Multilingual Shopify Plus stores with headless e‑commerce

Multilingual Shopify Plus stores

Multilingual Shopify Plus stores with headless e‑commerce. 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 a multilingual Shopify store. 

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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