5 Tips for Running a Successful Multi-Store Site

by Kirk Madera

Engineers reusable modular solutions to maintain environments and deployment strategies across teams. Works for food.

In today's ever-shrinking world, many companies need to operate multi-store websites. Selling internationally, diversifying brands and targeting different buyer groups -- be it full-retail e-commerce versus outlet shoppers or B2B and B2C -- can benefit from a multi-store website. However, running several websites successfully is another matter altogether. There are five things you will need to remember to do it right.

1. Analytics and Reporting

Selling products on a multi-store website often makes inventory complicated. You have several sites feeding out of the same inventory system, and makes fulfillment and returns tricky. Save your sanity by centralizing your order management system. "If you centralize where you fulfill orders, you can more easily manage orders across all of your sites. You'll want to keep fulfillment, returns, customer care, and drop shipping processes consistent," explains NChannel. "The best way to do is to push order data to a centralized system that is capable of managing orders across all of your sales channels."

2. Multiple Locales

Managing websites in multiple locations can mean dealing with different languages and currencies. Currencies shift throughout the day, and translating your web content to other languages involves more than a simple translation. Some words and phrases may take on a dissimilar, possibly negative, meaning if you translate verbatim. You need a system in place to handle all of it, and you have to integrate your multiple sales locations with your various warehouse locations. Depending on customer location, shipping and processing times will vary, both potentially because of transportation speeds and customs issues.

3. Pricing

Handling multiple sites also means managing an assortment of prices. Your business clients may enjoy discounts to which your retail customers are not privy, while your products in one country may be priced higher or lower than another, even after adjusting for currency changes. Take the time to research competitors and make sure your offerings are comparable in each market. You also need to identify your target customers in each market and align your pricing to appeal to them.

4. Merchandising

When you sell to a variety of customers, whether in different countries or B2B versus B2C, your product data needs to be structured differently. Business customers need different information than direct consumers, while the way people refer to fabrics and measurements vary by the country. It all makes sense when you are setting up a product in the system, but it still requires additional data entry, and should anything change, it means there are extra records to update.

5. Operations

When you have a multi-store website, integrating your operations systems, such as your point-of-sale (POS) system, becomes more complicated because you have several sites feeding into the same system. Spend time with a developer to make sure your systems work together and integrate throughout your operations. You will save yourself headaches later and ensure your inventory data and other information stay up to date.

Managing a multi-store website is easier when you use a self-hosted e-commerce product like Magento, but customizing it to your online needs takes programming experience and development know-how. Proper Magento development can make setting up your sites simple, and the right developer will make sure your goals for each brand are reflected in the design. Robofirm makes it easy. Contact us today to learn more.

5 Tips for Running a Successful Multi-Store Site

5 Tips for Running a Successful Multi-Store Site

by Kirk Madera

Engineers reusable modular solutions to maintain environments and deployment strategies across teams. Works for food.

In today's ever-shrinking world, many companies need to operate multi-store websites. Selling internationally, diversifying brands and targeting different buyer groups -- be it full-retail e-commerce versus outlet shoppers or B2B and B2C -- can benefit from a multi-store website. However, running several websites successfully is another matter altogether. There are five things you will need to remember to do it right.

1. Analytics and Reporting

Selling products on a multi-store website often makes inventory complicated. You have several sites feeding out of the same inventory system, and makes fulfillment and returns tricky. Save your sanity by centralizing your order management system. "If you centralize where you fulfill orders, you can more easily manage orders across all of your sites. You'll want to keep fulfillment, returns, customer care, and drop shipping processes consistent," explains NChannel. "The best way to do is to push order data to a centralized system that is capable of managing orders across all of your sales channels."

2. Multiple Locales

Managing websites in multiple locations can mean dealing with different languages and currencies. Currencies shift throughout the day, and translating your web content to other languages involves more than a simple translation. Some words and phrases may take on a dissimilar, possibly negative, meaning if you translate verbatim. You need a system in place to handle all of it, and you have to integrate your multiple sales locations with your various warehouse locations. Depending on customer location, shipping and processing times will vary, both potentially because of transportation speeds and customs issues.

3. Pricing

Handling multiple sites also means managing an assortment of prices. Your business clients may enjoy discounts to which your retail customers are not privy, while your products in one country may be priced higher or lower than another, even after adjusting for currency changes. Take the time to research competitors and make sure your offerings are comparable in each market. You also need to identify your target customers in each market and align your pricing to appeal to them.

4. Merchandising

When you sell to a variety of customers, whether in different countries or B2B versus B2C, your product data needs to be structured differently. Business customers need different information than direct consumers, while the way people refer to fabrics and measurements vary by the country. It all makes sense when you are setting up a product in the system, but it still requires additional data entry, and should anything change, it means there are extra records to update.

5. Operations

When you have a multi-store website, integrating your operations systems, such as your point-of-sale (POS) system, becomes more complicated because you have several sites feeding into the same system. Spend time with a developer to make sure your systems work together and integrate throughout your operations. You will save yourself headaches later and ensure your inventory data and other information stay up to date.

Managing a multi-store website is easier when you use a self-hosted e-commerce product like Magento, but customizing it to your online needs takes programming experience and development know-how. Proper Magento development can make setting up your sites simple, and the right developer will make sure your goals for each brand are reflected in the design. Robofirm makes it easy. Contact us today to learn more.