Once your e-commerce business starts growing, it makes sense to have more than one Shopify store for your expanding range of products and regional markets.
You can have multiple stores under one domain name as long as you’re up to the challenge of managing them.
Operating several Shopify stores can get overwhelming quickly, so I’ve gathered a list of best-practices to follow so you can run your multi-store business with confidence.
If you’re ready to start running multiple Shopify stores right now, click here to jump down to the steps.
Can You Have Multiple Shopify Stores?
Yep! If you run a small business, it may make sense to sell only through a single online store. One of the best things about Shopify is that you can start from a small one-region store, and once you’ve grown your business you can expand to multiple Shopify stores.
Can You Have Multiple Shopify Stores On One Account?
You can’t have multiple Shopify stores under one account, but Shopify permits and supports owning multiple accounts as needed to operate multiple stores. You need to set up accounts for each new store, managing inventory for each through their own Shopify accounts.
Thanks to Shopify’s flexibility, you can create multiple Shopify stores under the same email address, each with different plans as needed.
This allows you to have all of your communications sent to the same place.
However, you’ll need to log in to each account separately.
Why You Should Consider Building Multiple Shopify Stores
There are several cases in which it’s worth the time and effort for e-commerce brands to run multiple Shopify stores.
The biggest mistake ecommerce stores make when they start selling internationally is to assume that people from other countries will buy the same things as people in their own country.
This is not the case, and you need to consider how shopping habits, consumer needs, and lifestyle issues differ among people in other countries.
Having a separate Shopify store for each country is a great way to make sure your website and your offering are localized for each target audience.
One of the great things about using Shopify stores is that you can set up each one for any market that you’re interested in.
For example, if you’re selling products in the UK, you can have your store feature regionally-exclusive products and all prices will be in UK pounds.
Targeting Different Portions Of Your Audience
When you have a Shopify store that sells a variety of products, you may want to create different stores for each of your customer segments.
For example, if you sell health supplements, you may want to create a store for people who are interested in bodybuilding & fitness supplements and a different store for people who are interested in alternative remedies & Eastern medicine.
You can use a sub domain that delineates each store while keeping them all under your primary domain’s umbrella.
Outletting And Sub-Branding
If you have a large amount of inventory across your shops, you might want to offer a deep discount in order to get rid of it.
When you launch a discount on your main store, you’re devaluing your brand.
You can also create a sub-brand on a different Shopify store as an outlet for lower-quality or more affordable products so you can reach new customers without compromising your brand.
This will help you to reach your retail goals and continue to expand your brand without compromising your quality.
Common Challenges With Managing Multiple Shopify Stores
Although having multiple stores for multiple locations may seem like a great idea, there are several reasons it can become a headache for your business.
This can be a difficult process to manage and will make your business more vulnerable to security threats.
If you’re a small business then you can probably handle the data and structure for just one site.
But as you grow and start to diversify your offerings, you’ll quickly see how product data becomes messy.
It’s important to structure your product range data in a way that makes sense across all the different online stores you’re selling your products in.
If you do this correctly and use Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see which sales channels are performing better in different countries and see how they’re split between different product lines.
If you sell some products on both sites, you’ll have to update inventory as customers buy and return items to both Shopify stores.
This is frustrating for customers when they’re trying to buy something from one store but find out you’ve sold out of it on the other site.
When you have multiple Shopify stores all in the same warehouse, it can be a nightmare to accurately manage inventory and multiorders.
If you follow my advice below, you can avoid these common headaches and pitfalls with managing multiple stores and keep your ecommerce business running smoothly.
How To Set Up And Manage Multiple Shopify Stores
- Create And Configure Each Store
- Optimize Each Store For Search
- Install A Real-Time Inventory Management System
- Get A Product Information Management System (PIMS)
- Create A Central Order Management System
- Consolidate Your Customer Service
- Explore Other App Solutions
1. Create And Configure Each Store
If you don’t have any stores on Shopify yet, you can follow this official guide to get started.
Setting up each subsequent store follows the same process—I recommend using the same email address for each store to keep communications all in one place.
You can filter your email inbox by each store to keep them organized.
2. Optimize Each Store For Search
If you sell your products to customers in different countries, you’ll need to optimize each store to make it relevant to the audience it’s targeting.
For example, if your target market is North America, you’ll need to optimize one store for the USA market and another one for our Canadian friends.
Each of your major markets will be searching for different products meaning your stores won’t use all of the same sales keywords and blog subjects.
You can use local keywords to ensure your website is finding more success in its region.
Installing Google Analytics separately for each shop will help you understand that region’s consumer trends.
You could also use country-specific offers, deals, and local service pages to increase the chances of people finding the right store for them.
3. Install A Real-Time Inventory Management System
It’s important to have inventory management software in place that will allow you to keep track of your stock levels.
This helps you keep an eye on demand and ensures you always have enough product on hand to meet your customers’ needs.
You can use popular Shopify apps like Stock Sync to get low-inventory alerts and automatic updates as frequently as once per hour.
You can feed this data to your site to give customers visibility into your inventory.
Your customers will appreciate knowing that you always have enough to sell them as well as having the ability to quickly see which products are in stock, and which ones aren’t.
That enhanced visibility can even result in more sales as customers feel the pressure to purchase products that sell out quickly.
4. Get A Product Information Management System (PIMS)
Sometimes when you make multiple Shopify stores and you’re trying to keep track of different SKUs, you’ll get confused as to which products are which in each store.
Getting your product information in order can be very difficult. First of all, you have to know which products need to go where.
If you have all of your multiple stores’ products in one warehouse, how does your order fulfillment team know where to look for them?
You need tools to manage this information.
A PIMS manages product information in one centralized place for your e-commerce business.
It then distributes, updates, and presents that information across all your shops, resulting in unified information that’s updated in real-time regardless of how you present product info in each shop.
5. Create A Central Order Management System
When you’re managing orders from multiple stores it can be a pain to keep track of all of the information.
Centralizing your order management makes it easy to manage multi-store purchases and returns.
With a Shopify app like ShipHero you can easily pull in all of your customer data, including shipping information, refunds, and more.
6. Consolidate Your Customer Service
Having a unified customer support system allows you to keep all your customer queries and order information in one convenient spot.
It also allows you to track customer feedback data and incorporate it into your product development process.
To keep track of customer support tickets across multiple stores, you can use either email or a ticketing system like Zendesk.
Zendesk is a popular ticketing system that’s easy to learn.
By implementing such a system, you’ll be able to improve your staff communications and provide an improved customer experience, which will lead to increased customer retention.
7. Explore Other App Solutions
There are loads of officially-supported Shopify apps to make your multi-store experience easier.
For example, apps like Rewind Copy (found here) help you backup and duplicate content in your shop.
Check out the Shopify app store to find more helpful tools to run your operation more efficiently and improve your customer shopping experience.