Building your empire is a tall task. Which is why we released multi-store support to Engagement Cloud this year to make that task feel a bit more manageable. In addition, we thought we’d pick the brains of some of our solution partner businesses to share some helpful expertise with you on the subject. Laura Quereshi of Overdose Digital, Louis Thompson of Eastside Co, Ben Homer of Swanky, and Piers Thorogood of We Make Websites each take you through some of the considerations to keep in mind as your business takes on the world.
Why would brands choose to have multiple storefronts? And what are some of the considerations around these?
Laura Qureshi: “The main reasons for multi-support we encounter are driven by geography. Merchants have local presence in countries that impact different things such as local inventory and dispatch, language differences, the seasonality of a product (especially with for clothing/footwear brands), and finally local currency. Customers generally feel a higher comfort when shopping in their own currency, and we find across the board this impacts conversion rate for our multi-storefront retailers. It also allows greater control for price set and less risk with currency conversion rates.”
Louis Thompson: “Having multiple stores allows you to heavily personalize the experience for not only each location but also each customer that visits, as well as offering multiple benefits for the business. For example, you could have a pair of Nike trainers selling in the UK for £120 and you also want to sell these trainers in the US. Using a currency converter, you would likely end up pricing the trainers for around $156. If this is significantly higher than your competitors, your sales will naturally be impacted. To be a cross-border competitor, you will have to manually adjust your conversion rates to get the pricing right or, create a separate storefront where you can manage location-specific pricing directly.
“As well as currency, there’s also location specific merchandising to consider. You may want (or need) to adjust your product range or product presentation by location. In some cases, licensing and location-specific laws may prevent you from selling certain products.
“Finally, the language of the location you’re selling to can be incredibly impactful. This is not just for SEO, where you’ll acquire new customers. Ensuring you have properly translated, truly localized content has benefits way beyond just giving a significantly better user experience. It can help your organic traffic grow exponentially, increase your conversion rates, and allow you to compete much more effectively in local marketing.”
Piers Thorogood: “Once you commit to a fully localized experience you’ll see massive conversion gains. If you’re serious about selling into a new geographic market, you need a storefront that is fully localized. That means, a local domain, local language, local currency, localized content, merchandising that accounts for local preferences, local regulation, and much more.
“Another reason would be to serve different types of customer, for example, B2C and B2B. The functionality requirements for a B2B store can be very different to a B2C store (although they’re converging more and more), so having a separate storefront to cater for them is often a must.”
Ben Homer: “The multi-store method is often the most appropriate for a merchants who need to be able to serve a specific price for a separate currency. It’s also applicable to a lot of B2B businesses conscious about competing with distributors in that region. Say you’re a UK business with a German distributor, for example. If you also want to be able to sell in euros through your D2C store, you need to match the price of the distributor specifically, not rely on the conversion rate as multi-currency does.
“Having multiple storefronts will also allow you to fully localize the user experience and tailor content to a region-specific customer. A classic example is spelling ‘pyjamas’ with a ‘y’ on a UK storefront and spelling it with an ‘a’ on a US. The ability to do this kind of thing is limited on a single Shopify store, for example, changing the URL to the correct spelling as well. This approach also has SEO benefits, helping your local organic ranking.”
How will Engagement Cloud’s multi-store support affect the outcomes of your customers?
LQ: “Multi-store support in Engagement Cloud is a massive contributor to the success of the merchant, and an added layer of support to agencies. The majority of our Shopify Plus projects are platform migrations and 80% of them involve multi-store fronts. Any ability to not only collate data together and streamline the process is a help with agencies, partners and clients.”
LT: “One of the major elements in any business is data. Collection of that data is just one side of the coin and the other (possibly more important) side is how you then utilize that data. When you have multiple stores, the collection and segmentation of that data can become difficult, especially if you are required to have multiple, separate accounts that don’t communicate with each other. Having a single pool of data that is segmented by country, but can also cross-pollinate to give greater insight into all user behavior, allowing you to improve your marketing and communication efforts without significant extra resource or effort.”
PT: “Having a single view of data across multiple stores is massively important for any e-com marketing team and dotdigital Engagement Cloud’s multi-store support give you exactly that. I’d expect this new feature to help massively with re-platforming too, since you can treat your new website as another store as you transition over.”
BH: “Data is the highest value commodity on the planet, so better data equals potential better commercials. You get better insights when you have a single customer view. The more you can understand about the customer, the more you can engage with them in a way that is helpful all round. That’s a huge way that dotdigital’s support for multi-store will open up more avenues to revenue.”
With thanks to our solution partner contributors for this blog. You can find out more about them below.
An anti-agency focused on strategically mapping business goals to tangible outcomes through unique and disruptive strategies.
Founded in 2009, We Make Websites are a digital commerce agency with offices in London and New York, who design, develop and optimize best-in-class Shopify Plus websites for international brands.
Swanky is a leading end-to-end ecommerce agency, with offices in the UK and Australia and one of the first three agencies in Europe to be awarded the ‘Shopify Plus Experts’ accreditation.