Expand globally with international domains

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
17 0 8

Shopify merchants can now assign individual domains to a country/region. This allows you to offer a default currency and language (or set of language options) on individual domains in order to provide a localized browsing experience to your buyers all around the world. This feature is available to merchants on Shopify, Shopify Advanced, and Shopify Plus plans.

For example, let’s say you are a merchant based in the United States, currently selling both within the US and to Canada on your website shop.com. You can now:

  • Use your existing shop.com domain to target the United States with USD as the default currency and English as the default language
  • Setup shop.ca or ca.shop.com to target Canada with CAD as the default currency, English as the default language, and French as a language option.

When using international domains and multiple languages, Shopify automatically handles all hreflang and SEO best practices to give your site the best chance of being indexed regionally by search engines. If a buyer happens to land on the wrong domain, you can provide on site currency and language recommendations using the Geolocation app.

International domains rely on merchants selling in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments, and to offer multiple languages you must offer translations via a compatible 3rd party translations app.

NOTE: Merchants are responsible for adding their own top level domains (TLDs) or subdomains for use with this feature. International domains does not alter the domain purchasing flow or guarantee the availability of new domains for you to purchase.

Resources

If you have any questions or feedback about this new feature reply below as we’d love to hear from you. If you looking for troubleshooting support please get in touch with our support team, or create a new topic providing as much detail as possible.

Cole

Product Support Network | Shopify
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New Member
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Hello, i am interested in this option , and i have also received recently an email about this functionality , but my question is :

Will the warehouse be separated for each domain , so we can add products with different titles and will works with internal search ?

The internal search and the product name in chekout are both a major issue with shopify multishops , and i am asking if has been solved by this update

thanks

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
17 0 8

Thanks for your interest in the feature! International domains doesn't change anything about the back end fulfillment functionality in Shopify - you can look at using Shipping Profiles to ensure that orders from certain countries only ship from locations/warehouses that you want them to.

Offering different products/content on different domains doesn't yet happen natively with this feature; you can reach out to a Shopify expert to customize such functionality for you in your theme, or you would continue to use multiple Shopify stores to do this.

Product Support Network | Shopify
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New Member
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I was also wondering - with payment. Say the main shop began in Aust but I use the international domain for expansion into the US. OK cool so I've got a warehouse in the US also and the locals in america get packages sent from there. What happens with payment. Does US payments go into the Aust bank account? Are the fees high for int transfers? I'm trying to figure out if its better to just duplicate the store, buy a new domain for US and have a bank account set up over there. Keeping everything separate. Any direction on this would be greatly appreciated. I know gym shark do it with the int domain but there are a number of questions I can't see answered on the topic. Cheers

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
17 0 8

Hey Fritzle - settlements and payouts when using Shopify Payments multi currency are currently the same with international domains as they were previously. If you take orders in multiple currencies, Shopify will settle those orders into your chosen payout currency and include them in a single payout to one bank account. If you need to have multiple payouts into different bank accounts, in different countries and different currencies then yes, having separate storefronts at the moment is still required.

Product Support Network | Shopify
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New Member
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How does the different currency work? Does it automatically set it based on the exchange rate, or will we be able to set prices per domain/country?

 

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
17 0 8

Using Shopify Payments multi currency feature, you can have Shopify automatically convert your prices based on the most up to date FX rate, or you can set your own manual exchange rates to control your pricing between currencies.

Product Support Network | Shopify
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Tourist
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I have been really disappointed with this for several reasons

Does not work with language apps

- The purpose of this is to target international audiences yet it is NOT compatible with any of the language apps. At the moment the language apps such as Langshop work via subdirectories ie /de for Germany. This clashes with the subdomains. So all of my translated pages cannot be opened on my subdomains. So it is completely useless! 

The URLS being created automatically have the format de.example.com/de and the double de is causing a clash and all my pages bring up 404 errors. 

I spoke with Langshop and they said 

"For now subdomain support is not yet added to Langshop. I'm afraid for now langshop works only with language URLs, not with domains. There's no hotfix or workaround until the support is released."

 

 

Still unable to localise URLS

For best SEO results we need to be able to translate the URL handles too. In Shopify's multilingual API URL handles are not translatable this really puts Shopify users at a disadvantage. My website used to be hosted on weebly, where this function was available and I was able to land in the top 3 search results for my keywords in 3 more languages. I have now lost all of that traffic because my pages do not even land on the first page anymore. We need to be able to translate page titles into the URL so that google can rank these pages higher. 

 

Unable to change the meta tags for SEO by subdomain 

At present it seems that it is not possible to update the meta tag for the different subdomains. So if you have a subdomain that is not in your main language (in my case English) I cannot edit the metatag of this subdomain so that it is in German/Spanish/French etc. The metatag is the little snippet of text that users see when searching for your website on search engines. You are not going to be able to bring in users who speak a different language if they cannot see on google what services/products etc your website features because it is not written in their language. Spoke to shopify, they said this wasn't available yet and spoke to langshop and they again stated that their app is not yet compatible with shopify subdomains. 

 

Currencies 

An additional mention although not a deal breaker. It would be really nice to be able to decide a set price for each currency, so it does not keep fluctuating depending on the currency conversion. Also means that if your profit margins are larger/smaller for different countries you can set your prices to correspond with this. 

 

I am disappointed because I not only paid to transfer my domain to shopify so that I could test this feature. I also paid to upgrade my Shopify plan (in my opinion the price jump is large and subdomains was the only benefit I could see to the plan change) 

 

I do not feel like this update should have been emailed out to users, and I should not have been encourage to upgrade my plan, when, in my opinion this service is far from ready to be in anyway useful to customers. 

If you have your website in just one language and you want to offer multiple currencies- save yourself the bother and just use a currency switcher and if you have multiple languages like me then the subdomains won't work yet for your translated pages. 

Unless Shopify makes some improvements it is not worth any additional stress/money/time. 

 

 

 

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Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
17 0 8

Hey Cez1, thanks for your comments!

- We believe Langshop is currently in the process of updating in order to work well with the international domains feature. There are other translation apps available on the app store as well.

- At the moment we are looking at what other improvements we can make to the multi language experience before offering URL translations. With the vast majority of traffic coming from mobile devices where URLs are truncated, we believe there are other improvements we can leverage to have a greater impact on the multi language experience. When changing platforms, there are several reasons beyond this that you may see a temporary dip in organic ranking while Google relearns your new URL structures - with a sound redirect and migration strategy from Weebly or any other platform, this organic ranking should return.

- Shopify automatically generates hreflang tags for all international domains/subdomains, so this is not something you need to worry about. Additionally, sitemaps are generated for every domain, and sitemaps capture all locales published on a domain as well. Your comment about meta tags per domain is a valid one and something we are working towards. We do already do meta tags per language.

- Around your comment on currencies - we recently released the ability to control currency conversion through setting manual exchange rates. We are thinking about the next step and how we allow merchants to set individual prices in different currencies. 

Product Support Network | Shopify
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Tourist
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I've read this thread and the documentations, but still aren't sure whether the subdomain is meant to be a region / language / currency / or a combo of all?

Let say I want to sell in 3 languages (EN, ZH-TW, ZH-CN) and accept 4 currencies (USD, HKD, TWD, SGD)

Should I set up: [www.myshop.com, tw.myshop.com, cn.myshop.com]? (language as subdomain)
or [www.myshop.com, hk.myshop.com, tw.myshop.com, sg.myshop.com]? (currency as subdomain)
or something else?

Moreover, some regions have multiple languages (e.g. Hong Kong uses EN and ZH-TW; Singapore uses EN and ZH-CN)
and some people prefers to checkout in a certain currency (e.g. a SG user browsing in ZH-CN and want to checkout using USD)

Essentially the questions boil down to:

#1. can one subdomain support multiple languages?
(if yes, what would the URL structure looks like? hk.myshop.com/zh-TW/, hk.myshop.com/en/ ?)

#2. can one subdomain support multiple currencies?

#3. can a language be used on multiple subdomains?

#4. can a currency be used on multiple subdomains?

Or is international domain not suitable for such use case?
Thanks in advance!

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