Having your own eCommerce store is important. But to multiply your growth, a single eCommerce website is not enough. Retailers should diversify by selling on multiple webstores and list their product catalogue on various webstores including top-rated marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, etc.
eCommerce management is different from physical store management. It is management of buyers. The multiple webstores are just online outlets or e-sales channels that facilitate electronic transactions. On a broader level, manage buyer data across all channels to keep it updated at all times and keep product data well maintained. This will help provide buyers a painless and seamless customer experience.
Managing multiple webstores sites is a double-edged sword – serves a potential to grow your revenue but also adds to the hassles and complexities. In this article we’ll cover the challenges, how to overcome them and what retailers should consider when operating multiple webstores.
Why Multiple eCommerce Webstores?
Most retailers question – why should we go for multiple webstores at the first place. It is comparatively easier to manage a single eCommerce website by listing the entire product catalogue at a single place. Agreed to some extent. While managing multiple webstores might not be the right approach for every retailer, it proves to be beneficial in several scenarios.
Selling to multiple geographies
eCommerce made products assessable at buyer’s doorsteps. Also, it opened up a completely new avenue of buyer acquisition for retailers who were previously physically bounded. However, across geographies, we see a vast differences in culture, buying behaviors, shopping preferences, seasonal trends and more. The design and content require reflecting the local sentiment and product choices.
Retailers might be required to list different product catalogues in different countries considering not only shopping preferences but also international shipping costs.
Selling under different brand names
If merchants are operating in Direct to Customer (D2C) as well as selling to other businesses (B2B), the overall branding and design may be required to be changed across both channels.
Selling unrelated products
If you are a retailer having niche product selling to a niche audience, you should consider having a separate web store so that it can be differentiated from the general webstore.
Challenges Faced in Managing Multiple eCommerce Webstores
Setting up multiple webstores may present positive opportunities for selling on multiple channels and achieve revenue growth. However, retailers should be prepared to face the following challenges:
- Unless you have a system for centralized order management, orders will have to managed separately for each webstore and/or marketplace.
- Precise inventory management to keep it updated at all times. Also consider scenarios when return items.
- Separate product data structure management. This can get highly complex and time consuming.
- Unless all your stores are on the same eCommerce platform, integrations with systems such as ERP can be complicated
- Manage multiple products and user experiences across various sales channels/webstores
- Managing separate customer support teams
Learn more about Challenges of eCommerce Product Catalogue Management.
Useful Tips for Managing Multiple Webstores Successfully
Managing multiple webstores can be fruitful, if done right. Follow these tips for making navigating the complexities of multi-store management:
Master product structure with a PIM.
A Product Information Management (PIM) provides a solution to collect, manage, and optimize product information, create a comprehensive product catalog, and distribute it to various eCommerce sales channels. A robust PIM solution makes it faster and easier to deliver compelling product experiences across multiple channels.
Retailers can also benefit by using a PIM software to expand to additional eCommerce channels, like Amazon or eBay.
Search Engine Optimized Product Information
Perform thorough keyword research including user search queries and competition keyword research to shortlist the key phrases that should be included in the product information. Ensure the correct product titles, descriptions that adds value to the overall search process. There are several SEO best practices that retailers can follow while ensuring relevancy, accuracy and searchability of the product information on the internet. The format of the product data might vary for different webstores and should be carefully crafted for optimal performance.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
A crucial parameter for ensuring webstore performance. The optimization measures for conversion rates requires testing variations in text content, design, CTAs, banner graphics and more. If there are multiple stores, remember you will need testing and optimization of all the stores separately. The same measures that worked for store A cannot be applied to other webstores.
Again, if the stores are targeted towards different geographies and/or list different product catalogues meant for different set of audience, optimizations will need to be undertaken totally independently.
Centralized Inventory Management
Retailers may be selling multiple brands/products on multiple webstores and marketplaces OR selling the same set of products on multiple sales channels. But it is all under one company after all. It will turn out to be a complex process of managing inventory number separately across all webstores. Have a centralized management system for all the products to ensure inventory is real time updated on all stores. An ERP can contain master inventory for all sets of products and when buyer purchases and/or returns the product, it should reflect in the centralized inventory information.
Centralized Order Management
Just like centralized inventory management, order management and fulfillment process also have to be centralized. Orders realized from multiple touchpoints should be managed centrally so that there are no lapses in fulfillment and deliveries. If kept separately can turn out to be chaotic consolidating total orders and in turn inventory management can become inefficient leading to overstocking or understocking. A centralized order management system also helps to keep customer support centralized and productive so that customer satisfaction can be properly handled.
Multiple eCommerce Webstores Management can be challenging as well as rewarding. Exceed your buyer’s expectations by optimizing their shopping experience across all channels. The expert team at TransForm Solutions provide quality eCommerce support services to help you take your eCommerce business to the next level.