We currently sell in Canada only through our store. We're getting ready to launch in the US and I wanted to confirm that we'll need to open another Shopify account (we currently have a basic plan) to create a separate store? The products and user experience will be slightly different in each country. And assuming that I do need to open another account, is there a way to set up automatic redirects based on location? I'm planning on having mystore.com for the US and mystore.ca or ca.mystore.com for Canada as the two sites. I know there are apps available but they seem to charge about ~$10/month on average which I would like to avoid. Or is there anyway to display different collections based on location from a single store?
Nick here from Shopify. Great questions and congrats on opening multiple stores!
If you are looking to have slightly different products and user experiences for each country then having multiple stores is definitely the best way to go with this. The switching between Shopify stores feature will be very useful for you once they are set up and running.
With regards to setting up auto redirects for customers based in different locations to point them to the best store, I think a GeoLocation app could be your best avenue to go down here even though you mentioned you weren't too keen on this. There are a few different GeoLocation apps which redirect visitors to local versions of your store based on their geo-location. You can some of the geo-location apps I like the best below:
These apps are in and around the $5 range per month. The only other way you could go about this would be to have some custom code or app made for you by a Shopify Expert. While it would be a higher upfront cost, it would more than likely be a once-off payment and not monthly. You can see the Shopify Expert directory here for custom apps and integrations. Do you think $5 for an app is something you could work with or would you be more likely to explore a custom route?
Throwing my hat into the ring here too.
I'm the developer behind Blockade, which allows you to block or redirect your traffic based on country, IP address, VPN usage or bot traffic from specific websites.
Blockade is free for up to 3 countries. So if you're only redirecting Canadian traffic to a different store, it might fit your use case and still be free.
You can also customize the blocking or redirecting experience to match you store's branding and theme.
You can download it here: https://apps.shopify.com/blockade
I completely see what you mean and how a feature like that could greatly benefit a business in a situation like yours and how you would want to minimise app costs. I will be sure to make a feature request on your behalf for it.
With regards to how long it would take to create the custom code, I would not. Coding is something I am not familiar or comfortable with and would be out of my wheelhouse completely. As I touched on before, reaching out or talking to a Shopify Expert could provide you with an answer. Hopefully an Expert might come across this thread and offer an estimate time for that.
Correct, it's able to block other countries, but it serves are a redirection tool as well.
In the app settings you can control if the app blocks, redirects or shows a temporary page that explains why you can't serve their particular region and provide a CTA button to go to your other site.
If you don't want to abruptly redirect, you can customize the page's theme, branding and copy to match your store's:
Let me know if you have any additional questions or needs!