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We are implementing a e-commerce shop-front but we have an design challenge around which currency to show by default and how to get the user to tell us which country (currency) they want to see.

  1. The e-commerce system we're using is very capable (Enterprise grade) and can deal with multiple prices and currencies per product...
  2. ...but can only show one currency at a time (i.e. on page load).
  3. Our customers will be coming from one of two countries, but for most of them we won't know which country they want to see when they first load in - therefore we won't know which currency we should show them.
  4. Not all products are available in both countries, so a consideration is not wanting to show product-currency combinations that don't really exist.

Solutions:

  1. Splash-screen - force the user to choose before we show any products at all.
  2. Choose a default currency, allow users to change their selection if necessary.

Question:

Is the first solution worth pursuing at all? If so what guidance can you offer about how to approach it? We discussed the idea in a workshop and it sounded viable, but when we look at a wire-frame our vendor has provided the whole idea just seems a little flawed.

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TL;DR: Combination of both - choose a default, and inform users what happened.

I'd suggest a notification along the top of the page, which is dismissed on user action, or when user navigates to next page without choosing an action:

enter image description here

  • doesn't interrupt the flow for those users, where country was guessed correctly
  • gives insight into what happened and how to correct it
  • isn't associated with the infamous region selection pages

In the future, when number of countries and country-related features increases significantly, the best practice would be to separate the websites entirely, like ebay.com vs ebay.de.

EDIT: To also tackle "Not all products are available in both countries", the wording of the notification could be changed to: "Showing you items available in {Country}..."

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Both your solutions are valid, but my guess you're asking this question is that you lack the insight on will they know under which currency and country they want to browse under from the beginning and/or when users will want to switch.

i'd suggest a combination of both, where you ask the user to select when they 1st use the shop, and then educated the user where the feature can be found if they want to switch country later on.

  • Our organisation services two countries, customers in those will want to gravitate to products offered in their country as many of the products involve being physically present. – Adrian K Apr 13 '16 at 3:09
  • From a UX perspective I want to know if a splash-screen approach is even worth considering, and if it is guidance on how best to implement it. – Adrian K Apr 13 '16 at 3:10

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