Shopify International Shipping: How to Sell Worldwide in 2024

Shopify International Shipping: How to Sell Worldwide in 2024

In the world of eCommerce, international shipping is vital. Mastering it can be a game-changer for any Shopify store owner, helping them reach a new audience and grow their business.

When you understand how Shopify’s international shipping works, selling worldwide becomes a seamless experience rather than a daunting task.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to navigate the maze of international shipping, including its benefits, carrier options, and setup.

Why Offer International Shipping?

Selling beyond local borders provides access to more customers and opportunities to grow your business globally.

Industry experts forecast retail eCommerce sales worldwide will reach $6.9t in 2024. The data speaks for itself, showing a great profit potential for entrepreneurs who offer international shipping options.

Other advantages of shipping internationally include:

  • Revenue diversification. Decrease the risk that comes with relying solely on a local market.
  • Competitive advantage. Set yourself apart by offering products people can’t find in their country.
  • Brand exposure. Increase your brand’s recognition in foreign markets and expand your customer base.

Shipping Internationally:
What You Need to Know

Every entrepreneur should consider these factors to make the most of international shipping.

Shipping Rate Strategies

Shopify International Shipping: How to Sell Worldwide in 2024 1

When setting up international shipping, try implementing different strategies such as:

  • Free shipping. A common marketing practice and a great way to attract customers. To offset the cost, add conditions, like offering free shipping on orders over $150.
  • Flat-rate shipping. If you sell products that are similar in size and weight, consider setting a flat rate within a specific shipping zone.
    This way, customers will know what shipping costs to expect, simplifying the order process.
  • Carrier-calculated shipping. These are determined at the checkout by a third-party carrier, providing real-time pricing.
    It’s a great option for businesses and their customers. Note that it’s only available for certain carriers, such as USPS, DHL Express, and UPS in the United States, Canada Post, and Sendle in Australia.


Shopify International Shipping: How to Sell Worldwide in 2024 2

When choosing a carrier, carefully consider their rates. International shipping rates may vary depending on the type of service, destination, and package weight.

Some affordable postal carriers may not provide speedy delivery, so express services can come in handy – although more expensive. 

In addition to regular international delivery, express shipping options are available on Shopify. 

Check these express carriers and their delivery times:

  • DHL Express Worldwide delivers overseas to over 220 countries and territories in one to three business days.
  • USPS Priority Mail Express International ships to 190 countries. It takes approximately three to five business days and provides a money-back guarantee to specific destinations.
  • Canada Post Xpresspost™ International is the carrier’s fastest shipping option, delivering to more than 70 countries in four to seven business days.

Take a look at other Shopify shipping carriers to find the right one for your online store. Each carrier has different international and domestic shipping costs, policies, and requirements.

Shipping Cost

To make a profit, you have to calculate the shipping cost to price the products correctly and charge the right amount for delivery. By failing to do so, you can lose potential customers due to unreasonably high shipping costs or suffer lower profits.

If you’re in the US, use the Shopify Shipping Calculator to see how much it will cost to ship internationally.

Also, consider the following aspects to set a shipping cost that brings profit and is appealing to customers.


Shopify International Shipping: How to Sell Worldwide in 2024 3

Add the cost of packaging, including cushioning, to your total product price and reduce shipping costs by choosing inexpensive and lightweight materials.

Sourcing free packaging materials from shipping companies is a great way to save money. For example, if you use USPS as a business, you can order free shipping supplies.

Quick Tip

When selling on Shopify with Printify’s print-on-demand service, you don’t have to worry about packaging because our Print Providers print, package, and ship for you.

Handling Fee

Worldwide delivery requires more care and time. In addition to packaging costs, consider adding a handling fee.

For example, calculate the handling fee by determining the minimum hourly wage when preparing shipments ($12) and the time required to prepare and ship the order (eight minutes).

(Eight minutes / 60 minutes) x $12 = $1.60

Adding a handling fee is optional, but it’s a great way to increase profit and provide quality to customers.

Taxes and Duties

Each country has different rules and regulations, so it’s vital to research beforehand and factor them into your pricing strategy.

Disclaimer: We strongly recommend consulting a licensed specialist to ensure everything is set up correctly.

By default, your customer may have to pay the destination country’s customs charges, duties, or taxes. This is called delivered duty unpaid (DDU). If you choose this route, clearly state this in your shipping policy.

Or, choose a customer-friendly approach and cover these costs with delivered duty paid (DDP). You’ll need to collect these upfront, which you can do by adding them to your shipping rates for zones where you ship internationally.

With Shopify Shipping, you can buy the appropriate shipping labels from them directly. They’ll also provide the correct customs forms and documentation required to fulfill international shipments.

Quick Tips

Ask your local post office about the required documents for shipping international orders. Typically, you’ll need a commercial invoice and an export packing list.

Learn more about duties and import taxes in the Shopify Help Center.

Setting up Shopify Shipping

Shopify Shipping is a great option if your business is in the US, Canada, or Australia.

In these countries, the eCommerce platform has discounted rates negotiated with international shipping companies.

Quick Tip

Discounted shipping rates vary on the store’s Shopify subscription plan and the package’s origin, type, weight, and destination.

Set up international shipping on Shopify by following these steps:

1. Start in the Shopify admin, click Settings, then Shipping and delivery.

2. Click Create new profile, and name it.

3. Click Add products and choose the ones you want to include.

4. In the Shipping zones section, click Create zone.

5. Enter a name for the shipping zone, select the countries you want to ship to and select Done.

6. Click Add rate, select either Set up your own rates or Use carrier or app to calculate rates, and accurately fill in the fields.

7. Save your shipping profile.

Some Shopify shipping settings will be added by default if you’re in an eligible country.

Worldwide Shipping With Shopify: 5 Tips for Success

Now that we understand the basics of international shipping on Shopify, let’s dive further into some helpful tips.

1. Ship Products to Yourself

Shopify International Shipping: How to Sell Worldwide in 2024 10

While Shopify has multiple carriers, they may not be available in your location, or their international parcel delivery costs might not be as competitive as you’d like.

In these cases, consider shipping products to yourself and arrange international shipping through different shipping carriers.

This option allows you to check the products before sending them to customers, so you can make sure they’re in good order.

2. Expand Your Market

With international shipping, slow and steady wins the race – start small, but aim high. After you successfully enter one international market, consider expanding to other countries.

Before doing so, research the following:

  • Market demand
  • Cultural nuances
  • Customs regulations
  • Carriers
  • Shipping costs

Enter international markets independently or partner with other businesses who may help with providing useful information, saving you time and effort.

Quick Tip

Save on shipping costs by partnering with a local manufacturer who can produce products within the country you’re expanding to and ship directly to your customers.

3. Set Up Shipping Zones

Optimize international shipping by setting up a customized shipping zone. This is a group of countries or regions with the same or similar shipping rates.

For example, say you’ve partnered with a manufacturer in the Netherlands that can easily ship anywhere in the European Union. Create a shipping zone including all the member states, charging the same shipping rate.

You can also create a zone with free shipping to your local Shopify customers.

Quick Tip

Learn how to set up shipping zones from the Shopify Help Center.

4. Be Transparent With Your Shipping

Shopify International Shipping: How to Sell Worldwide in 2024 11

If you’re offering international delivery, write a clear shipping policy. It’s a must-have for all eCommerce businesses.

You should state:

  • How and where you ship
  • Who pays import duties and taxes
  • Whether order tracking is available
  • How long does regular or shipping express take
  • Process for returns and refunds

It’s the right place to cover any additional fees your customers might have to pay. This way, you save time and avoid misunderstandings for both you and your customers.

5. Target Ads to Shipping Destination Countries

An important part of any international shipping strategy is marketing. Reach potential customers quickly and effectively by targeting ads to a specific country, region, state, or province.

Check these popular advertising options:

  • Meta Ads. Market your business by advertising directly on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Google Ads. Place ads on Google’s search results, apps, videos, and non-search websites.
  • TikTok Ads. Reach a wide audience with an app that has more than one billion active users worldwide.

Additionally, offer special deals, limited-time offers, and product bundles at discounted prices to attract more customers and increase sales.

Quick Tip

Increase your brand awareness by collaborating with influencers. Learn how to find influencers for your business.

Start a Shopify eCommerce Business With Printify

Shopify International Shipping: How to Sell Worldwide in 2024 12

With Printify’s print-on-demand service, anyone can start a business with ease and sell both locally and internationally without any inventory. Our platform is 100% free, available to everyone, and easy to use.

We have a worldwide network of more than 90 Print Providers with facilities in the US, the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, Australia, and China who provide various customizable products.

When a customer buys from your store, our Print Providers will print, package, and ship directly to their doorstep. 

Getting started is easy with these five steps.

Step 1: Create a Printify Account

Sign up and gain access to a wide variety of customizable products, free design tools, and a worldwide network of carefully vetted Print Providers.

Step 2: Select a Product

Our Catalog has over 900 high-quality products, including apparel, accessories, and home decor. Select your favorite, and click Start designing.

Step 3: Apply a Design

With our beginner-friendly design tool, the Mockup Generator, quickly upload an image, logo, or text to create a one-of-a-kind product everyone will love.

Step 4: Connect Your Store

We offer a seamless Shopify integration, so just follow our easy step-by-step guide.

Step 5: Start Marketing and Selling

When everything is set up, engage with potential customers and start profiting. Our Print Providers will handle all the heavy lifting for you – printing, packaging, and shipping.

Set Up Your POD Business Today

FAQ: Shopify International Shipping

Yes. Shopify has multiple shipping options for international orders, so you can easily find the right one for your business.

In case international shipping isn’t available in your location, you can ship products to yourself and arrange delivery using different carriers.

Set up international shipping on Shopify by following these steps:

  1. Go to Shopify admin, click Settings, then Shipping and delivery.
  2. Click Create new profile, and name it.
  3. Click Add products and select the ones you want to include.
  4. In the Shipping zones section, click Create zone
  5. Create a name for the shipping zone, and select the countries you want to ship to. Click Done.
  6. Click Add rate, select Set up your own rates, or Use carrier or app to calculate rates, and fill in the details.
  7. Save the shipping profile.

Shopify international shipping rates depend on various factors, such as country of origin, shipping method, destination, weight, and package dimensions.

Closing Thoughts

Shopify provides seamless solutions that simplify the international shipping process for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Increase your likelihood of success by carefully selecting carriers, setting up shipping zones, and offering competitive shipping rates.

Additionally, research import duties, taxes, and customs regulations of your chosen country to avoid any misunderstandings.

With little preparation, anyone can start selling worldwide and diversify their store’s revenue stream.

Set Up Your POD Business Today

Share the article



Write a comment