features to streamline back-office operations, and a selection of localization tools that they can pick and choose from a la carte.
With Markets Pro, brands get all these capabilities, with additional access to liability management like prepaid duties and fraud protection, automated localization to better the buyer experience, and pre-negotiated international shipping rates, all bundled into one simple turnkey solution.
What are the benefits of Shopify Markets Pro?
Markets Pro is the easiest way for brands to build their global empire. We handle all the complexity of selling internationally, like shipping, collecting duties, local payment methods, and fraud protection, so businesses can focus on capturing new buyers and growing their business.
Markets Pro also provides the tools to deliver a truly local buyer experience, which we’ve built to convert better. All these benefits can now be achieved through an easy, low cost solution, made to scale your global business.
"We had many challenges crossing the border, with packages being held, abandoned, or refused delivery. Markets Pro removed the barriers, to provide our international customers with a seamless experience."
— Michael Henderson, Founder, WOLFpak
Grow sales and revenue in hundreds of markets
Operational and financial complexities are some of the biggest barriers merchants face when entering new markets.
Markets Pro makes it easy by providing end-to-end liability management for duties, taxes, regulations, and currency volatility risk, so merchants don’t get bogged down in paperwork. Businesses can now let Shopify deal with the operational hassle of entering new countries, and instead focus on building global audiences and building great products.
Boost conversions with a great buyer experience
Meeting buyer expectations is key for optimizing conversions in new markets and building brand trust.
Markets Pro provides localization tools at every step of the buyer journey and removes surprise fees at delivery, with fast and affordable shipping to drive a great buyer experience that feels local and converts.
How Shopify Markets Pro works
Markets Pro manages all your international transactions, which means Shopify will take care of all the complex responsibilities that come with it, while you maintain full control over the buyer experience in each new market, all managed through your Shopify admin, via your Markets settings page. Learn more about creating markets groupings here.
Liability handled through Markets Pro’s merchant of record
Markets Pro automates end-to-end liability management by providing merchant-of-record (MoR) features.
A merchant of record is the legal entity customers pay when making a purchase. For businesses using Markets Pro, that means that while global buyers continue to shop on their store, on paper, or on record, the transaction itself is handled by Markets Pro, removing financial hassles that come with it.
By using Markets Pro as merchant of record, the following tasks are automatically handled on your business’s behalf, with no action required from you:
- Collecting and filing international taxes to ensure international tax compliance.
- Collecting duties at checkout, removing surprise fees at delivery for buyers.
- Remitting duties to carriers and customs agencies, and guaranteeing them so merchants don’t need to worry about discrepancies.
- Automated restrictions management, so global buyers can only view products they are allowed to purchase in their region.
- Guaranteed foreign exchange rates on refunds, enabling businesses to offer local currencies without exposure to currency fluctuation risk.
- International fraud detection and coverage from chargeback losses.
With Markets Pro’s end-to-end liability management, businesses are freed up to focus time and energy on growing their global business however they see fit—whether that’s building brand, sourcing products, or marketing.
Optimized buyer experiences that feel local
Buyers expect an online shopping experience that feels local. For businesses entering new markets, it’s important to consider the differences in buyer preferences between their domestic market and the foreign market they’re selling to.
Markets Pro boosts conversions by creating localized shopping experiences for your international buyers at every stage of their shopping experience.
- Arrive to a local shop experience: Geolocation and domain redirects ensure that buyers automatically shop in their local experience.
- Shop in a local shop experience: Markets Pro enables local currency acceptance in 136 currencies, while you maintain full control over your pricing rules in each market.
- Speak shoppers language: Use Shopify’s own Translate & Adapt app to serve buyers in their local language.
- Check out in a local shop experience: Boost conversion at checkout with global buyers’ most-preferred payment methods, like PayPal and Klarna, collect guaranteed duties upfront, and automatically localize address forms.
Markets Pro gives businesses everything they need to localize and optimize experiences for global buyers, and a high degree of customization to easily adjust products and prices per market, on the fly.
"Markets Pro allows us to achieve stronger conversions, higher average order value and returning customers."
— Michael Henderson, Founder, WOLFpak
Best-in-class delivery with flexible fulfillment options
With Shopify Markets Pro, every international order uses Markets Pro generated express labels, required for correct duties handling, specialized shipping rates, and faster transit times—making a global delivery experience feel local.
See the breakdown of how Markets Pro optimizes shipping compared to standard in the table below:
Because international orders need to use Markets Pro–generated labels, businesses will need to think about which fulfillment strategy is right for them. Markets Pro provides flexible fulfillment options for a variety of business needs, including:
- Shopify Shipping for native label printing, no integration required
- Tens of pre-integrated 3PL logistics partners
- Public API to integrate with your systems for order automation
- Shopify Fulfillment Network
Shipping internationally with Shopify Markets Pro enables businesses to ship with confidence and optimize delivery experience for global buyers. Before activating Markets Pro, ensure your business is ready to use the selected fulfillment strategy for international orders.
"Shopify Markets Pro has helped us lower costs and speed up delivery, which has resulted in more conversions. That’s helping us scale to the next level."
— Michael Henderson, Founder, WOLFpak
Tips for using Shopify Markets Pro
Before activating Markets Pro on your store, make sure to do the following:
Find the right international opportunities
Go into your store’s analytics and take a look at where you’re getting organic traffic. Make sure you’ve set up markets for these regions so you can start converting organic traffic into sales. You can do this by adding more countries to the “International” Market or creating one or more additional markets.
Invest in marketing for your top international markets
Now that Markets Pro is handling the operational complexity and buyer experience for your global business, it’s up to you to drive brand awareness in these markets. Start investing in marketing campaigns in your top secondary markets to build a customer base and drive international sales.
Think about your shipping rate strategy
At activation, Markets Pro will suggest shipping rates to charge customers across different countries. The recommended rates are calculated based on your expected label costs on average.
You can choose to opt in to this recommendation, or set shipping rates yourself. If you decide to set your own rates, keep the following in mind:
The average cost of the label
At this time, Markets Pro offers flat rate shipping for an optimal buyer experience. When setting up customer rates, consider what optimal rate will cover your label costs on average, rather than for each individual order. If you sell a wide range of product sizes (e.g., 1 to 20 pounds), consider setting two flat rates to cover the increased cost for higher weight products (e.g., 1 to 8 pounds, and 9 to 20 pounds).
Your average order value (AOV)
If you have a high AOV, customers tend to be less price sensitive when it comes to shipping cost. When you have lower AOV, customers become more price sensitive to the shipping cost.
If your AOV is close or only marginally higher than the label cost, then you should consider subsidizing your shipping cost (charging the buyer less than your label cost) and offsetting that subsidy by increasing your product prices by the same amount.
What your customers are used to paying
If you have an existing international customer base, take into account what you were previously charging to ensure your new rates are not significantly higher, which can affect conversion at checkout.
Become a global brand overnight with Shopify Markets Pro
Shopify Markets Pro is a business’s fast track to expanding across borders—handling end-to-end liability, optimized shipping, and just-like-local buying experiences around the world.
This is the one stop shop to unlock global growth by simplifying global selling and creating conversion boosting buyer experience everywhere. Just ask Shopify merchant WOLFpak, which increased its checkout conversions by 36% in its first month after activating Markets Pro, and boosted international sales at BFCM by 530% year over year.
Markets Pro is democratizing tools that have been historically reserved for enterprise brands. It’s available across Shopify, no matter the plan or size of business.
Not all regions and products are supported, so make sure to check eligibility and carrier requirements.