When eCommerce businesses grow, they usually do not stop operating only one store within one market and selling only one limited product line. Moreover, marketing strategy may also require separately published information about one offer for different types of audiences.
For all these strategic business requirements there is one solution ー a multi-store eCommerce platform! While this does not affect your other products or consumers, the many storefronts concept gives you a unique platform to experiment. Additionally, having numerous shops increases brand visibility, traffic, and ultimately conversions for your business.
To successfully implement a business growth strategy, a chosen software is supposed to enable merchants:
- develop and administer multiple storefronts from a single admin area;
- support required business processes;
- integrate preferred eCommerce services.
It could be all but each multi-store eCommerce platform has its features and capabilities that may not work out for every merchant. For this reason, multi-store software will be further defined with benefits explained. Lastly, you will consider the 3 best multi-store eCommerce platforms that will enable you to expand your business.
Multi-store eCommerce platform explanation and its benefits
As the name implies, a multi-store eCommerce platform is a type of software that enables the creation of numerous storefronts that are all controlled by a single central admin area or database. It is comparable to having a network of online shops with a central switch that allows you to manage all of the shops from one location.
Advanced multi-store software typically includes features like built-in marketing tools, design templates, and integrations with payment gateways, logistical suppliers, tax management, etc.
It is also important to mention that there are self-hosted (SaaS) and open-source types of platforms. The former is more effective for solo and small businesses with severe limitations and a short span of products. The latter is the best fit for Enterprise eCommerce stores that have many product lines and/or huge amounts of resources.
Multi-store eCommerce benefits
The model of creating multiple stores for various goals has many benefits for most business processes, especially, Customer service, Marketing, and SEO. In the table below you can see all benefits in the case of Customer service, Marketing, and SEO.
Best Multi-store eCommerce solutions for your business
Now it is time to consider the 3 best multi-store eCommerce platforms that also provide many other features. Let’s have a look at them.
Type of platform: an open-source platform.
Multi-store feature: You may build one-of-a-kind or white-label online shops with nopCommerce for a variety of brands, goods, affiliate programs, B2B and B2C businesses, and more. Additionally, micro-stores for marketing campaigns can be swiftly launched. It can be all done effortlessly with a multi-store feature of nopCommerce that is free and out-of-the-box. Many other eCommerce solutions, even popular ones, provide this functionality in highly-priced subscriptions.
The most practical feature is that every online store uses the same database, allowing you to manage orders from various stores from a single admin interface and share catalog information between them. Customers from each shop may have unique and shared access and information that is assigned and managed by the owner, allowing them to sign in to all of your storefronts with the same credentials.
Each store's configuration for the following eCommerce functionalities can be different:
- categories and manufacturers;
- product data;
- content marketing (news, blogs, articles);
- payment methods;
- shipping options;
- tax calculation and exemption rules;
- product pricing;
- SMS and email marketing;
- order management;
- custom domain/URLs;
- edit HTML/CSS.
nopCommerce is a secure platform that is based on sustainable Microsoft technologies. It is compliant with the PCI DSS and supports GDPR, which means that payments and confidential information are protected. Alongside safety, nopCommerce is a scalable platform with a pluggable architecture.
Disadvantages of nopCommerce: due to the open-source nature of nopCommerce, technical skills are required to deploy an eCommerce store but there is a pre-installed version that may be easily downloaded and hosted, allowing non-technical people to build their own online stores. Moreover, if support is needed, merchants need to purchase premium support from nopCommerce core developers.
Type of platform: an open-source platform.
Multi-store feature: With Magento's Commerce, you may create many storefronts with the same domain or other domains, providing a multi-store eCommerce solution. Your themes can be modified, and your sub-stores can each have a separate catalog. There are several third-party extensions available that can assist you in controlling the various procedures in your multi-store scenario.
Disadvantages of nopCommerce: despite powerful functionality, Magento hosting becomes a problem when you have numerous stores, and you will have to pay extra to have a dedicated and fast server. To manage, operate, and maintain your numerous shops and to tune your server needs as your stores expand in size and quantity, you would also need expert developers.
Moreover, large amounts of data are replicated for each sub-store. With Magento implementing global multi-store solutions is challenging because it is still tough to add different currencies to various stores. The platform is known to have security difficulties, and the continuing maintenance charge is hefty. The platform is also notorious for having issues with large-scale enterprise solutions. Finally, there is not enough support from the Magento team.
However, many of these drawbacks of Magento can be solved by creating an eCommerce store with a paid version, Adobe Commerce Pro. This Enterprise solution does not have performance issues and is constantly supported by its team. It all comes with a high price of $22,000 to $100,000 per year.
Type of platform: an open-source eCommerce plugin for WordPress.
Multi-store feature: WooCommerce is a multi-store, open-source eCommerce system built on plugins for managing many stores for a business. You can deliver the same goods to many locations while managing the inventory of all your sub-stores from one admin panel. For diverse business purposes, you can integrate with a variety of different payment, marketing, logistics, or mailing applications using other commercial or free extensions.
You may readily find answers for practically all of your customization needs because the WooCommerce multi-store eCommerce platform is open-source and configurable. The platform is self-hosted, though, so you'll have to handle hosting, upgrades, and general upkeep.
Disadvantages of nopCommerce: to manage your different businesses and the adjustments required on various storefronts or backends, you would also need skilled developers who have worked with WordPress. Your IT team must devote a significant amount of effort to the coding and scripting plugins in order for the entire system to function properly.
It can be a challenge to apply alternative themes to your various stores because the adjustments are frequently sophisticated. Furthermore, the WooCommerce multi-store eCommerce platform lacks essential SEO capabilities.
Choosing a suitable multi-store eCommerce platform for your business
You have a better chance of growing with the multi-store eCommerce approach. It enables you to test out various company ideas with little work and no disruption to your current business operations.
In order to successfully adopt this approach, you'll need a dependable and feature-rich software solution that helps manage with ease and let you concentrate on business expansion. The provided list of platforms shows different ways of releasing a multi-store model, but each of them has a unique set of other features and capabilities.
By evaluating the best multi-store eCommerce platform for your business with the comprehensive information and comparison in this post, you will find the best solution for your eCommerce business.
It is believed that nopCommerce has a powerful multi-store eCommerce functionality with the ability to create many sub-stores that are managed from a single admin panel. Lastly, other Enterprise features are available to configure and use, which enables you to have an eCommerce solution your business requires.