How eComm stores are boosting international checkout payments

Rebecca Mulcahy5 minutes
How eComm stores are boosting international checkout payments
In this article

International markets are big business for eComm stores. 

In 2023 alone, Forbes predicted online worldwide retail sales would increase by 10.4%, skyrocketing to $6.31 trillion.

If you’re a growing eComm and you’re not already selling to customers around the world, chances are international expansion is on your roadmap. 

Suddenly you’re moving money across borders. Your customers want to pay in their local currency, using their favourite payment method. You’re being stung by hidden fees you didn’t even know existed. International checkout payments can be a lot for a growing eComm team to handle. 

If you’re already established in a few additional markets, you’re most likely looking at how you can convert more international customers and optimise your margins on overseas revenue streams.

Fortunately, boosting international checkout payments doesn’t have to be complicated. Three key factors can help you boost checkout conversions and grow sustainably: local payment methods, multi-currency collection and avoiding the conversion trap.

Here at Airwallex, the global payments provider to fast growing and established eComm brands like SHEIN, KeepCup and Olsam we know a thing or two about international payments.

Local payment methods = reassuring experience

Any eComm operating across borders will know the importance of localisation for checkout conversion. In today’s interconnected world, where customers expect a smooth, instant buying journey, successful brands bring a local feel to global shopping.

If you want overseas buyers to trust you (and complete their checkout payment), you should offer local payment options. Studies show that 76% of online shoppers unsurprisingly prefer to pay in their local currency, while local payment methods like iDEAL in the Netherlands account for 50% of all online purchases, and globally familiar payment methods like ApplePay can increase conversion by up to 250%.

Imagine you’ve seen a pair of headphones on Instagram you like, but when you click through to the store’s checkout, you can’t pay in the method you use 99% of the time. Are you going to dig around to find your card if you only ever use Apple Pay?

By not offering familiar payment methods, you risk your customers abandoning their cart. Especially in countries where most consumers don’t use cards to pay, such as the Netherlands where iDEAL is preferred (as indicated above), or Germany, where Sofort and Giropay are the most popular payment methods.

We’ve pulled together this handy list of all the payment methods Airwallex offers by region and by integration.

Speaking of Airwallex’s plug-and-play payment integration, we’re directly connected to platforms like Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce, which means you can enable international payments with no coding required. For stores with advanced custom websites, our core API platform offers a more flexible native checkout experience for customers.

An example of an Airwallex-hosted checkout

See more options here

Convert with multi-currency collection

So you’re tapping into overseas markets, but are you able to collect multiple currencies? Could you be a victim of high or huge hidden conversion fees?

Much like localised payment options, allowing customers the option to pay in their own currency is important for maintaining a healthy checkout conversion rate. 

Most consumers aren’t going to pull out their phone to calculate the price of an item in a foreign currency and they may wonder if they’ll incur additional customs or import duty charges. They’re going to find another seller (or your competitor) who lets them pay in their home currency. 

Finding a payments provider with a business account designed for international use will help you accept payments from customers around the world.

If you’re already trading with buyers in multiple currencies, you’re probably using a household name like Stripe or PayPal. Why wouldn’t you – they’re the most well-known players in this space.

The thing is: you’re being charged high processing fees and you’re being forced (and charged again) to collect and convert foreign currencies unnecessarily.

What are forced currency conversions?

Lots of scaling eComm stores find themselves stuck in an unnecessary conversion trap, forced by their payment provider to convert funds. For a UK business, this could look like paying 2-4% in FX fees for collecting EUR from a European customer.

Imagine you’re a UK-based eComm store and you have customers and suppliers using USD. After a customer checks out in EUR, your payment gateway will automatically force convert those funds to GBP and charge you for it. Then, when you want to pay your supplier in EUR, you’ll be forced to convert that same GBP back to EUR.

You’re converting EUR twice, unnecessarily. And it’s not just EUR. The conversion trap often applies to USD, JPY, AUD, CNY and more - any currency that you often collect, and then spend in. To save money and avoid the conversion trap, you want to pay your supplier from the same EUR currency pot that your European customer paid you in; that’s good FX hygiene and a lot more cost efficient for you. 

How? Through a financial partner that allows you to collect, hold and pay out multiple currencies centrally without being subject to FX fees. 

DIY-pottery kit eComm store Crockd processes checkout payments from thousands of customers around the world. It saves $1,200 per month on foreign currency transactions alone with an Airwallex Business Account

Easy, instant global checkout payments without hidden fees

Sustainable growth overseas as a small eComm store hinges on having the right financial partner.

You want to offer a seamless local experience for your customers, but you don’t want to waste money on unnecessary fees. 

With an Airwallex Business Account, you can:

  • Accept international payments 

  • Offer 160+ local payment methods instantly

  • Connect to your existing eComm platform like Woo or Shopify or Magento

  • Collect and hold funds without getting hit by excessive FX rates.

We’re a long-term partner for many eComm stores – if you outgrow your Shopify or Woo storefront, you can easily scale up from our plugin integration to our customisable API solutions.

The good news? This isn’t all Airwallex does. We can also help you track your marketing spend, manage expenses, oversee your global cash flow, issue multi-currency employee cards and reconcile your accounts with accounting software integration.

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Rebecca Mulcahy
eComm payments specialist

Rebecca is one of the eComm payments specialists at Airwallex EMEA. Rebecca helps eComm and travel businesses navigate the world of international payments.

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