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Handling multiple currencies in an online shop

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by richimgd, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. richimgd

    richimgd Member

    Hi there, I am wondering how best to approach a job where I have been asked to build a shop that has products in 4 different currencies (GBP, EURO USD and AUD). The amounts are to be manually entered rather than dynamically calculated. I.e the client would rather the price be £10 and $18 than a script or service working out a random sounding amount such as $17.32 etc.

    Thing is I haven't really seen any website out there which you can change the prices by clicking a button. What I imagine is being able to click on a Euro flag and then all the prices are down in Euros, then click on '£' sign and the prices are shown in GBPs etc. I've seen this which kind of looks like what I am after: Here Although its not a real on-line shop. The client also want to be able to add a variable into the URL eg so they can advertise to different markets. The clients view is that people are more likely to buy if they see the products in their currency...

    The thing is the actual requirements outside of this currency issue are quite basic. I.e there will only be about 60 products, no special option (i.e different colours or sizes etc) and the products will always be in stock. Also payments will all be handled with PayPal.

    I was thinking of using WordPress with the 'GetShopped' plugin, which seemed ideal because I know WordPress really well and the plugin lets the shop owner manually set the values per currency which is exactly what they wanted. The only problem is I am yet to see a working example with the functionally I am after, so I don't want to dive into development just yet.

    Not sure if anyone can advise the best approach?
  2. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    Jeez, thats a head pickler.

    I've been using Cartweaver and I think it might explode if I tried to multimanage 4 currencies.

    What's the product? I only ask as it is fair to say that most people aren't that put of by prices appearing in different currencies. Actually, in terms of retail, I know people who are put off by it. If you know the exchange rate between USD and GBP is $1.5 - £1 (rough guess on what it is now.) and you see a price tag (American Apparel are utter bastards for this) that reads $45 £40, you know you are being fleeced to the tune of a tenner!

    Just a thought.
  3. richimgd

    richimgd Member

    I'm 50:50 on this because on one hand I think its a fair point that customers who see the prices in their currency might see it has more reputable and would be more happy to part with their cash, but then at the same time I think generally most people don’t care too much (myself included) if a product is in a different currency. I regularly pay for things on PayPal in USD for instance and PayPal works out the currency for you. You have an opportunity to bail out of the transaction if you feel like its too expensive or whatever.

    The actual products are really wedding related, such as handmade invitations and thank you cards etc. The actual purpose of the site is to tell samples so customers can then phone up or email over an order once they have made a decision on what they like, then choose the full quantities and perhaps negotiate any discount and then be invoiced separately. So any complex and specific requirements won’t actually be handled by the website - so in many ways the job is quite simple as far as online shops go, although Its safe to say the most complicated issue is with the multiple currencies.

    The plan is to find a system the works more or less out of the box without too much ‘hacking’ to make it work. Although I do anticipate some custom functionality to get the variable in the URL to set the prices. It depends if this can be done in a robust enough way.

    I think the assumption would be that only one currency would be shown at once the buttons to change the currency would be fairly out of the way so it shouldn’t be glaringly obvious to most customers that you can change the currency. Hopefully those that wanted a particular currency would find the website by a url that sets the currency to what their preferred choice would be anyway.

    It could be that this is over complicating something that should be left more simple – but I would at least want to see if there are any other websites out there that do this. If there arnt then I am either a genius or this is the worst idea ever :D

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