The Simple Guide to Running Multiple Shopify Stores
Expanding your Shopify business can greatly boost your reach and growth potential. By launching multiple stores, you can cater to new markets and audiences, but this also means having to handle multiple sales channels, which can be overwhelming.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of setting up multiple Shopify stores to effectively scale your brand. Additionally, we will highlight some helpful tools to make managing multiple stores much easier.
Sounds good? Let’s jump in!
Why Launch Multiple Shopify Stores?
If you’re just starting your ecommerce journey, the idea of multiple shopify stores might seem crazy. Afterall, isn’t one shopify store already enough work to drive you insane?
Well, as your business grows, there’s several reasons why merchants might want to launch multiple Shopify stores. Let’s quickly cover the most common reasons why you might think about opening a second (or third, or fourth Shopify store):
1.Expand your business to a new region
If you have a successful online store and are looking to expand your reach, launching a new store in a different region may be a great option. See, this allows you to target a new audience and take advantage of regional market trends.
Creating a new store also gives you the opportunity to tailor your customer’s shopping experience more tightly. For example, fashion brand H&M has different webshops for different markets around the world.
This allows H&M to promote summer clothing on the Australian website (left), while at the same time they promote winter clothing on their Swedish website (right). Pretty cool, right?
If you're a running a t-shirt store or apparel business, you can use this kind of segmentation to help you present more relevant offers no matter what the season.
2. Target a New Audience
You may have different target audiences for different products or services you offer. By launching multiple Shopify stores, you can create a tailored experience for each audience and increase your chances of success.
For example, check out how flat-pack furniture giant IKEA presents two different homepages on their websites for the Swedish market (top) and the UAE market (bottom)
For Swedish visitors, Ikea showcases Christmas time and products associated with the holiday. However, in the UAE, Christmas is not universally celebrated. Instead, they’re promoting more relevant outdoor furniture.
Another way that we’ve seen merchants target new audiences is by launching a wholesale version of their existing store. This allows other retailers to buy larger quantities of your products at industry prices and resell it themselves.
3. Build an Outlet Store
Another reason to launch another Shopify store is to create an outlet store. An outlet store lets you sell overstocked or end-of-season products at discounted prices. They help you clear out inventory and increase sales while also allowing customers to get a great deal.
For example, I regularly shop on GAP factory (don’t judge) where I can pick up last season's clothes often for up to 60% off.
One thing to be aware of when opening an outlet store is that you don’t actually end up cannibalizing sales from your primary store.
I’m sure GAP still makes a healthy profit on my purchases. However, I pretty much never buy from their original shop anymore. So, ensure you run the numbers closely to ensure it’ll be more profitable in the long run.
4. Separate Product Lines
If you offer different product lines, you may want to create separate stores for each line.
This allows you to present each line in the best light possible and make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for.
For example, health company hers provide e-pharmacy and treatments for various medications that are specific to women such as birth control, haircare and more.
They also provide treatments for men, however in order to keep their marketing messages as sharp as possible, they separated out their product lines into another store for men’s issues called hims.
If you currently have a product line that cross-over multiple audiences, opening multiple shopify stores for each one can help you tailor your marketing and deliver a more compelling offer.
5. Tax planning & legal compliance
Depending on where you’re looking to expand, it may make sense to operate a new storefront as a separate legal entity for tax and compliance reasons.
Governments around the world have different corporate laws and requirements. For example, If you’re based in North America, and you expand to Europe, you may be liable to different pay taxes in the country where your customers are located.
Even if you aren’t required to pay taxes in the region where you’re selling, it may (depending on various circumstances) actually make more sense to do so. Again, all of this is hypothetical, so please seek legal advice from a tax attorney. This blog post will not stand as evidence in an international trial for tax evasion.
The Challenges of Running Multiple Shopify Stores (& How to Overcome them)
While launching multiple Shopify stores can have many benefits, there are also some challenges that come along with it. The biggest issue that merchants run into is increased operational complexity. Here’s what that looks like in practice:
1. Staying on top of separate order streams
Managing orders and inventory across multiple warehouses or 3PLs can be quite the challenge. It’s not hard for your stock management to go awry or to have difficulties in terms of order fulfillment and returns.
But, don't worry! Investing in a centralized order management system can make things much easier. A centralized order management system is like having an extra set of hands to help with all the work. When looking for the right system, here are some key features to keep an eye out for:
- Regular syncing of inventory levels
- Automated rules for distributing inventory across your stores and sales channels
- The ability to aggregate and distribute orders to your fulfillment partners
- Order fulfillment from multiple nodes with easy syncing back to the main source.
Shopify Plus is a decent option here as it allows you to leverage Shopify’s OMS and the Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN).
SFN is a third-party logistics solution that natively integrates with the Shopify OMS. You'll have your order management system updated with accurate stock levels at each strategically located fulfillment center.
Other good options to explore are:
By having a system that handles the above tasks, you can stop stressing about muck ups and focus your energy on growing your newly opened additional stores!
2. Dealing with more support tickets
Keeping track of customer support tickets across multiple stores can be a bit overwhelming. And, if you're selling internationally, it can get even trickier to provide localized customer support.
So, having a customer support system that works seamlessly across all your websites can be a lifesaver. It’ll keep your team organized and ensure that no support ticket goes unnoticed.
By having a cohesive system in place, you'll avoid any confusion within your customer support team, which leads to a better shopping experience for your customers. And, as we know, a positive experience often leads to increased customer loyalty and retention.
There are plenty of customer support help desks available, but one we particularly like is Grogias. Gorgias is purpose built for Shopify and it integrates with lots of other apps for shipping, returns, and other important functions that can make (or break) customer retention.
3. Adding and updating many catalog items
Managing product information across multiple Shopify stores can be a real headache. Different structures, disorganized data, and inaccuracies are just some of the challenges you might face.
But a solid product information management system can make things much easier. With a PIM system, you can centralize all your product data in one place.
This means you can standardize and keep your data clean and up-to-date across all your stores. The PIM system tracks all your important product information, and distributes it effectively to your channels.
That means you’ll get consistent, up-to-date product information across all your Shopify stores. No more confusion or inaccuracies, just unified information that's updated in real-time.
There’s several PIMs that integrate well with Shopify. One of the most widely used by merchants is Jasper PIM which is worth checking out if you need a solution to centralize all your product information.
4. Not tailoring the experience across your stores
Expanding your reach to new markets is exciting, but it's important to make sure each of your stores caters to the unique audience it's targeting.
For example, check out how Patagonia’s home page and suggested product collections change based on where the customer is located. Here’s Australia’s home page
Now compare that to the homepage for most European countries at the same time - we see that they’re promoting ski gear and winter wear to these shoppers.
What’s more is you can see there’s a difference in marketing strategy too - see their magazine 'Roaring Journals’ linked in the navigation of the Australian store, but not on the EU store.
So, it’s wise to customize your website content, offers, and even design to best appeal to your intended audience.
Try experimenting with different offers to see which ones perform best, and do some location-specific keyword research to understand the buying habits of your new audience.
With a little bit of fine-tuning, you'll be able to tailor your stores and create a personalized shopping experience for each of your target markets.
The Best Apps For Multiple Shopify Stores
When it comes to running multiple Shopify stores, Notorious BIG said it best when he said; “mo stores, mo problems”. Indeed, running multiple stores can be tricky. But thankfully there are a bunch of apps that’ll help take the weight off your shoulders.
1. DelightChat - Customer Service & Sales
Delight Chat is a powerful tool that can help Shopify merchants who run multiple stores streamline their customer service process. It allows you to manage all of your customer support inquiries from a centralized platform, making it easier for your team to stay organized and on top of things.
With Delight Chat, you can handle customer support requests from multiple channels and across multiple stores, all from one place. This helps to prevent support tickets from falling through the cracks and ensures that your customers receive a consistent and high-quality support experience, no matter which store they reach out to.
Additionally, Delight Chat comes equipped with features like AI-powered chatbots, real-time analytics, and personalized conversation triggers, which can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your customer service operation.
2. Report Pundit - Reporting
With multiple stores, it can be a challenge to keep track of all the data and ensure that your business is running efficiently. That's where Report Pundit comes in.
This powerful tool provides merchants with in-depth, actionable insights into their sales and performance, giving them a clear understanding of what's working and what's not.
With Report Pundit, you can easily see a comparison of sales across your different stores, monitor your key performance indicators, and gain a better understanding of your customer behavior. This information can help you make informed decisions that drive growth and success for your business.
So if you're a Shopify merchant with multiple stores, consider adding Report Pundit. It's a tool that can make a big difference in your business and help you scale your brand with ease.
3. EComposer - Landing Page Builder
EComposer Page Builder is a well-known solution for merchants to create, develop and enhance their Shopify store pages. It’s a simpler and more intuitive solution than many of its competitors.
EComposer helps you save time and effort when it comes to managing multiple online stores by allowing you to create templates, which can be effortlessly duplicated for each new site you open.
With EComposer, you also have access to a variety of tools to drive conversions, such as video embeds, carousels, forms, tabs, and much more.
4.Vela - Content Management & Bulk Edit
With Vela, you can manage all your product information in one central location, making it easy to update your products across all your stores in just a few clicks. No more jumping from one store to another, trying to make sure all your information is up-to-date.
Vela also allows you to bulk edit your products, saving you tons of time compared to manually editing each product one by one. And if you need to make changes to your product descriptions, images, or any other details, you can do it all from one central location, making the process super efficient.
5. Syncio - Inventory Management
Syncio Multi Store Sync is a great tool for merchants who are managing multiple Shopify stores. It helps simplify the process of managing multiple stores by allowing you to sync and transfer data between stores easily.
You can easily update product information, customer information, and other data in real-time across all of your stores, without having to manually update each one individually.
This saves you time and effort and helps ensure that your data is consistent across all of your stores. With Syncio Multi Store Sync, you can focus on growing your business and leave the hassle of managing multiple stores behind.
6. Langify - Store Translation
If you're operating multiple stores across different languages, Lagify will help you translate your site while keeping everything in sync across your different stores. Whether you want to translate your products, pages, blog posts, or anything else, Langify makes it simple and straightforward.
7. Katana - Manufacturing ERP
If you're running multiple Shopify stores and are looking for ways to streamline your manufacturing processes, then Katana manufacturing ERP could be the solution for you.
This software can help you manage all aspects of your manufacturing operations, from order management to production and shipping.
With features like real-time inventory updates, demand forecasting, and production scheduling, you can easily keep track of your manufacturing processes across all of your stores.
Plus, the intuitive interface and user-friendly design make it easy to implement and use, so you can get up and running quickly and efficiently.
If you're a Shopify merchant with multiple stores, ReWind Backups can be a lifesaver for you. With ReWind, you can easily back up all your stores in one place and have peace of mind knowing your data is secure.
In the event of any issues, you can quickly restore your stores to a previous version with just a few clicks. ReWind also provides automatic backups, so you never have to worry about manually backing up your stores again.
Go Forth & Open Multiple Shopify Stores!
Expanding your brand through multiple Shopify stores can be a game-changer. While it may seem daunting at first, with a bit of learning, the setup process is straightforward.
Managing multiple stores can present some challenges, but with the right strategies and tools, it's manageable.
By keeping the advice we’ve outlined above in mind, you'll find success with minimal stress. So, roll up those sleeves, open more stores and get ready to reap the rewards of your hard work!
Multiple Shopify Stores FAQ
Ok now that you know the benefits of opening multiple Shopify stores, some of the challenges you may face, and the apps you'll need, let’s cover some of the most common questions we’ve been asked.
Can I have multiple Shopify stores on one account?
The answer is yes. However the basic, regular, and advanced Shopify plans do not allow you to have multiple Shopify stores on one account.
The only way to have multiple stores under a single account is to upgrade to Shopify Plus.
Shopify Plus is designed for medium to large businesses with high traffic and is more expensive, with a monthly fee of $2,000 and an additional $250 per month for each additional store beyond your first nine extensions.l.
So, if you're not a scaling medium size business or larger with the resources to invest in Shopify Plus, you won't be able to manage multiple Shopify stores from one account.
However if you do fit the above criteria and can afford to spend $2,000/mo on your ecommerce solution, then Shopify Plus is a great move to help you expand, with many other advantages to boot.
Can I have multiple domains on Shopify?
Yes, you can have multiple domains associated with a single Shopify store. You can add new domains, redirect existing domains, or even set up domain aliases.
To set up multiple domains, you can purchase domain names from a domain registrar and then link them to your Shopify store using custom domains.
On Shopify, you’re allowed to have one primary domain. Then you can add up to 10 subdomains on regular plans - and up to 1,000 on Shopify Plus.
This allows you to have multiple websites that point to the same Shopify store, making it easier to manage multiple sites and create a unified brand experience.
However, note that having multiple domains is not the same as having multiple Shopify stores. Having multiple domains is merely a wider net to bring more people to one store.
How much does it cost to open multiple Shopify stores?
To open multiple Shopify stores, you will need to subscribe to the Shopify Plus plan. This plan is designed for larger businesses with high levels of traffic and offers unlimited stores as part of the package.
As mentioned above, the base cost of Shopify Plus is $2,000 per month, and there is an additional fee of $250 per month for each additional store beyond your first nine stores.
Keep in mind that the cost of Shopify Plus may vary based on the specific needs and requirements of your business, so it's best to reach out to Shopify for a custom quote.
Also, don’t forget to factor in the cost of apps, custom development, paid themes, staff costs and other expenses before you commit to opening a second store.
How can I open multiple Shopify stores?
Opening multiple Shopify stores is easy - but there’s two ways to go about it depending on what you want to achieve.
The first way to open multiple stores is by simply creating more accounts on one of Shopify’s regular plans - Basic, Shopify and Advanced (i.e. any plan that’s not Shopify Plus).
When creating new stores on a standard payment plan you can use the same email address to keep all your Shopify communication and account management in the one place.
You can even log into all your stores with the same details and switch between them using the store switcher in your Shopify Admin. However, you won’t be able to centralize much of your data as if you’d used Shopify Plus - although there are many apps that can help - more on that in a minute.
The second method is by using Shopify Plus. As discussed earlier, Shopify Plus is an enterprise solution that’ll allow you to open as many separate stores as you like (with a fee of $250 per store beyond the first nine.)
While it costs $2,000 per month at the time of writing, Shopify Plus opens up a host of advanced features that’ll help you manage multiple stores more effectively and reduce headaches down the line.