Shopify Multiple Stores: How To Manage Them & Which Apps To Use
For some online business, having just one Shopify store is not enough. No matter if you’re expanding your reach or you simply want to diversify your brand, setting up multiple Shopify stores may be the right option for you. However, managing and integrating several online stores effectively comes with numerous challenges.
In this post, I will reveal how running multiple Shopify stores can benefit your online business and what the most common problems merchants face when managing two or more stores. Most importantly, you will learn how to overcome these problems successfully.
So, let’s dive in!
Why Launch Multiple Shopify Stores?
For some businesses, having a single ecommerce website to sell their products and promote their brand is enough. However, there are online retailers that may benefit from selling products across multiple online stores. These businesses usually target different customer groups, sell to different marketplaces, or simply have outlets they manage. Let’s check out some of these scenarios.
1. Selling to Multiple Markets
When expanding your business internationally, you need to think about different factors that may impact your online performance. Keep in mind that you’re now targeting different groups of people, with different customs, needs, habits, and problems. Logically, to build relationships with them and boost sales, you need to adapt your website to your local customers’ needs.
In other words, you need to treat each region as a separate market. This is what many big brands like Nike, Ikea, or Coca-Cola do. They build sites for each country they sell to. And, for Shopify users, launching multiple online stores has been made a walk in the park. Namely, by investing in Shopify Plus, you can create online shops for each country you’re targeting, such as the US store, the Canada store, the Australia store, etc.
2. Launching an Outlet
To make their products available to greater audiences, many brands launch outlet stores. The only problem with this idea is that some of them don’t want to promote the off-price versions of their products on their official sites. In this case, they usually build separate online stores. That’s exactly what Tommy Hilfiger does with their Tommy Hilfiger Company Store, J. Crew with their J. Crew Factory, Zappos with their 6 p.m., Reebok with their Reebok Outlet, American Eagle with their AEO Company Store, and so forth.
3. Selling to Different Customer Segments
If you’re running a diverse business that targets different buyer groups, then it may make sense to use different sites to personalize user experiences. For example, many famous brands have started designing and selling clothes for kids, too. For example, Kate Hudson’s Fabletics that sells affordable sportswear has also started designing kids’ clothes. As both the type of clothes and the customers are different, they created another site, Fabkids, to cater to both groups of customers.
The Challenges of Running Multiple Shopify Stores
Running a profitable online store is difficult. You need to create a responsive website, invest in its optimization for search engines, and constantly improve user experiences. Given this, it’s obvious that managing multiple Shopify stores may be even more complex. Here are a few common problems you may face:
- Managing orders, processing orders, and fulfilling them fast to boost user experiences
- Managing inventory across multiple online stores
- Creating product data for multiple online stores, especially if you’re launching new products frequently
- Integrating your online stores and keeping them in harmony
How to Address the Problem of Managing Online Stores?
Synchronizing your product data and keeping up with your customer base across multiple webstores requires significant time investments and continuous updates. Fortunately, there are a few practices that may help you solve this problem efficiently. Let’s check them out!
1. Optimize each Site Separately
If you’re targeting different international markets, selling to different customer segments, or promoting different types of products and brands, then the simple copy-paste option won’t work for you. To adapt your site to your target audiences and make your offers and content relevant to them, you need to optimize each store separately.
In other words, you need to localize them. This means:
- targeting local keywords your target searchers use
- providing relevant products, offers, and deals
- rethinking your URL structure and site design
- adapting your messaging, slogans and imagery to each market
- observing your local competition
- creating local content relevant to the people visiting your site
- building links on trusted local sites
If you’re expanding your business to a new market for the first time, understanding your new audience’s demands and expectations may be difficult. This is why working with a local digital marketing agency may be a good idea, as they will segment your audiences and adapt your marketing tactics to their needs. Let’s say you want to expand your business from Sydney to New York. In this case, investing in New York-based SEO services will help you understand your New York customers, optimize your site for keywords they really use, and create content that resonates with them.
Most importantly, no matter if it’s the position of your search bar of the design of your CTAs, run A/B tests continually to see what works best for each country or target audience.
2. Update Inventory Data in Real-Time
It’s important to make sure that your inventory data is updated in real-time when selling across multiple online stores. This is especially challenging if you’re selling the same products on your stores. By centralizing your data, you will make sure that you will never oversell your products and harm user experiences.
3. Synchronize your Order Management
One of the major problems online retailers face is processing and fulfilling orders across separate online stores. This problem can be solved by centralizing your order management system. This way, you will ensure your fulfillment, returns, dropshipping, and customer support are always consistent and meet your customers’ expectations. With the right Inventory Management System like Orderbot, Freestyle Solutions, TradeGecko, and Stitch Labs, this won’t be a problem.
4. Use a PIM System
if not done right, your product information management may be a real pain, usually resulting in a bunch of messy data that would turn your customers away. To have a 360-degree view of your products and boost user experiences, you should centralize all of your product data. With the right Product Information Management (PIM) system like Akeneo, Salsify, or inRiver, you will be able to synchronize your product data and standardize it to publish it on multiple Shopify stores.
Shopify Multiple Stores: Final Thoughts
Launching multiple ecommerce stores on Shopify is not easy. Still, if you strategize them properly and take the right steps, you can adapt each of these stores to the needs and expectations of different customer segments and sell your products successfully.
Hope these tips will help you identify the major challenges of running multiple Shopify stores and resolve them efficiently.
How do you manage multiple stores on Shopify?