Multilingual Shopify Plus stores with headless e‑commerce

Multilingual Shopify Plus stores

International e-commerce is about much more than language versions. There is no one right answer because brands’ and merchants’ starting levels vary. This article aims to help in the decision-making when it comes to setting up Multilingual Shopify Plus stores with headless e‑commerce.

There are few ways of delivering language versions on Shopify: separate stores, using translation apps, or Headless Commerce implementation. In this article, we’ll explain why the previous methods were no good.

Unsatisfactory solutions

  • Increased content management workload

Duplicating a Shopify back-end means each adjustment has to be done separately – every product upload, every new image, every piece of text. It means you need to input new information several times. 

  • Duplicate stores, duplicate subscriptions

You have to pay a monthly subscription fee for every app. 

  • Decentralised customer information and account management

You have separate backends of each store. Support team cannot efficiently survey all necessary information from one place as customer information is kept separately. 

  • Cannot mix and match languages and currencies

Online customers cannot choose combinations of language and currency. 

  • URL structure

Multi-language stores are literally multiple stores with their own domain authority. Google indexes each of them separately. Further, URLs will be ugly, they also impact on SEO ranking.

  • Translation apps damage site speed

Translation apps add a layer of translation on top of an existing website that is created by adding Javascript to the front-end. This layer gives incorrect results and a much slower site speed. 

The headless solution

But no worries, there is now an appropriate solution that doesn’t affect website speed and SEO. It is called a headless architecture.

Long story short, headless architecture is the decoupling of front and back-end. With a headless Shopify set-up, we recommend using Contentful CMS. It keeps all translations on a separate front-end rather than having them integrated into the back-end. Contentful can also handle the highest quality media content – images, videos and animations.

Looking at the results above, we can say that a headless Shopify Plus platform paired with Contentful CMS, today is the only scalable and sustainable way to multi-language on Shopify Plus. With this solution, we can increase the performance and the flexibility of the platform, and further tailor a global store to local needs besides language.

To conclude

Headless architecture is changing the rules of the game for multiple language capabilities on Shopify – user experience is improved, site speed is kept fast, URLs are optimised and SEO is unaffected. 

If you need a multilingual Shopify store, then a headless solution could be the right one for your business. As Shopify Plus developers, we can work hand-in-hand with your business to help you to implement this opportunity. Visit to move headless.



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