In 2020, an eMarketer study found that three of the top five ecommerce markets that account for 62.6% of online sales worldwide are in the Asia Pacific region. A more recent 2021 study by eMarketer finds that China is set to become the first country in history to transact more than half, 52%, of its retail sales online. Online retail and services have been a lifeline for consumer brands in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region during the Covid-19 pandemic.
While borders have closed for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, many consumer brands are going borderless. Shopify predicts ecommerce growth to come from foreign markets and quicker international brand presence building. Shopify merchants in Hong Kong can now use the latest Alipay payment gateway solution to grow business, without any setup fee in key ecommerce markets such as China Mainland (Alipay), Hong Kong S.A.R (AlipayHK), the Philippines (Gcash), and Malaysia (Touch'n Go).
AlipayHK: A Payment Gateway for APAC Markets
While many merchants are already familiar with Alipay through QR codes in physical stores, the latest Alipay integration with Shopify enables online shoppers to pay with four leading Asian digital wallets from the most popular markets in APAC.
The checkout and payment section of an online store remains one of the highest friction points for shoppers, making this touchpoint an opportunity to delight them. In the past, offering a local payment gateway could be costly and choices often came down to transaction fees rather than considering the solution provider’s user experience and integration into the checkout flow. Now, online stores are no longer limited to a single payment gateway provider.
Shopify supports a mobile responsive checkout experience and allows merchants to add a number of popular payment gateway options that display only for the relevant markets. This means that even if you choose three different payment gateways, the AlipayHK option will only display for the relevant markets and likewise for your other options, providing users with a truly localized checkout experience.
Cross-Border Ecommerce Considerations
Integrating online payment gateways like AlipayHK that are cross-border by default enables businesses to serve local customers and to reach international customers from day one. When considering cross-border ecommerce, we recommend that merchants consider it from the perspective of:
- availability in your target markets support for local payment options
- user-friendliness for shoppers
- transparent gateway fees, cross-border fees or exchange rates
- merchant protections
- additional business support, marketing, or platform integrations
You can also learn more about cross-border payments in our free Guide to Selling Globally with Shopify.
Using a Payment Gateway to Expand Market Reach
While marketing campaigns are used to explore new markets, payment gateways are now becoming the channels to open them. Non-local payment options can often be a primary conversion friction behind international brands seeing a dip in online sales conversion when selling globally. AlipayHK and its network of payment gateway partners unlocks more options for Shopify merchants to offer a more localized payment checkout experience to enhance the consumer buying experience.
How to Get Started with AlipayHK
AlipayHK is now available on Shopify for Hong Kong merchants, enabling Shopify merchants to accept payments from over 1 billion users in China. Integrating AlipayHK will also enable payments from popular e-wallets in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific such as GCash for the Philippines, and Touch'n Go for Malaysia. This solution has no setup fee or fixed transaction fee, just the payment processing fee.
In order to set up this payment option, merchants can install AlipayHK on Shopify or go to the Payments section of their Shopify Admin dashboard. From there, they can select “Choose alternative payment” and select “Alipay (Direct)”.
Merchants will need to install the Alipay app on Shopify and create a new Alipay merchant account by submitting business details in an online form. Merchants should have their business information ready, such as their business name and registration. Once the form is submitted, it will be reviewed by Alipay and once the account has been activated, there will be an e-mail notification and Alipay will be visible in the Shopify store’s checkout page, along with logos of the supported local payments.
When a shopper selects the Alipay option at the Shopify store checkout, the shopper will be directed to an Alipay checkout to complete the payment transaction. Upon doing so, shopper will be routed back to Shopify with a thank you page to indicate order/payment completion.
Between July and December 2021, AlipayHK is also one of the authorized wallets under the Hong Kong government’s consumer voucher scheme. With this scheme, merchants who integrate with Alipay's payment gateway solution can make the most of incentives for local Hong Kong consumers to boost sales.