Running an e-commerce business is a profitable yet complex venture with all sorts of challenges to overcome: assessing demand, maintaining a website, fulfilling sales orders, keeping up with inventory, shipping, and payments, providing customer support, and building a marketing strategy, among many other duties and responsibilities. Platforms like Shopify that offer multiple instruments for online store management are especially helpful for getting your first website up and running. But what about having multiple Shopify stores, and handling them from a single account?
You might feel the need for multiple stores for different reasons like international expansion, target audience or product segmentation, scaling a dropshipping scheme, etc. Either way, running more than one store basically means double the effort on all fronts, with some extra resources required to keep everything in sync. With Shopify, there are some technicalities and pricing variants to consider, as well as automation tools from their marketplace and third-party apps that could help. All of the nuances of managing multiple stores will be covered in this guide.
Can you have multiple Shopify stores?
Currently, Shopify does not have any limitations for the number of stores you can set up with them. To create a store, you will need to register a Shopify account and choose a payment plan after the free trial period runs out. Since the account is tied to an email address, there are two options to start a second (third, fourth, etc.) Shopify store. For one, you can use a different email for each subsequent store, which would make the resulting accounts and Shopify stores completely independent, each with its own pricing plan and login credentials.
The second way, which might be a bit more convenient, is to use the same email address for all of the multiple stores. Even though the stores will still have separate names, domains, and admin panels, you will be able to choose and switch between them after you log in. Note that you will have to verify your email for each of the Shopify stores due to security protocols. This option comes with separate paid plans except for Shopify Plus subscribers, who get ten stores already included in the package.
Can you have multiple Shopify stores on one account?
Technically, you can’t have multiple stores managed from the same Shopify account — the system won’t allow you to have more than one store under a single payment plan. Each store will also have its own admin panel even if you use the same email address for all accounts. However, there are two technicalities to consider here. The first is that Shopify Plus users exclusively get 10 stores included in the package. That means you will be able to set up nine more stores with no extra payments, with an additional $250 charge for each store that exceeds that capacity.
The second aspect worth mentioning is for website owners that only wish to offer different currencies and languages for essentially the same website. You can enable multiple languages and multi-currency price settings from the Shopify admin without having to create new stores or accounts. To do that, you must have a theme that supports language and country selector features. Separate URLs for translated content will be created automatically, or you can assign each version with its own domain or subdomain. This option is supported by all payment plans except for Shopify Lite.
What are the reasons for building multiple Shopify stores?
For some businesses, having multiple Shopify stores won’t be necessary: for example, if your online store is a local grocery shop or a small handmade candle brand that does not need to be scaled in the foreseeable future. However, if you want to expand your company or cover a new niche that is completely unrelated to your current product line, setting up another store would eliminate possible customer confusion. The need for adding more Shopify stores can also arise from having a target audience with segments that are too different due to location, demand, or other demographical and behavioral characteristics.
Selling to an international audience may require you to adapt your site: not only language- or currency-wise, which can be done with Shopify translation apps and geolocation settings, but to account for different tax rates, legal regulations, product availability, and positioning strategies in varying markets. Each of the stores will need to have a customer support team that speaks their language. Since the number of staff accounts a Shopify store can have is limited, creating a separate store also makes sense in terms of easier management.
Segmenting the audience
If your brand offers goods and services for different audience segments, the most common distinction being B2B and B2C, having two separate stores can work in your favor. You will be able to craft the design, content, and promotions with more precision, which can make your marketing campaigns and SEO efforts perform better. If you have products for specific age groups, like adults and kids, or target certain occupations or lifestyles, you can also consider setting each of the segments with their own independent store.
Essentially, to be showcased in the same store, products of different categories should have a similar target audience or at least a significant factor to unify the client groups. In the example of adults and kids, having the same store for pregnant women and toddlers makes sense. However, if a business makes adult sportswear and casual clothes for children at the same time, like Fabletics and their branch called FabKids, the customer segments are too contrasting to come up with marketing campaigns and designs to work well for them both. Multiple Shopify websites and stores are the best solution here.
Creating an outlet or a boutique
Another common scenario that calls for multiple stores is having different positioning strategies for the same products. If a luxury brand wants to start selling their last-year samples with discounts, the audience that will be interested in the offer will not be the same as their regular clientele. The same goes for creating a subbrand or a boutique — by diversifying the product or radically changing its price, you come across new target customers, and that calls for a separate Shopify store with designs, slogans, and inventory crafted to their needs.
How much does it cost to run multiple stores on Shopify?
To run one store, you can choose from the three different payment plans that Shopify offers, with prices of $29, $79, and $299 per month. You can find a detailed feature breakdown on their website. Shopify also charges credit card fees between 2.4% and 2.9% + 30¢ per each transaction, or 0.5%-2% if you’re not using Shopify payments (numbers depend on the chosen package). Each new store that you add will require a separate payment plan, so you can calculate the total sum for your estimated number of websites.
However, you should also account for extra expenses like inventory, maintenance, themes, content, and marketing that inevitably come with each store. Applications from the Shopify marketplace will also need to be purchased separately for every single one of the stores. Running multiple Shopify stores is no different than having multiple businesses since each of the platforms is supported and charged for independently. The only exception is opting for Shopify Plus, starting at $2,000 per month, which comes with 9 expansion stores included in the package. Every subsequent store after that will cost you an extra $250 per month.
What should you consider when you have multiple Shopify stores?
The main challenge that comes with having multiple Shopify stores managed by one business is maintaining the same high-quality level of customer service throughout all of them. Doing that for stores that sell different products, kept in separate warehouses and shipped by independent companies, is hard enough. But if you have the same goods sold across multiple websites with different market positioning, you will definitely need to look into some kind of automation software to avoid discrepancies and unhappy clients.
Build a strong customer service
Timely and proactive customer support is crucial for one store, let alone many of them. With multiple Shopify stores, the number of communication channels grows, and managing social media, email, chat, and phone calls for each of the stores in separate systems can turn out to be too chaotic. If you redirect all inquiries into a consolidated ticketing system, it will be easier to keep track of everything, assess the repeat issues across all customer messages, and make improvements based on client feedback.
Keep a close eye on your target audience
While it is important to have a general understanding of who your target customers are even before you set up a store, continuously monitoring what kind of visitors browse and order from your websites after they are published is also a must. Using this data, you might discover new audience segments that were previously unaccounted for but have a solid spending potential. New marketing campaigns can be adjusted and tailored to cover the determined groups.
Invest more time and resources into SEO
With an increased number of stores and products to distribute, you will need to find more traffic sources. For advertising, partnerships with influencers and bloggers, and any other paid campaigns, that means significantly increasing the marketing budget. SEO is a long-term strategy that likely won’t start delivering new leads and clients from the start. However, in a few months, website rankings will improve, and you will be able to gather more organic traffic, which will lower the cost per lead. Shopify offers a built-in blog and SEO optimization for each product page.
Look into inventory management software
With one store, you might be able to gauge its efficiency by simply looking around the product warehouse or noticing which items are sold out. More Shopify stores call for a more precise approach since it will be physically impossible for you to be aware of everything that is going on with the inventory. Introduce uniform SKUs to label and identify products and a data analytics system (like Katana or MRPeasy) to measure and track all storage parameters. That way, you will be able to identify missing products, assess and predict demand to place an appropriate manufacturing order, and study recommended values with inventory synchronization features across all stores.
Utilize Shopify apps
The Shopify app store has a wealth of tools and instruments for different purposes: from marketing to design, managing inventory, integrations with social media and search engines, and plenty more. Some of the apps are paid, others come with a free plan. Applications can help automate and streamline a lot of business processes, which is especially important for keeping up with multiple stores. You can also turn your website into a mobile application with the Pocketfied app to cover a new audience segment and diversify your store presence.
How to add another store to Shopify
Since additional Shopify stores will require their own payments plans, you first need to make sure there are no other options to achieve your desired result. For one, if you are selling similar types of products and are looking for ways to organize them, you can create collections and add them to the navigation menu, with no need for an additional website. Alternatively, if you want a complete duplicate of the website with a different currency or language, you should look into setting up a multilingual store here.
If you would like to add a second store with its own domain name, product line, and target audience, you will need to create a new Shopify account. You can use the same email as for the first one. On the Shopify Plus plan, you may create a store in your organization admin following this guide. For all other plans, follow the same procedure as for your first store, when you enter your email, come up with a password, and enter a name to start the free trial period. You can then start adding products and customizing the store.
How to manage multiple Shopify stores with one Shopify account?
Sadly, managing your stores with one account won’t be possible for the reasons covered above. But with the right tools and applications, especially those provided by the Shopify marketplace, you can consolidate similar business processes from different stores into an interconnected scheme that governs all of them. Automation and digitalization are the best approaches for successfully managing 5 or 25 stores and not spending 5 or 25 times more effort.
ShipHero is software for inventory and shipping that helps Shopify store owners establish a seamless process of tracking product quantities from the moment they come into inventory to packing and shipping them. It offers dashboards and trackers for order management, monitoring needs and changes, bulk shipping, and more.
Pricing: $499 – 1,850$ per month plus the per additional users and new store connections
- An extended knowledge base with documentation and how-to guides for every feature,
- An easy-to-use interface and visual platform representation,
- Created and used by Shopify merchants with extensive experience,
- Great for warehouses that start growing in size, which is usually the case for multiple stores.
StockSync is an application for inventory management and updates that supports import from multiple data sources and formats. You can update existing products in the store, add new items, or remove discontinued goods. The system lets you update more than 20 Shopify fields for product descriptions during the upload.
Pricing: from free (with a limit of 2,000 SKU) to $5, $10, and $49 per month.
- Inventory software that supports most feed formats,
- You can enable automated inventory scheduling,
- Has a 14-day free trial and moderate pricing plans,
- Allows you to manage multiple suppliers from a single app.
Omnisend is a platform for marketing automation that applies to emails and SMS newsletters. Once your number of stores grows, so does your client list, and running promotional campaigns becomes easier if all data is kept in a single space.
Pricing: a free plan, standard for $16/month, and pro for $59.
- Any plan includes free SMS and comes with an unlimited list size,
- You can use the software to create in-store pop-ups,
- Has pre-made templates and designs for email campaigns,
- More than 3500 five-star reviews on the Shopify store.
Booster is an app that lets you create and customize a cookie bar required for GDPR compliance for any store that has EU residents as clients. If you are planning to expand your audience with a store catering to a European country, this can help you pass possible inspections and keep in line with the law.
- The cookie bar is optimized for responsive designs,
- Contest information will be tracked and passed on to Shopify, and keeping proof of consent is one of the requirements under GDPR,
- You can customize the look of the banner and tailor it to your brand.
HelpCenter is a customer support system that can be extended across multiple channels and stores. It has a powerful integration with Shopify that allows you to see order details and refund, cancel, or duplicate them without having to leave the app.
- Supports 40+ languages,
- Creates an order tracking widget for the customer,
- Lets you introduce a FAQ page to respond to the most common queries and lower the number of repetitive inquiries for customer support.
Managing multiple e-commerce stores is not simple, but platforms like Shopify do try and make the process a little easier with apps and automation instruments that can be applied to all business processes. While there are some considerations before adding more stores like the inconvenience of having separate pricing plans and admin panels for each of them, Shopify is still a great choice for brands looking to expand their coverage or product types.
One last piece of advice would be to add more stores gradually or at least after you’ve figured out the mechanics of running a single store. That way, you will save money and time on continuous projects since you won’t make the same mistakes twice and will know the best practices from experience. Look into software that can aid operations and don’t forget to add extra emphasis on customer support, marketing, SEO, and inventory to make sure you maintain the same high quality for each of your stores.