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Should we open a new Shopify store if we want to start selling in Europe?

Asked 5 years ago

We have been focused only on the US market, but now we plan to expand to Europe. The problem is that we'll have a new fulfillment center in Europe and I'm not sure if we need a new Shopify store for that or if we can manage multiple countries with one store. I would appreciate any advice.

Ido Talmor

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The easiest solution is to duplicate your Shopify store so that you have one store for the US and one for Europe. Each store works with one fulfillment center. I know it sucks and the overhead is quite frustrating. But there is no better way as of now. I think that the biggest problem with Shopify is that you can’t manage product availabilities in different countries, depending on the nearest fulfillment center. I guess that the system is not yet mature enough to support this issue. Shopify is meant to use the closest fulfillment location, and if the product is not available, you must choose another location. But still, a customer from France can order a product even if it’s available in the US and not in Europe. Shopify added multiple inventory management locations and even IP detection to select language and currency automatically, so I don’t understand why we can’t show product availability by location too. I mean, if my warehouse in the US has the product, but the warehouse in Europe doesn’t, then I would expect that the system will show a customer who wants shipment to Europe that the product is not available. A colleague of mine developed their own system to detect where the customer is and then show only the products that are relevant to their location. But this is a complicated system that has many errors (detecting IP is not so simple), not to mention the costs of developing this solution. Moreover, the biggest hassle is that you need to duplicate all your products’ pages because it’s like each fulfillment center has a different own product list. It’s a big deal when you have many products, and also, it’s a lot of work each time you need to update product info in multiple pages instead of one. What’s also missing is the option to customize your store for each country, not just the language, especially if you’re running ads. And this is why I say that duplicating your store would be the easiest thing to do. I hope this issue is high up there on the Shopify developers' todo list.

Aaron Chen

Monday, May 20, 2019

TLDR You should open another Shopify store if you intend to sell in a new location. If your SKUs, fulfillment, taxes, etc. are going to be different. I don’t want to imagine how hard it’d be to manage it from one store. The easiest way is to export your products, duplicate your theme, and then take your time uploading the products. You can even start doing ads before all the products have been uploaded.

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