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1. Shopify's policy on multiple stores: The basic premise

How many stores can you have on Shopify? [2024]

Updated Jan 15 2024

Entrepreneurs and businesses alike gravitate towards Shopify for its user-friendly interface, extensive features, and flexibility. But as businesses grow and diversify, a question often arises: "How many stores can one actually have on Shopify?" Whether you're considering brand segmentation, targeting different demographics, or catering to unique markets, understanding how to maximize your presence on Shopify is vital. 

Dive into this comprehensive guide as we unravel the possibilities of managing multiple storefronts, the associated benefits, potential hurdles, best practices, and the practical nuances of multiplying your Shopify presence in 2024.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Shopify doesn't impose a limit on the number of stores an individual or business can operate. Each Shopify store requires its own unique subscription, meaning separate billing and features.

  • Stipulations include needing a separate subscription for each store, linking each store to a unique email address (you cannot have multiple Shopify stores on one email), and ensuring distinct domain names for each store.

  • Benefits of multiple Shopify stores include targeting specific niches, brand segmentation for various product lines, and creating geo-specific stores for localized experiences.

  • Drawbacks include the complexity of managing multiple stores, increased costs due to multiple subscriptions, and potential SEO challenges.

  • Setting up a new store involves logging out of the existing store, starting a new store with a unique email, and configuring essential settings like payment providers, checkout, shipping, taxes, and domains.

  • Financial considerations include subscription fees, domain costs, app/plugin costs, and operational overheads. There are strategies, however, to minimize these expenses.

  • SEO strategies for multiple stores involve avoiding duplicate content, implementing geo-targeting and hreflang tags for international stores, and building domain authority for each store separately.

Shopify's policy on multiple stores: The basic premise

Shopify doesn't limit the number of stores an individual or business can operate. Essentially, if you have the resources and bandwidth to create multiple Shopify stores, the platform won’t stand in your way. Each store, however, requires its own unique subscription. This means while the platform allows you the liberty to expand and diversify, each store operates independently in terms of subscription and billing. That's the beauty of choosing Shopify over other platforms.

Addressing the core question

To unequivocally answer the burning question, 'how many Shopify stores can I create? - You absolutely can have more than one store on Shopify. Whether you're splitting your stores based on product categories, aiming to cater to different geographic locations, or simply wanting to experiment with various branding techniques, Shopify is on board. 

The platform champions business expansion and diversification, giving sellers the freedom to create, experiment, and grow without restrictions. However, it's essential to keep in mind the operational and financial intricacies of managing multiple subscriptions.

Stipulations to be aware of

While the allure of operating multiple online stores on Shopify is undeniable, it's essential to navigate this landscape with a clear understanding of the stipulations in place. These are not merely 'fine print' but rather foundational aspects that ensure smooth operation and management of each unique storefront. Here's what you should be aware of:

1. Separate subscription for each store

It's crucial to understand that each of your Shopify stores will require its own unique subscription plan. This means separate billing, separate features, and separate limits based on the plan you choose for each store. While this allows for tailored solutions for each storefront, it also means careful financial planning to accommodate these costs.

2. Unique email addresses

You cannot create multiple stores with the same email address since every Shopify store is linked to a specific email address. Therefore, when setting up multiple stores, each one must be associated with a distinct email address. Multiple accounts help streamline communications, order notifications, and support for each store independently.

3. Domain distinctions

No two stores can share the exact domain name. Each Shopify store must have its own unique domain or subdomain. For instance, if you're segmenting stores based on product categories, 'shoes.yourbrand.com' and 'apparel.yourbrand.com' could serve as subdomains for each category. Alternatively, entirely distinct domains can be used, like 'yourbrandshoes.com' and 'yourbrandapparel.com'. This not only avoids confusion but also strengthens brand identity and SEO for each store.

Benefits of having multiple Shopify stores

Diversifying your digital presence with multiple Shopify stores is not just a trend; it's a strategy many brands adopt for various reasons. Let’s delve into some of the compelling reasons you should manage multiple stores on Shopify.

1. Targeting different niches or demographics

By creating specialized storefronts, brands can cater directly to specific niches or demographics. This level of precision allows for tailored marketing strategies, product offerings, and customer experiences that resonate deeply with each target audience.

2. Brand segmentation for various product lines

Brands with diverse product ranges can benefit by segmenting their offerings. Separate stores for different product lines allow each to have its own identity, aesthetic, and branding. It's like providing a curated shopping experience for customers, where they can explore products without unnecessary distractions.

3. Geo-specific stores for localized experiences

For businesses operating in multiple regions or countries, geo-specific stores can be invaluable. These allow for localization in terms of language, currency, cultural nuances, and even product offerings. Catering to local preferences can significantly enhance user experience and boost sales.

Potential drawbacks of having multiple Shopify stores

As with any strategy, running multiple Shopify stores comes with its set of challenges. Before diving in, it's vital to be cognizant of potential drawbacks:

  1. Complexity in management and operations: Operating several stores means managing multiple inventories, marketing campaigns, customer service channels, and more. The sheer scale can make operations complex, demanding more time and resources.

  2. Increased costs with multiple subscriptions: Each Shopify store requires its own subscription, which can quickly add up. Brands need to ensure that the ROI from each store justifies these additional expenses.

  3. Potential SEO challenges: Managing SEO for multiple domains can be intricate. There's the risk of duplicate content, which can harm search rankings. Additionally, building domain authority for several sites might be slower than concentrating efforts on a single domain. Fortunately, Shopify offers certain SEO tools that make the lives of marketers easier.

Setting up multiple stores: A quick guide for you

As businesses evolve, so do their needs and strategies. Venturing into the realm of multiple Shopify stores is a significant step, offering opportunities for growth and diversification. If you're considering this expansion, follow this step-by-step guide to ensure a seamless setup:

1. Setting up a new Shopify store from your existing account

  • Login to your current store: Begin by logging into your existing Shopify store.

  • Log out: Once in, log out from your current store. This step is essential to start the process of setting up a new store.

  • Start a new store: Head to Shopify's main page and click on "Start free trial." Follow the prompts to create your new store, bearing in mind that you'll need a unique email address.

2. Important settings to consider for each store

  • General settings: Input essential details like store name, address, currency, and time zone.

  • Payment providers: Choose your preferred payment gateways. Options might vary based on the store's geographic location.

  • Checkout settings: Define checkout procedures, such as requiring customer accounts or customizing checkout language.

  • Shipping: Determine your shipping rates, methods, and zones. This is especially crucial if your stores cater to different regions and are looking for cheaper options.

  • Taxes: Set up tax rates based on where you’re selling and shipping. Each store might have distinct tax considerations.

  • Domain setup: Ensure each store has its unique domain or subdomain to avoid confusion and enhance brand visibility.

3. Ensuring brand consistency while maintaining distinctiveness

  • Theme and design: While it's essential to have some level of brand consistency, each store should also possess its distinct aesthetic, aligned with its target audience and product offering.

  • Logo and branding elements: Use consistent logos and branding elements, but don't shy away from color variations or sub-branding to differentiate the stores.

  • Content tone and language: The voice and tone of your content can remain consistent across stores, but tailor the language, terms, and cultural references to match each store’s audience.

  • Product imagery: Ensure high-quality product images for all your stores. However, the style, setting, or models can vary to resonate with the specific audience of each store.

Financial considerations for setting up multiple Shopify stores

Operating multiple Shopify stores undoubtedly presents a myriad of opportunities. However, alongside these potential gains are financial implications that every entrepreneur or business must critically assess. Let’s delve deeper into the monetary dimensions of this strategy:

Cost implications of having multiple stores

  • Subscription fees: Each Shopify store requires its own unique subscription. Depending on your selected plan (Basic, Shopify, Advanced), these fees can quickly accumulate.

  • Domain costs: If you're using separate domains for each store, you'll incur annual domain registration fees for each. Even subdomains might have associated costs if you're buying from third-party providers.

  • App and plugin costs: Often, businesses rely on specific apps or plugins for added functionality. These can come with their own costs, and if you're using them across multiple stores, the expenses multiply.

  • Operational overheads: Managing multiple inventories, marketing campaigns, and customer support channels could require additional manpower or software tools, leading to increased operational costs.

Ways to minimize expenses when running multiple storefronts

  • Leverage bundled services: Some service providers offer discounts or bundles for multiple services, such as domains or hosting. Explore these to see if they can cater to your needs at a reduced cost.

  • Optimize app and plugin usage: Regularly review the apps and plugins you're using. Eliminate redundancies and focus on those that provide maximum value. Also, check if the app providers offer discounts for usage across multiple stores.

  • Centralized operations: Consider tools that allow centralized management of tasks like inventory, order processing, and customer service. This can reduce the need for separate tools for each store, leading to savings.

  • Bulk purchasing: If you're operating multiple stores in related niches, consider bulk purchasing of inventory, packaging, or marketing materials to avail of discounts.

  • Periodic financial audits: Regularly review the financial performance of each store. If a particular store isn't providing a good ROI, consider strategies to optimize it or even merge it with another more successful storefront.

SEO strategies for multiple Shopify stores

In the realm of ecommerce, SEO is the unsung hero, quietly driving organic traffic and influencing purchasing decisions. But when you're managing multiple Shopify stores, SEO complexities can amplify. It's not just about optimizing one website but ensuring that each store stands out in the vast digital sea without clashing with its siblings. Let's explore how to master SEO across multiple Shopify storefronts:

1. Avoid duplicate content and cannibalization:

  • Unique product descriptions: Ensure that each store has distinct product descriptions, even if they sell similar items. This avoids duplicate content penalties and offers a unique value proposition to the audience.

  • Canonical tags: If similar content must appear on multiple stores, use canonical tags to tell search engines which version is the "original" or primary source, preventing potential penalties.

  • Strategic keyword targeting: Assign specific primary keywords to individual stores to prevent them from competing against each other in search rankings (cannibalization).

2. Geo-targeting and hreflang tags for international storefronts:

  • Use geo-targeting: If your stores cater to different geographic regions, utilize geo-targeting in Google Search Console. This allows you to tell Google which store targets which geographic location.

  • Implement hreflang tags: These tags signal to search engines which language you're using on a specific page, ensuring the right users get the right version of your content. For instance, if you have a French version of your store, hreflang tags will help French-speaking users find that version in search results.

3. Building domain authority for each individual store:

  • Backlink building: Each store should have its own backlink strategy. Engage in genuine link-building practices, such as collaborations, guest posts, or being featured in industry publications.

  • Quality content: Regularly update each store's blog or resources section with high-quality, relevant content. This not only offers value to visitors but can also establish your store as an authoritative source in its niche.

  • Engage in social media: Active engagement on social platforms can drive traffic and improve domain authority. Tailor content and interactions to match each store's audience and offerings.

  • Secure & speedy sites: Ensure that each of your Shopify stores is SSL secured, and regularly monitor site speed. A secure, fast-loading site not only improves user experience but is also favored by search engines.

Manage multiple Shopify stores efficiently with Gelato

In the age of ecommerce expansion, managing products across multiple Shopify stores can seem like a Herculean task. Enter Gelato — the solution to streamline this process with the additional leverage of local production and worldwide distribution.

Gelato isn’t just another print on demand platform; it's the world’s leading name in on-demand product production that can help you run multiple Shopify stores efficiently. So, what makes Gelato stand out?

  1. Effortless integration with Shopify: With a seamless connection to Shopify, Gelato empowers businesses to manage their product offerings across multiple storefronts without the hassles of traditional methods.

  2. Local production in 32 countries: No more concerns about shipping delays or logistics nightmares. Gelato's expansive network ensures that your products, like  t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, photo books, wall art, etc., are produced locally in 32 countries.

  3. Global reach: Why limit yourself to a regional audience? With Gelato, your brand can instantly reach up to five billion potential consumers. 

  4. Consistency and quality: While Gelato ensures local production, there's no compromise on the quality or branding of your products. Each item, no matter where produced, reflects your brand's standards and ethos, ensuring consistent customer experiences.

Elevate your Shopify game and reach global markets effortlessly. Sign up for Gelato now and transform the way you do business.


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