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1. What is Shopify Markets?

Shopify Markets for global selling: The complete guide

In today's interconnected commerce landscape, venturing into international markets is not just an ambitious growth strategy but a vital step for businesses aiming to leverage the vast opportunities beyond their domestic boundaries. 

The digital revolution has paved the way for even the smallest enterprises to reach customers across the globe, breaking down traditional barriers to entry in foreign markets. 

However, the complexity of managing cross-border transactions, understanding diverse market regulations, and creating a localized shopping experience can be daunting challenges.

Enter Shopify Markets, a comprehensive solution designed to simplify the intricacies of global selling. 

This article aims to provide an in-depth guide to Shopify Markets, exploring how this powerful feature of the Shopify platform can be the cornerstone of your international expansion strategy.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Shopify Markets, launched in September 2021, simplifies global commerce by allowing merchants to sell internationally from a single platform, offering tools for localization, currency conversion, and compliance with international tax laws.

  • Key features of Shopify Markets include multi-currency support for over 130 currencies, international domains to enhance local SEO, multi-language support for creating localized shopping experiences, and automated tax and duty calculations.

  • Shopify Markets is designed for businesses of all sizes, from SMEs to large enterprises, aiming to expand their market reach without the complexity of managing multiple storefronts.

  • The platform offers advantages such as ease of use with a user-friendly interface, centralized management for multiple markets, and seamless integration with the Shopify ecosystem, but it also faces limitations like potential additional costs, limited customization options, and reliance on Shopify's infrastructure.

  • Shopify Plus Expansion Stores provide an alternative for larger businesses seeking deeper market penetration and customization, allowing for up to 10 expansion stores with dedicated storefronts for different regions or countries, catering to businesses with complex international selling strategies.

What is Shopify Markets?


Shopify Markets, launched in September 2021, is a built-in feature of the Shopify store or platform that facilitates international trade. It allows merchants to sell products in multiple countries or regions from a single store, tailoring products, prices, and content based on the customer's fulfillment locations.

Shopify Markets features and tools

Shopify Markets is equipped with a suite of features and tools designed to address the complexities of international commerce, making it easier for merchants to manage and expand their global presence. Here's a closer look at some of the key functionalities:

1. Multi-currency support

One of the cornerstones of international selling is the ability to transact in the local currency of the customer. Shopify Markets excels in this area by offering automatic currency conversion across over 130 currencies. 

This feature not only enhances the customer experience by displaying prices in a familiar format but also helps boost conversion rates by reducing the friction associated with currency conversion.

2. International domains

To effectively target different regions, it's crucial to have a localized web presence. Shopify Markets facilitates this through the provision of custom domains for different regions, significantly enhancing local SEO. 

This means that merchants can tailor their URLs to match their target market, improving visibility and search rankings in local search engines, thereby attracting more traffic from the intended demographic.

3. Localization features

Creating a shopping experience that resonates with the local audience goes beyond just currency and domain names. Shopify Markets' multi-language support enables merchants to offer their stores in multiple languages, catering to the linguistic preferences of their international customers. 

This level of localization is key to building trust and rapport with customers, as it reflects a commitment to meet their needs in a language they are most comfortable with.

4. Automated tax and duty calculations

Navigating the maze of international tax laws and regulations can be one of the most daunting aspects of selling globally. Shopify Markets simplifies this challenge by automating the calculation of taxes and duties. This automation ensures that the correct amount of tax is applied based on the customer's location, helping merchants comply with local tax laws without the need for extensive legal knowledge or consultation. 

This feature not only saves time but also minimizes the risk of errors and potential legal issues, making international selling more accessible and manageable.

Pros and cons of Shopify Markets

Like any tool or platform, Shopify Markets has its pros and cons. Here's a detailed evaluation:


  • Localized shopping experience: Shopify sellers' best practices encourage merchants to create localized customer shopping experiences. This includes local pricing, multiple languages, payment methods, and duty and import taxes. This personalization can boost conversions as customers feel the shopping experience is tailored to them.

  • Ease of use: One of Shopify's strongest attributes is its user-friendly interface, which extends to Shopify Markets. It simplifies selling internationally, making it easier for new and small businesses to reach global markets.

  • Centralized dashboard: Merchants can manage multiple storefronts and international markets from a single dashboard. This centralization makes it easier to keep track of different ecommerce market metrics and makes operations more streamlined.

  • Automated tax and duty calculation: One of the significant challenges of international sales is understanding and complying with local taxes, duties, and import taxes. Shopify Markets automatically calculates these based on the customer's location, which can reduce errors and potential legal issues.

  • Currency conversion: With Shopify Payments, merchants can offer their products in local currencies, leading to a higher conversion rate. It also provides guaranteed rates, reducing the risk of fluctuating exchange rates.

  • Integration with the Shopify ecosystem: If you're already using Shopify, incorporating Shopify Markets is straightforward. This compatibility ensures that you can leverage other Shopify tools and plugins seamlessly.

Limitations of Shopify Markets

  • Cost: Using Shopify Markets may come at an additional cost, depending on the Shopify plan or the features you need. For some small businesses, this cost might be prohibitive.

  • Limited customization: While Shopify is user-friendly, it can sometimes limit the level of customization a merchant might want, especially for unique market strategies or complex international selling strategies.

  • Not a substitute for local market knowledge: While Shopify Markets simplifies many aspects of international selling, merchants still need to have or acquire a deep understanding of the local markets they are entering. The platform cannot provide insights into cultural nuances, consumer behavior, and local competitors.

  • Potential performance issues: Serving content to multiple countries might sometimes lead to slower website load times, affecting user experience and SEO.

  • Reliance on Shopify: By committing to Shopify Markets, merchants might rely heavily on the Shopify ecosystem. If Shopify experiences downtime or other issues, it can significantly impact a merchant's international operations.

  • Some regions might still be unsupported: Despite its comprehensive approach, Shopify Markets might not support every country or region. Merchants should verify if their target markets are well-served by the platform.

While Shopify Markets offers a simplified solution for cross-border ecommerce, businesses must weigh these pros and cons against their specific needs and goals. Conducting a thorough assessment before choosing Shopify for small businesses.

Setting up Shopify Markets

Person setting up Shopify Markets

Setting up Shopify Markets is a streamlined process designed to equip merchants with the tools needed for global expansion, from currency conversion to localization, all from the Shopify admin dashboard.

Setting up

  • Accessing Shopify Markets: Begin by logging into your Shopify admin dashboard. Navigate to the "Settings" menu, where you'll find the "Markets" option, marking the entry point to Shopify Markets.

  • Initial setup wizard: Upon accessing Shopify Markets for the first time, you'll be guided through an initial setup wizard. This step-by-step process is designed to help you configure the basic settings for international selling, including selecting target markets.

Configuring currency settings

  • In the Markets dashboard, you can set up multiple currencies for different markets. Shopify automatically suggests currencies based on your selected regions.

  • Enable Shopify Payments to utilize automatic currency conversion, allowing customers to shop and check out in their local currency.

Domain setup for international markets

  • Assign specific domains or subdomains for each market to enhance local SEO and customer experience. For example, use “.co.uk” for the United Kingdom.

  • In the "Domains" section of Shopify, link each domain to its corresponding market, ensuring customers are automatically directed to the localized version of your store.

Language options

  • Shopify Markets allows you to offer your store in multiple languages. Add languages in the "Languages" section under "Settings."

  • Utilize Shopify’s translation tool or third-party apps to translate your store’s content, ensuring accuracy and cultural relevance.

Tips for integration and analytics:

  • Integrating with existing store setups: Seamlessly integrate Shopify Markets by reviewing your current store setup. Ensure that your product information, including descriptions and images, is suitable for international audiences.

  • Leveraging Shopify analytics: Utilize Shopify’s analytics to monitor the performance of your international markets. Pay attention to metrics like conversion rate, traffic sources, and sales by region to inform your global strategy.

  • Customization and testing: Customize the shopping experience for each market based on analytics insights. Conduct A/B testing on various elements like pricing, promotions, and page layouts to optimize for local preferences.

How to add and manage multiple Shopify stores

Ecommerce owner tracking inventory

1. Create your stores

The journey to managing multiple Shopify stores begins with the initial setup of your online store. All you need to do is click Create Store, and Shopify will guide you through the setup process. This foundational step is critical and must be replicated carefully for each subsequent store you plan to launch. 

Customization to fit the specific needs and preferences of each target market is essential, ensuring that every store resonates well with its intended audience.

2. Focus on SEO

A key aspect of setting up stores for different geographic locations is the optimization for search engines, which requires a nuanced approach. If your stores target markets in both the USA and Mexico, for example, it's important to tailor the SEO strategy to fit the unique characteristics of each audience. 

This includes adapting to the local language, understanding regional consumer trends, and using relevant keywords. Leveraging tools like Google Analytics can provide deep insights into how each store can better connect with its respective audience, enhancing visibility and success in local searches.

3. Manage inventory

As you expand your online presence to multiple stores, managing inventory becomes increasingly complex. Incorporating a real-time inventory management system is crucial for keeping an accurate count of stock levels, ensuring that you're alerted to replenish items as needed. 

Shopify's ecosystem includes various apps that facilitate this process, enabling you to maintain up-to-date inventory information across all stores and communicate availability to customers effectively.

4. Centralize inventory control

A Product Information Management System (PIMS) is invaluable for store owners overseeing multiple Shopify sites. This system centralizes control over inventory and product details, allowing for immediate updates across all stores from a single dashboard. 

It simplifies the management of different SKUs and enhances the efficiency of fulfillment processes, making it easier to keep track of where each product is available.

5. Manage orders and returns

Centralizing the management of orders and returns from all your stores can significantly streamline operations. Solutions like Shipmonk and ShipHero are designed to integrate seamlessly with Shopify, offering robust platforms for order fulfillment. 

These systems not only manage purchases and returns efficiently but also synchronize product availability across stores and automate SKU generation, simplifying product management across multiple locations.

6. Customer service

In managing customer queries across multiple stores, implementing a unified customer service solution is more practical than operating separate help desks for each store. Software like HappyFox Helpdesk integrates all Shopify storefronts, facilitating multi-channel request management through email, live chat, and voice calls. 

Alternatively, a ticket system like Zendesk can be employed to manage customer support tickets across stores, improving the customer experience and aiding in retention.

Shopify Markets vs. Shopify Plus Expansion Stores

When expanding your business globally with Shopify, you have two powerful options: Shopify Markets and Shopify Plus Expansion Stores. Each caters to different business sizes and offers unique features tailored to international selling. Understanding the differences can help you choose the right path for your business's global expansion.

Intended audience

Shopify Markets is designed for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to extend their reach into international markets without the complexity of managing multiple stores.

Shopify Plus Expansion Stores cater to larger enterprises that require advanced features, greater customization, and the ability to penetrate markets deeply with dedicated stores for different regions.

Approaches to global selling

Shopify Markets offers a unified approach, allowing merchants to manage international sales from a single store. It simplifies currency conversion, tax calculations, and language localization, making it easier for SMEs to sell globally.

Shopify Plus Expansion Stores provide a more segmented approach, giving businesses the ability to create separate stores for different regions or countries. This allows for deeper customization and targeting, aligning with the unique needs and preferences of each market.

Advantages and disadvantages

Shopify Markets


  • Ease of use: Shopify Markets simplifies the process of going global, making it accessible for businesses with limited resources.

  • Centralized management: Merchants can manage international settings, currencies, and languages from a single dashboard, streamlining operations.


  • Limited customization: While offering simplicity, Shopify Markets may not provide the level of customization needed for businesses with complex international selling strategies.

  • Generalized approach: The one-size-fits-all strategy might not be optimal for markets that require a more tailored approach.

Shopify Plus Expansion Stores


  • Customization: Offers extensive customization options for each store, allowing businesses to tailor their sites to specific markets.

  • Market penetration: Dedicated stores for different regions can lead to better market penetration, as each store can be optimized for local SEO, payment methods, and consumer preferences.


  • Complexity: Managing multiple stores can be complex and resource-intensive, requiring more staff and technical know-how.

  • Cost: Shopify Plus and its expansion stores come with a higher price tag, which might be prohibitive for smaller businesses.

What's right for your business?

Consider the following factors to make the right choice for your business.

  • Business size and resources: If you're a smaller business with limited resources, the simplicity of Shopify Markets may be more appealing. On the other hand, larger businesses with the capacity to manage multiple stores might benefit from the flexibility of expansion stores.

  • Degree of localization: For businesses that want deep customization and localization for international customers, expansion stores are the way to go. If minor tweaks and adjustments are sufficient, Shopify Markets should suffice.

  • Inventory considerations: Expansion stores offer better control if you have distinct regional inventory needs. For centralized inventory management, Shopify Markets is more suitable.

  • Budgetary constraints: Operating multiple expansion stores can be costlier, considering separate subscription fees, apps, or third-party integrations for each online store. Conversely, Shopify Markets allows for internationalization within your existing store's cost structure.

While both Shopify Markets and Expansion Stores offer robust solutions for selling internationally, the right choice heavily depends on your business's unique needs and goals. Assess your resources, growth plans, and market strategies before deciding. Remember, flexibility and adaptability are key in the dynamic world of ecommerce. Choose a design that fits your current situation and aligns with your vision for global expansion.

Scale internationally with Shopify and Gelato

Print on demand products display

Gelato has been a game-changer in ecommerce because of its customization solutions, especially for businesses and entrepreneurs looking to sell custom products globally. 

Gelato has partnerships with over 100 print facilities in 34 countries. This massive network ensures that your products are produced closer to your customers, resulting in faster deliveries and reduced shipping costs. With Gelato, you can effortlessly integrate your store with platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy. This allows you to automate order fulfillment, ensuring a hands-free and efficient operation.

From apparel and posters to mugs to wall art and phone cases, Gelato offers various products. This flexibility lets businesses cater to diverse markets and customer preferences.

Gelato's support team is always ready to assist with any queries or issues, ensuring smooth operations for your business.

The global ecommerce space is ripe with opportunity, but it can be daunting for businesses to navigate logistics, shipping, and production. Gelato simplifies this process, making it easy and profitable to sell custom products worldwide. Whether you're a seasoned business or a budding entrepreneur, Gelato offers a pathway to global growth without the traditional hassles. Sign up for Gelato today.


Where is Shopify Markets available?

Shopify Markets is available globally, enabling merchants from various countries to sell internationally. It supports businesses aiming to expand beyond their domestic markets, offering tools for localization, currency conversion, and international shipping options to reach customers worldwide.

Who can use Shopify Markets?

Shopify Markets is accessible to all Shopify users, from small startups to large enterprises. It's designed to simplify global commerce for any merchant on the Shopify platform seeking to broaden their market reach without the need for multiple storefronts.

How do I access Shopify markets?

To access Shopify Markets, log into your Shopify admin panel, navigate to the "Settings" menu, and select "Markets." From there, you can manage your international sales channels, set up market-specific settings, and start selling to customers in different countries.

How many expansion stores does Shopify Plus have?

Shopify Plus allows merchants to operate up to 10 expansion stores in addition to their main store. This feature caters to businesses needing separate storefronts for different regions, languages, or currencies, providing flexibility for global expansion.

How do I create an expansion store on Shopify Plus?

Creating an expansion store on Shopify Plus involves contacting Shopify Plus Support or your Merchant Success Manager. They will guide you through the process, which includes setting up a new account for your expansion store and configuring it to suit your business needs.

How do I add more stores to Shopify?

To add an additional store to Shopify, you must create separate Shopify accounts for each new store you wish to open. Each account operates independently, allowing you to tailor each new expansion store to specific market needs. Remember, managing multiple stores will require separate subscriptions for each.

How many Shopify stores can I have?

On Shopify, you can have as many stores as you need, but each store requires its own separate Shopify account and subscription plan. There is no limit to the number of accounts or stores you can create; however, managing multiple stores means managing multiple subscriptions.


Next steps

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