Multiple eCommerce Stores: Why and How
Many of our Centralized Inventory Management (eretail.bizelo.com/inventory) users have not just one, but multiple eCommerce stores. Many times, these are multiple online stores hosted on the same platform, such as with Shopify, Magento, or Etsy. Why would a store owner want to have multiple online stores, especially ones that share the same items? And how do you go about setting up those stores in the Bizelo eRetail Centralized Inventory Management (CIM) system so that they can all share the same pool of inventory and update each other as inventory quantities change?
Multiple Stores, Same Items, Same Platform
There are a few reasons why an online retailer might want to have multiple online stores featuring the same items and on the same e-commerce platform:
- Different Language Stores: The most common is that the retailer sells the same products in different countries and in different languages. If you have a store that’s in English, it probably won’t do much to help you with your Japanese or French customers. Many retailers will set up different stores, each with a different look and feel, and with products with descriptions, names, and other details in the specific language of choice. As long as the Item SKUs (Stock keeping units — or other words, identifying codes) are the same in each of the stores, then Bizelo knows tthat those items are the same on the different sites and can manage their quantities together despite the fact that their names and descriptions are different.
- Different Target Market Stores: Another reason why a company might set up multiple online storefronts for the same items is that they might be targeting different markets for the same products. For example, an office supply company might have one site for their commercial clients and others for their educational, governmental, and individual customers. In this case, the names and descriptions of the products will most likely be the same, but they will simply be displayed in a different look and feel on the site and be grouped together in different ways. Just like the above case, as long as the SKUs are the same, Bizelo will be able to manage all these products together and have them share their inventory quantities.
- Different Stores for Different Collections of Items: Other online retailers set up different stores because they want to offer their items in different collections to different groups of customers. For example, a pet supplies retailer might want to have sites targeted for dog owners, cat owners, and a general pet supply shop. These shops would each share some of the items from the other shops while maintaining some distinct items per shop. Bizelo would store all the items in all the shops and manage inventory for those items shared across different shops.
- Different Stores to Maximize Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Other store owners set up shops that contain the exact same items and target the same markets, but offer different domain names, landing pages, marketing and descriptions so that they can maximize their traction on search engines and in different audiences. In this case, the items would be managed as a single shared inventory pool even though there would be multiple storefronts on the same platform.
Multiple Stores, Same Items, Different Platforms
Online retailers might also want to set up multiple stores for the same items on different e-commerce platforms. For example, they might have a Magento store to service their business partners and wholesale customers, while they might use a Shopify store for their retail consumer customers. Or, they might set up an Etsy store to take advantage of the Etsy marketplace while also running a Shopify store for the general public. Bizelo lets you set these stores up quite easily, managing inventory across these different platforms as if they were on the same platform. It works simply and simply works!
Multiple Stores, Different Items
Some retailers might want to set up multiple stores that each carry different products. In this case, there is no inventory being shared amongst the stores. While Bizelo does allow you to set up individual inventory pools, the system groups all the inventory together and manages these as a single set. In this case, if you want to manage your inventory separately without any sharing between your various storefronts, then you will need to setup multiple subscriptions in Bizelo, each under a different company name. This is because when orders come in from Etsy, Shopify, or Magento, we associate the orders with a single subscription, and then post the orders to a single order dashboard with the single list of inventory items. This works best when inventory is shared amongst stores, and is why you’d want to have centralized inventory management in the first place.
Setting it up in Bizelo
Bizelo makes it easy to set up multiple stores that share the same or a set of inventory items, whether or not those stores are on the same platform or on different supported platforms. To add a new store, simply click on the Stores tab and then on the Add Store. You can then choose what e-commerce platform (if any) is used by that store, and also determine whether it should have its own allocated pool of inventory (from the total set that’s in the Bizelo system) or be shared with other Stores. For more details on shared vs. allocated pools, check out the FAQ here.
Below is a particularly complex setup of multiple stores and allocated and shared inventory pools that’s possible with our $24.95 a month Centralized Inventory Management platform:
In the above example, we have a Shopify store that shares an inventory set with two separate Magento stores and a Cartkeeper store. We then have a Retail outlet that has its own allocated set of inventory from the same full inventory list, and another retail outlet that is shared with that so that whenever the inventory quantity in the Retail pool is updated, it’s updated at the outlet. We then have an Etsy store that has its own allocated set of inventory from amongst all the inventory available in Bizelo and quantities that are changed there do not adjust the quantities available in the other stores. This is just one complex example, but you can set it up so that any number of stores shares inventory in any number of ways with the other stores. Yet another example of how Bizelo makes it work simply and simply works to give you what you need to manage your inventory in a centralized way.