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1. The growth of ecommerce and the need to diversify

BigCommerce multi-store: How to set up multiple storefronts

So, you're thinking about expanding your ecommerce game? Awesome move. Picture this: multiple online storefronts, each with its own vibe, all working for you. Sounds good, right? 

That's where BigCommerce steps in. It's like that handy tool in your back pocket, making the whole "multiple storefronts" thing a breeze. We're about to dive deep into how to set it all up, but don't worry - think of this as a friendly guide showing you the ropes. Ready? Let's get started.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • The benefits of multiple storefronts include targeted marketing, diversified product ranges, better risk management, and enhanced branding opportunities.

  • BigCommerce is a robust ecommerce platform particularly suited for businesses looking to manage multiple storefronts.

  • Unique features of BigCommerce for multi-store setups include seamless integration, unified inventory management, customizable storefronts, strong support, and SEO advantages.

  • Setting up multiple storefronts requires steps such as pre-setup considerations, setting up a primary store, integrating additional storefronts, customizing each storefront, and managing them efficiently.

  • Challenges with managing multiple storefronts can arise in areas like inventory management, branding, scaling operations, and customer service, but solutions exist for each.

  • The Gelato platform can supercharge a BigCommerce presence by allowing businesses to produce products locally in 32 countries, complementing a multi-storefront strategy.

The growth of ecommerce and the need to diversify

Have you noticed the digital world buzzing a little louder lately? That's the sound of ecommerce growing at a pace we've never seen before. From small boutiques to gigantic virtual malls, businesses are quickly realizing the vast potential online shopping offers.

Now, while having a singular online presence is cool, diversifying is the new mantra. Imagine running multiple shops at once, each catering to a different audience. Sounds intriguing? That's because it is! By spreading out into multiple storefronts, you’re not just selling; you're building unique experiences for a wider audience. Stick around, and we'll dive into the incredible perks of having more than one digital storefront in today's bustling online market. Excited? We sure are!


Why consider multiple storefronts?

Alright, let's get into the nitty-gritty. Why would someone want more than one online store? I mean, isn't one enough? Well, not always. Let me break it down for you:

Targeted marketing

Ever tried finding that perfect gift for a friend who's super into, let's say, vintage comics? Now imagine a whole store dedicated to just that. By having specialized storefronts, you can effectively reach niche audiences. It's like having multiple arrows in your quiver, each perfectly designed for a specific target.

Diversified product ranges

Think about those giant department stores. One section's got shoes, another has tech gadgets, and somewhere there's a corner just for gourmet chocolates. Just as they don't mix running shoes with truffles, sometimes it's better for us to keep certain products in separate stores, ensuring each product range shines in its own light.

Better risk management

Alright, economics 101 time! By diversifying across markets, you're not putting all your eggs in one basket. If one store faces a downturn (maybe neon-colored hats go out of fashion?), your other stores can still thrive, giving you a safety net.

Enhanced branding opportunities

Imagine being a storyteller, but instead of words, you're using products, themes, and designs. Each store can tell a different tale, allowing you to craft unique brand stories for different audiences across social media channels. From edgy urban chic to nostalgic vintage vibes, the world is your oyster.

So, when you think about it, the question isn't why you'd consider multiple storefronts, but rather, why wouldn't you?

The rise of BigCommerce

At its core, BigCommerce is like that trusty toolbox you keep in the garage – but for ecommerce. It's a platform, like Shopify, that lets businesses, both big and small, set up their online stores. From dazzling product displays to secure checkouts, BigCommerce has got it all covered.

Unique benefits for multi-store setups

Now, while there are several platforms out there, BigCommerce shines especially bright when we're talking about multiple storefronts. Here's why:

  1. Seamless integration: Setting up one store? Easy. Setting up five? It's still a breeze. BigCommerce lets you manage multiple stores from a single dashboard, keeping things neat and tidy.

  2. Unified inventory management: Juggling stock for different stores can be, well, a circus act. BigCommerce streamlines it, ensuring you never mix up those vintage comic books with neon hats.

  3. Customizable storefronts: Each store can have its unique flavor. Whether it's design, language, or currency, BigCommerce offers a buffet of customization options.

  4. Stellar support: And just in case you hit a snag (or just need some tips), their support team is like having a tech-whiz buddy on speed dial.

  5. SEO advantage: With multiple online stores, you can use your own pages to improve SEO performance. Multiple pages will help you rank multiple locations using the same search query.

In the sprawling land of ecommerce platforms, BigCommerce stands out, especially when you're dreaming big with multiple storefronts. Ready to dive deeper? Let's roll!


A step-by-step guide to setting up multiple storefronts with BigCommerce

1. Pre-setup considerations

Determining the number of storefronts

Before diving headfirst into the world of multiple storefronts, take a step back and assess your needs. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Which customer segments am I targeting?

  • How varied are my product categories?

  • Is there potential to expand into new niches in the near future?

By reflecting on these, you can determine whether you need two, three, or even ten storefronts. Remember, it's not just about quantity but about strategically catering to different markets.

Product categorization and diversification strategy

Now, with a clear number in mind, think about how you'll segregate your products. For instance:

  • Do you want one store exclusively for apparel and another for tech gadgets?

  • Are you considering a store for premium products and another for budget-friendly options?

  • Would geographic diversification (like a store targeting the US and another for Europe) be beneficial?

Sketch out a clear plan, ensuring each store has a distinct identity while still aligning with your overall brand vision.

2. Setting up your primary store

Creating an account

Alright, let's get the ball rolling! Head over to BigCommerce and sign up. It’s a straightforward process:

  1. Fill in your details.

  2. Choose a subscription plan that suits your needs.

  3. Go through the setup wizard – it'll guide you through the basics.

Designing your first store layout

Now, onto the fun part. Think of this as decorating your new virtual home:

  1. Choose a theme from BigCommerce's library. They've got a range to fit various vibes – minimalist, vibrant, professional, you name it.

  2. Customize it. Add your logo, tweak colors, and arrange elements until it feels just right.

  3. Add your products, set prices, and write engaging product descriptions.

3. Integrating additional storefronts

Creating separate stores vs. Using a multi-storefront feature

You've got two main paths here:

  1. Separate stores: This means setting up entirely different accounts for each store. It offers more autonomy but can be a tad more demanding to manage.

  2. Multi-store extension: Some third-party tools allow you to manage multiple storefronts under one BigCommerce store account. It's like having different rooms in a single house.

Evaluate the pros and cons and choose what aligns best with your business model.

Synchronizing inventory and data across stores

This is crucial. You don't want to sell a product in one store only to find out it's out of stock in another.

  1. Use BigCommerce’s built-in tools or third-party integrations to sync inventory.

  2. Regularly audit your inventory data to avoid discrepancies.

4. Customizing each storefront

Tailoring designs and themes for different target audiences

Each audience is unique, and so should be your storefronts:

  1. Identify the key characteristics of your audience for each store.

  2. Choose designs and themes that resonate with them. For instance, a younger audience might prefer a trendy, vibrant design, while professionals might lean towards a sleek, minimalist look.

Adjusting marketing settings for each store

Ensure each store's marketing strategies are tailored:

  1. Segment your email lists based on the store's target audience.

  2. Optimize SEO settings to capture the right traffic for each storefront.

  3. Design unique promotions and campaigns for each store.

5. Ongoing management tips

Efficiently handling orders across multiple storefronts

Managing BigCommerce multiple stores can be a challenge. Streamline it:

  1. Use centralized order management tools or integrations to have everything in one place.

  2. Regularly train your team on best practices for handling multi-store orders.

Using analytics to optimize performance

Data is your best friend:

  1. Regularly monitor analytics for each storefront.

  2. Identify bestsellers, traffic sources, and customer behaviors.

  3. Refine your strategies based on data-driven insights. For instance, if one store's mobile traffic is soaring, optimize for mobile shopping.


Potential challenges and solutions

So, setting up multiple storefronts sounds like a dream, right? But like any venture, there are a few bumps you might encounter along the way. Don't sweat it, though. We've got some tried-and-true solutions to help you navigate through them.

1. Inventory management: Keeping track across multiple storefronts


Juggling inventory across different stores can sometimes feel like herding cats. You might run into issues with mismatched stock levels or even dreaded out-of-stock or dead stock scenarios.

  • Centralized inventory system: Adopt a unified inventory management system that integrates with BigCommerce stores. Unified data ensures real-time updates across all storefronts, minimizing discrepancies.

  • Regular audits: Set aside time (maybe monthly or quarterly) to keep track of inventory levels and ensure accuracy. Better safe than sorry!

2. Consistent branding: Maintaining brand integrity


When you're managing multiple storefronts, each catering to a different audience or product line, there's a risk of diluting your brand identity.

  • Brand guidelines: Create a comprehensive brand guideline document. This should detail everything – from logo placements, color codes, to tone of voice for your multiple brands. It's your branding bible.

  • Regular reviews: Periodically review your storefronts to ensure they adhere to your brand guidelines. Consistency is key.

3. Scaling operations: Growing smoothly with more stores


As you add more storefronts, operational challenges can magnify. Think increased orders, more customer queries, and added logistics.

  • Automate: Use automation tools to handle repetitive tasks, like order processing or email campaigns. This not only speeds things up but also reduces human errors.

  • Hire & train: As operations grow, consider expanding your team. And remember, ongoing training ensures everyone's on the same page and up to date with best practices.

4. Customer service: Providing a consistent experience across all platforms


When customers hop from one storefront to another, they expect the same level of service. Falling short can lead to a fractured brand image and unsatisfied customers.

  • Unified customer service platform: Implement a customer service platform that integrates data from all your storefronts. This way, whether a customer contacts you about a purchase from Store A or Store B, you have all the information at your fingertips.

  • Training: Regularly train your customer service team about the specifics of each storefront. They should know the product range, ongoing promotions, and any other nuances related to each store.

Every challenge is an opportunity in disguise. With the right strategies, you can ensure that your multi-storefront journey with BigCommerce is smooth sailing. Onwards and upwards!


Supercharge your BigCommerce presence with Gelato

The digital age has handed us a paradox. As the world becomes more interconnected, consumers crave personalized, localized experiences. If you're playing the multi-storefront game with BigCommerce, you're already ahead of the curve, curating specialized storefronts for diverse markets. But how about adding a cherry on top? Enter Gelato.

The Gelato difference

Imagine the power of having the world's largest print on demand platform at your fingertips. Gelato isn't just another printing service; it’s a gateway to a transformative shopping experience. With the capacity to produce locally in 32 countries, you're not just reaching customers – you're setting up shop in their backyard.

A match made in ecommerce heaven

Your BigCommerce multi-storefront strategy perfectly complements Gelato's capabilities. Here's the magic formula:

  1. Tailored storefronts: Through BigCommerce, you design stores that cater to specific audiences, understanding their unique tastes and preferences.

  2. Localized production with Gelato: Once a customer makes a choice, Gelato springs into action. Producing the product locally means faster delivery, reduced shipping costs, and a smaller carbon footprint. Talk about a win-win-win!

  3. A global reach: By marrying your multi-storefront strategy with Gelato, you unlock the potential to dazzle up to five billion consumers with a wide range of products, such as calendars, photo books, phone cases, mugs, wall art, etc.

Ready to turbocharge your global presence while keeping it delightfully local?

Sign up for Gelato and merge the power of BigCommerce and Gelato to craft a shopping experience like no other. Dive in; a world of opportunities awaits!


Next steps

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