Selling internationally: Separate Shopify stores vs Multicurrency

Shopify Partner
23 0 28

We've switched from BigCommerce to Shopify Plus with expectations that needs to sell to both Canada and the US would be better met for the time, however, it's been much more challenging than we'd hoped.  

Expansion store (or more Shopify sites):

~ you'll still need to build your navigation tree separately for each site (Shopify currently has no way to clone it).

~ If you draw from same inventory, overselling is now going to be a constant worry.  Even with Syncio as a patch, the API call rate is as fast as Shopify's which is twice per second.  That may be enough for some people, but with popular product drops, we'll have a lot of disappointed customers in the future.  So, it seems we have to change to Multi-currency based on this.

~ If you create a draft order in one store, then that inventory may be reserved in that store, but not the other(s). 

So, now we're thinking to switch to Multi-currency, and to have custom coding or LockSmith to hide products that are only available in one country and not the other.  With this route, since Shopify is doing the currency conversion into our bank account for payouts, will it be near the spot rate, or a currency exchange rate that sees us with a little loss...?  Or does Shopify let our own bank account do the conversion....?

Our big hurdle in switching to multi-currency, is that Shopify doesn't have native checkout in PayPal for anything but the default currency.  So, I have to choose, do I stay with 2 stores, and high stress of overselling, and cannot make good use of draft order feature, or do we switch to Multi-currency, and have headaches each day of customers upset with currency exchange in PayPal?  We were so excited to switch to Shopify, but currently have been very stuck here now.  Neither are great, as both involve customer frustrations and a lot of time on my end each day (customers will want to know why the amount in PayPal doesn't match exactly what was displayed on their screen while they were shopping, and if they have an order edit/partial refund, they'll want it to be without currency exchange again).  BigCommerce does currently allow checkout in PayPal in native currency with their multi-currency, however, I'm told it's not near to being introduced with Shopify.  So, now we're really struggling with whether to return to BigCommerce based on this.  

It's been a terrific amount of work and sleepless nights switching, but also a great loss of income during this time.  We also stepped back and lost the homeschooling/ back to school sales revenue having our store in transition the last couple months (particularly as linking items in the inventory management software needed to sync between the two sites took a lot longer than expected), which would've been high for us this period in particular, so we could make this switch to position ourselves for the holiday ahead, and instead, it's just rather a mess now.

What do other people use for inventory management software between two sites with different currencies?  And how do they manage the risk of overselling?

Replies 7 (7)

Shopify Staff
21 2 14

Hey Lisa, 

We are looking at Paypal support for our multi-currency product. For now, you can consider hiding Paypal using Shopify Scripts for your international buyers. We will share an update when we have new information to share on Paypal support. 

Product Lead, Global Commerce and Sales Tax
Shopify Partner
23 0 28
Thanks, Rohitmishra.

I would be conflicted to hide it, as many US customers vastly prefer PayPal
to directly using their credit card, and I understand their different
reasons (buyer protection or poor experiences with credit card fraud in the
past) as well as ease of payment without their card (I know ShopPay also
has this nice feature).

Do you know if the non default currency would then incur currency exchange
fees, based on PayPal currency exchange rate into our default PayPal
account, or if we’d have the option to have eg, CAD PayPal deposit to CAD
PayPal, and US PayPal deposit to US PayPal? Otherwise the currency
exchange fees add up. It seems hard to get away from cross border PayPal
fees in any case...?
Shopify Staff
21 2 14
It would be too early for me to comment on the specific behaviour here. We
are mindful of the multiple currency payouts use case as we look in to
Product Lead, Global Commerce and Sales Tax
4 0 3

+1 for setting up Paypal to work with the multi currency feature. We have the same issues with our store and are losing customers due to the change in currency with paypal checkout, but setting up an additional store is a logistical nightmare as described by OP.

There are so many threads pleading to get the Paypal currency issue fixed!

Shopify Staff (Retired)
7 0 7

@KJFT @LisaD As Rohit mentioned we have been working on adding support for multi currency in Paypal. We recently finished development and the feature is now in beta. I'd love to get your feedback if possible.

You can sign up for the beta by filling out the questionnaire here.

We will reach out shortly afterwards with instructions on how to set up multi currency Paypal support on your stores.

To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Community Blog.

6 1 0

Thank you for starting this thread.  We have just moved to Shopify Plus from WooCommerce but we are struggling with similar issues.

Our main difference between your situation is that we have inventory in each country and so depending on where the customer resides, the products that are in stock would be different.  We are not aware of a way for one store to handle this situation and so we will be forced to go with separate stores.   (If you know how one store can use different inventories for different geographic locations, I am all ears.)

By the way, we have also been looking at the Shopify Fulfillment Network and were surprised to find out they currently have the requirement that any inventory in their Canada warehouse must be connected with a Canada only Shopify store.

5 0 9

@LisaD Moved from BigCommerce to WooCommerce (nightmare) to Shopify. We sell in both US and CA and operate 2 separate stores to keep CAD and USD separate but find it exceedingly difficult to sync inventory and other operational headaches.

Everything was going well until recently when we had a sudden surge in orders and our Bundling App didn't sink well with Syncio and we over-sold a lot and had to refund and cancel orders during the holidays.

I am considering just keeping 1 single store with multi-currency but then the issue will be that I will lose either USD or CAD currency.

What was your experience with Shopify spot exchange rates when they converted the cash to your store's currency.

I would appreciate any and all help.

Thank you !!