How to Manage Multiple Shopify Stores
There are several great reasons to open multiple Shopify stores. The most common scenario is when a business has success with specific products and rather than adding more of the same, potentially dramatically altering an existing store potentially alienating the existing client base, it is better to open a new store to build a more relevant consumer base and drive diversification into new areas, you might call this a doubling down on what works strategy.
Another common example of a use case of multiple stores is where large enterprises like to personalize what they offer to local tastes when selling internationally. Often this is managed locally and therefore the brand stays in touch with local needs and sensibilities. One store for each country with country-specific content is the usual scenario nowadays.
Large retail outlets can also target different demographics with different ranges of items, for example, Armarni launched Armani Exchange A|X in 1991 to capture a bigger share of the young, fashion-conscious but price-sensitive mass market. As with most similar brands, the first thing you encounter when visiting their website is a country index. The items, images and look and feel (and language) reflect local tastes and trends in each country.
Another common use case for multiple stores is a brand discount outlet for a premium brand, here unsold stock can be sold more cheaply under a low-cost brand label without damaging the exclusivity of the premium brand, Armani Exchange A|X might also be considered an example of this.
As an end to this extended introduction consider that some of the biggest brands in the world use Shopify, Budweiser, Tesla, Red Bull, businesses with billions of dollars of revenue. Probably the most cautionary of tales comes from GymShark, who grew so quickly that their prior non-Shopify store famously crashed on black Friday, leading them to switch to Shopify solving they’re scaling up issues.
Creating additional stores on Shopify can be a bit of a logistical nightmare but it is possible just by using the same email address when setting up a new store. There is no way to unify the admin sections of all of your Shopify stores and no way to quickly transition between the stores either. Therefore, it can be a real pain logging in and then logging out when switching between accounts. We, therefore, recommend a tool like Last Pass for secure storage of identities. It really does save a lot of time when managing lots of stores.
The Challenges of Running Multiple Shopify Stores.
If you are struggling to manage and make the most of just one Shopify store then the idea of scaling up to manage multiple Shopify stores is rather off-putting/overwhelming. Shopify does not make it easy to manage multiple stores simply because it was never designed to operate in such a fashion.
At the very least you will need Shopify Plus and besides that a well-oiled order fulfillment and supply chain. Your Shopify ecosystem will need to be reviewed and altered to meet the needs of the management of multiple stores. There are benefits to this change, cost efficiencies to be made by integrating your ERP with Shopify and through the subsequent automation of tasks.
A niche Shopify add-on ecosystem has sprung up to help manage every aspect of business for multi-Shopify store owners. Problems associated with running multiple stores include:-
- A duplication of order management (with each site having its own)
- Managing inventory across independent Shopify websites.
- Product management across multiple websites, language, pricing, etc.
- Integrations are typically designed for just one store
- Analytics, do you really want to upgrade to Shopify Plus on each and every website to access the reports you need for each country?
The Shopify Multiple Store Ecosystem
There are numerous applications that provide some level of automation where order fulfillment is concerned, vendors vary according to where in the world you are located as a business based upon their ability to provide service in those regions. Therefore, consider carefully your vendor based upon where your product is supplied from (manufactured) and where orders are most frequently despatched to. Here a multiple Shopify store environment is beneficial because your regional fulfillment supplier can be integrated with the local Shopify Store thus taking advantage of local service cost savings, (assuming you have regional or country-based warehousing). For example for operations, – including order fulfillment in Central Europe from a specific country such as Hungary, a provider like Webshippy could be used in combination with a local invoicing provider like Billingo.hu (who have a Shopify integration).
Alternatively, if you prefer to outsource all of your fulfillment needs globally, then a third-party logistics provider (3PL) would be preferable, or if you are just looking to ship out your product globally then consider a shipping platform like Shipstation.
Regardless of which fulfillment service you use, a way to manage all of your order data is necessary for effective stock control globally.
Centralizing Your Order Management.
In an Omnichannel world, scaling up your business inevitably involves adopting an ERP system. Chose one that enables you to sync all of your sales data, no matter the sales channel. Whether it be from offline, B2B or from any number of Shopify stores (from all of your stores globally), it brings it all together.
The goal should be to manage stock and orders effectively as you scale. In addition, it can effectively manage your accounting and any workforce you have.
There are numerous ERP systems available with slightly different features, and it’s not just for larger enterprises, there is an ERP for every size of company, the best choice is always the one that integrates well with your entire business ecosystem, including the other SaaS tools you use for things like stock control or accounting. Consequently, it is important to take a close look at the API and the integrations available before making any purchasing decisions.
Multiple Shopify Store Analytics
The best option for Multiple Shopify Store Analytics is to use a best in class analytics product based on Google Analytics tracking, an option that provides the best overall experience on a single Shopify store, but also can be used on multiple Shopify stores. This way your analysis can be done in the same way across all stores, thus making the KPI reports directly comparable across all Shopify Stores.
To keep things simple, make sure to use a single Google Analytics account for all of your Shopify stores. While you can just choose to use the Shopfiy reports, its best not to because the reporting is limited to the data from the store (no GA data) and by the plan.
By using a tool like Conversific you can combine the GA data and Shopify store data for each Shopify store into a unified dashboard to provide the best insights possible into the customers of each of your stores.
When planning multiple Shopify stores only use plugins that provide a remote SaaS service rather than Shopify apps that rely on the Shopify environment. This is because these are designed for multi-channel use, including with multiple stores. To be sure, take a look at the product plans to see if they are limited to just one store or if the can be used for multiple stores, if it’s not listed, then dig deeper and ask! There are significant savings (economies of scale) to be made by using one account for multiple Shopify stores. Typically these work on a per Google Analytics account basis, so be sure to keep all of your stores under one GA account.
Exporting data from tools that are used across all your stores makes it easy to combine and analyze data from a business perspective.
Actionable Analytics for Shopify Stores
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