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Shopify Plus Expansion Stores: Key Insights for Fueling Growth

From innovative product launches to strategic marketing maneuvers, Shopify plus expansion stores serve a critical purpose in scaling e-commerce businesses to new heights. This article is your go-to resource for discovering the secrets behind scaling successful Shopify Plus stores!

What Are Shopify Plus Expansion Stores?

Shopify Plus expansion stores are additional storefronts created under a single Shopify Plus account. These Shopify stores are designed to help businesses efficiently manage multiple brands, regions, or languages from one central platform.

To expand into multiple brands within Shopify Plus, each brand requires its own separate contract. This means that the same logo will be used across all expansion stores. Expansion stores serve as localized clones of the main brand, designed specifically for selling in different languages, and currencies, or to wholesale customers

Shopify Plus allows sellers to create and manage up to 10 expansion stores. Then, sellers can freely tap into new markets and cater to different customer segments.

Additionally, Shopify Plus provides advanced e-commerce features that benefit all your expansion stores. From robust marketing and SEO tools to comprehensive reporting and automation capabilities, Shopify Plus equips sellers with the tools needed to optimize their business performance. The platform’s scalability means that as your business grows, your e-commerce infrastructure can grow with it.

Pros and Cons of Shopify Plus Multiple Stores

Pros and Cons of Shopify Plus Multiple Stores

Pros and Cons of Shopify Plus Multiple Stores

When considering the use of Shopify Plus for managing multiple stores, it’s important to weigh the benefits and potential drawbacks.

Pros of Shopify Plus multiple stores:

  • Customization: Each store can be independently customized to match different brands, regions, or customer preferences
  • Centralized Management: It manages all your Shopify stores from a single admin panel, simplifying operations and providing a unified view of your business performance.
  • Diversified Risk: Expansion stores Shopify Plus spread operations across various locations helps mitigate risks associated with local economic challenges that could impact a single store.
  • Local Market Adaptation: Businesses can tailor their products to fit regional preferences and demands, improving market alignment and potentially increasing sales

Cons of Shopify Plus multiple stores:

  • Higher cost: While Shopify Plus provides numerous benefits, it comes with a higher price tag compared to other Shopify plans. This can be a significant investment for some businesses.
  • Complexity: Managing multiple stores can be complex, especially for businesses without dedicated resources or experience in multi-store management
  • Learning Curve: The extensive features and customization options may require time and effort to learn and implement effectively, particularly for those new to e-commerce
  • Configuring regional settings: Configuring regional settings (currency, taxes, shipping) for Shopify Plus expansion stores can be challenging due to the complexity of adapting to diverse market requirements. 

How to Generate Shopify Plus Expansion Stores?

Method 1: Do it Yourself

Owning and managing Shopify Plus expansion stores involves several key steps and best practices. Here’s a comprehensive guide:

  • Step 1: With your Shopify Plus account, go to the “Shopify Admin” section and click “Create Store”.
  • Step 2: Select “Expansion” as the store type, then add the store name and platform domain (the URL cannot be changed once live)
  • Step 3: Select any apps you wish to preinstall, ideally those you use on your primary store.
  • Step 4: Navigate to Themes, select Import themes, choose the themes to import, and pick a theme to publish.
  • Step 5: Import data from another store, including themes and user information

After creating your new store(s), you might encounter various challenges that need to be addressed to ensure smooth operation and success. The details below will help you to tackle these common issues effectively

Method 2: Contact Shopify Plus Support

For a more streamlined process, you can utilize Shopify Plus support to set up your expansion stores. Here’s the approach to take:

  • Step 1 – Contact Shopify Plus Support: You can reach out via live chat, phone call, or email, whichever method you prefer. Shopify Plus support is available 24/7 to assist with your needs, ensuring you have access to help whenever you need it. The contact information is readily available in your Shopify Plus admin dashboard under the support section.
  • Step 2 – Explain Your Needs: Articulate the reasons for wanting to create expansion stores. This context helps the support team understand your vision and the strategic importance of these new stores.
  • Step 3 – Provide Details: This includes specifics such as the currency, language, and regional settings for each store. Clearly state the number of stores you require, and share any design preferences or necessary features you want incorporated. Additionally, if you need certain integrations with other tools or services, mention these requirements.
  • Step 4 – Work with the Team: They will guide you through the entire process, from initial setup to final launch. Throughout this process, they will provide valuable guidance and support, making adjustments as needed.

Common Issues with Shopify Expansion Stores and Solutions

Target market misalignment

Using Geolocation Shopify app

Using Geolocation Shopify app

Setting up a new store can be time-consuming and costly, especially if your tailored experience doesn’t reach the intended market. If new users aren’t directed to the appropriate store, they might have a poor experience and leave without making a purchase.

To prevent these issues, leverage a Geolocation Shopify app. This app can automatically detect users’ locations through their IP addresses and direct them to the appropriate store that matches their region. This ensures that customers see the correct language, currency, and product offerings tailored to their locale. Additionally, the app integrates seamlessly with your Shopify Markets configuration, making it easier to manage multiple Shopify stores.

Last but not least, the Geolocation app enhances your store’s SEO by creating localized versions of your site, improving search engine rankings in different regions while ensuring compliance with local data protection regulations.

Selling cross-border

Selling products across borders involves navigating complex international logistics, including shipping, customs, and local regulations. Without proper tools, managing these aspects can be overwhelming and error-prone.

However, using the Geolocation app can streamline cross-border selling by offering a suite of tools designed to handle international logistics efficiently. These tools manage everything from calculating accurate shipping rates to handling import duties and taxes. They also ensure compliance with local regulations, which can vary significantly between countries.

For businesses without local teams, these features are invaluable as they simplify the entire process, reducing the need for extensive manual oversight. Additionally, the app can automate currency conversion, ensuring that customers see prices in their local currency, which enhances their shopping experience and reduces cart abandonment due to currency confusion.

Coordination

Managing multiple expansion stores Shopify Plus demands a high level of coordination to ensure consistency and efficiency in operations. Post-purchase operations, such as order fulfillment and returns processing, also need to be streamlined to provide a seamless customer experience.

Shopify Plus provides robust tools to manage these aspects effectively. Centralized inventory management systems allow you to track stock levels in real time across all stores, ensuring that inventory is always up-to-date. Automated notifications can alert you to low stock levels.

Customer support coordination is another critical aspect. With multiple stores, providing consistent and high-quality support can be challenging. Utilizing customer support apps and integrating them with your Shopify Plus stores can help manage customer inquiries efficiently. Features like live chat, automated responses, and multi-language support ensure that customers receive timely and relevant assistance, regardless of their location.

Inconsistent Branding

A common issue with inconsistent branding arises from the decentralized management of multiple stores. Without a unified approach, individual stores might deviate from the core brand message, using different logos, color schemes, or marketing tones.

To address this, businesses should develop a comprehensive brand guide that serves as the foundation for all branding efforts across expansion stores. Using Shopify’s theme features can further help maintain a cohesive look and feel across all stores. By selecting or customizing themes that align with your brand guidelines, you ensure that every store has a unified aesthetic.

Should You Shopify Markets or Expansion Stores for Going Global?

When expanding your e-commerce business globally, you can choose between Shopify Markets and setting up expansion stores. Each approach has its benefits, but Shopify expansion stores often offer more advantages for a tailored and effective international presence.

Shopify Markets allows you to manage multiple international markets from a single Shopify store. This method provides localized experiences such as currency conversion, language translation, and regional payment methods, all managed through a unified backend.

However, expansion stores offer a more tailored approach to international markets. By setting up separate stores for each region, you can fully customize each store to meet local preferences, including language, currency, cultural nuances, and shopping behaviors. This flexibility allows you to create a more engaging and relevant shopping experience for each market.

FAQs

  1. How many expansion stores can I have with Shopify Plus?

Shopify Plus plans typically include up to 10 expansion stores at no additional cost, but this can vary based on your specific agreement with Shopify.

  1. What are the benefits of using Shopify Plus expansion stores?

Expansion stores allow you to target different markets, manage multiple brands, customize storefronts for various regions or languages, and streamline operations across all stores from a single admin interface.

  1. Can I share products and inventory across expansion stores?

Yes, you can share products and inventory across expansion stores using Shopify’s multi-store management features or third-party apps that integrate with Shopify Plus.

  1. Are there additional costs associated with expansion stores?

While Shopify Plus plans typically include a certain number of expansion stores at no extra cost, additional stores beyond that number may incur extra fees. You should check with your Shopify Plus representative for specific details.

Conclusion

To wrap up, driving growth through Shopify Plus expansion stores is an exciting journey filled with opportunities and challenges. But you can do it right with our guide to maximize your success every step of the way.

Now, let’s embrace the journey, seize the opportunities, and watch your business thrive on a global scale. With Shopify Plus, the possibilities for growth are limitless!

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A data-driven marketing leader with over 10 years of experience in the ecommerce industry. Summer leverages her deep understanding of customer behavior and market trends to develop strategic marketing campaigns that drive brand awareness, customer acquisition, and ultimately, sales growth for our company.
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