Shopify Markets is quickly becoming available all over the world - time to tell you about what we think about it! Shopify Markets is an addition to Shopify that offers a lot of possibilities for e-commerce businesses that want to set up an internationally scalable webshop. But what can it do? And why did we go all-in on Shopify markets for 4Gold.
In case you’re not familiar with 4Gold yet: the company develops high quality sports nutrition and supplements based on your personal DNA sequence 🧬 Futuristic? A bit. Based on science? Very much so!
Behind the company are some well-known sports names: professional cyclist Mathieu Van der Poel, former cyclist Brent Luyckx and motocrosser Axel Roelants. Thanks to this team, 4Gold has the necessary network and firepower to run an international webshop. An approach that we at dear digital believe in very strongly - to us, becoming truly successful in e-commerce means going for an international audience as quickly as possible, and therefore building up your webshop in a scalable manner. In a rational and profitable way, of course 😉
Despite their high quality products and internationalization, there were still a lot of challenges for 4Gold to be truly successful with their e-commerce business. One of them being that they needed a completely new website design. Their old one was quite dark, moody and no longer in line with their brand. And not only their frontend needed a refresh but the back-end was also in need of a thorough replacement.
4Gold's webshop was built with WooCommerce. Not a bad software, if you’d ask us. But, if you combine its open source nature, different versions with a lot of apps you quickly get into a potentially messy situation.
This means it can get a little trickier to maintain compared to the more plug-and-play type of setup Shopify is well known for. We really believe that you can build beautiful experiences on both platforms, but prefer Shopify as you need to worry less about how the servers will scale and which versions some apps or the system as a whole are running on.
But what other advantages does Shopify Markets have? For us, it’s the tool of choice for brands that want to build an international webshop without too much hassle.
The revolutionary thing about all the advantages I'm about to list mainly comes down to this: all your different store fronts end up in one back-end. And that, my friends, is very very very convenient for founders! You don’t have to bother making different versions of your shop, all running on subdomains and thus basically running multiple webshops at once. Everything is brought together in a single back-end 🙏
This is particularly interesting for brands such as 4Gold, because it enables the founders to scale up their webshop quickly, with less effort. It obviously takes money, time and effort to offer your webshop in different countries, but thanks to Shopify Markets, you can launch in different countries, and even continents, relatively quickly and easily.
And that does wonders for your sales, because you give consumers the local experience they need.
1. It enables different currencies
Having a webshop where you can pay with different currencies and that automatically converts prices using the current market exchange rate and even rounds up those prices so your customer gets to see a nicely readable price? We like ❤️
Since 4Gold delivers to many different countries, it had to take into account all the different currencies used. Of course you can choose to serve customers only with the most common currencies, such as the euro or dollar - but that is proven to increase the barrier to order. The fact that Shopify Markets automatically converts to and displays each currency matching the country, saves the brand a lot of time.
What's more, the automatic rounding up keeps the webshop looking good. It goes without saying that a webshop with rounded prices looks more professional than one where the prices seem like the most random sequence of number ever 🧮
2. There’s native translations
This is no longer the problem, since the translations are built in natively with Shopify Markets. So you won’t notice any negative impact on the site speed. Very important to 4Gold, since they already offer their webshop in six languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
In addition, the shop also recognizes which language your browser is set to. This is particularly useful in countries where several languages are common, such as our own little country of Belgium. So a Fleming will be greeted by a Dutch 4Gold store and a Walloon the French version. Nice touch!
3. You won’t ruin your SEO
When you have to create different local stores with each their own subdomain, you often have to repeat your SEO efforts for each shop separately. Which can turn out quite costly for your marketing budget, while you’re basically doing the same stuff over and over again. Ouch 😬 With Shopify Markets you avoid this. Your SEO efforts won’t need to be repeated for every local webshop and will pay off for each country. In the case of 4Gold, that means a better return on their online marketing budget, since they don't have to do the same efforts twice, thrice or even more.
By showing each customer a relevant shop, they are less likely to click away and spend more time on your site - something that Google considers very important in determining your ranking!
4. It will automatically adjust VAT
In Belgium, you pay 21% VAT on non-food items, and 6% on food items. In the Netherlands you pay the same VAT on non-food items, but the VAT on food is 3% higher. And so on and so forth!
For international webshops such as 4Gold's, it's a real hassle to apply the correct VAT per product and especially per country for each product in your webshop. Even more so when your prices are converted and rounded automatically. So, you get why this feature is such a time saver 😉 Shopify Markets does this for you, completely automated. Don’t you worry about a thing! Or well, at least not about VAT.
5. You can have B2C and B2B in one place
It was important to the founders of 4Gold that one webshop could serve both B2C and B2B customers. That way, they can really focus on an “omnichannel” approach, in which the traditional middlemen also plays a role. Because 4Gold is convinced - as are we, by the way - that the era where you should only invest in the D2C part of your business is coming to an end 📉
Of course, the D2C model will not disappear! It has its worth and many advantages. But solely relying on D2C will prove more difficult to scale in the long run.
So, shift your focus to catering both B2C and B2B! But… this often leads to needing to have two different shops: one for B2C, and one for B2B. Which is the hassle we want to avoid.
But just having a B2C shop on which B2B customers can also buy, won’t cut it either. Professional customers should be presented with different prices because when you ship it abroad they do not have to pay VAT. This was technically quite challenging because 4gold has different VAT rates on some of its products (Food vs other products) and those product VAT rates are also different from country to country. Plus 4gold is a Belgian business but actually ships some products from within the Netherlands creating another challenging tax situation. We really had to push Shopify to its limits to be able to get this right. If you then add the fact that B2B orders also had to be able to be pushed through the system, you arrive at a point where our heads were spinning from time to time :).
Fortunately, creating this setup is also possible and compatible with Shopify Markets! Yes, even this challenge can be tackled - although, we have to be honest, like we said, that in order to make this fully functioning, it can be challenging technically speaking.
Thanks to Shopify Markets (and dear digital, of course!), 4Gold can focus on what matters the most: making sure the whole world knows about their products and services, and become a true international company.
So, now you know why we love Shopify Markets so much, and why it’s a match made in heaven with international webshops such as 4Gold. Want us to do the same for your brand? Give us a call! 🤙