Managing Multiple Shopify Storefronts - the Easy Method
Sam's a little buried at the moment, so this week I (George) will be taking over writing the latest blog post. I'll do my best to capture his quirky but informative writing style ;)
In keeping with the spirit of this blog, I was sitting at home this morning trying to think of a juicy simile to open up this article. And being the queen of similes in this house, it was my wife (an English professor) who helped get me to an answer...
You see, in many ways, running multiple storefronts is like managing a classroom.
After all, you can't put all your attention on any one student. You need the ability to assess the class as a whole - part of which involves seeing how each student is performing relative to the others.
- Get ready for some amazing stock photos folks :)
The problem is - there are no standardized tests in eCommerce...
(Thank goodness for that, some of you are probably thinking) Still, agencies have been struggling with this problem for literally years. How do you maintain a birds-eye view of every storefront and maintain enough detail on each to assess their relative performance?
(You know... WITHOUT constantly logging in & out of each, downloading a bunch of CSVs, combining the data together, and hoping you didn't miss something?)
Who has time for that?
So in typical Report Toaster fashion, we decided to *ahem* solve this little conundrum.
As one of the hottest items on our roadmap, multi-store support has been a long time coming. In fact, anybody who runs more than one Shopify store can probably think of a few great use-cases for why you might want to combine & compare data from your store (especially if you're looking to do so in the same report.)
In fact, we'll cover some of those great use-cases later. But first - how does it work? The setup process is rather simple. Sign up for a paid account for Report Toaster on every store you want to link, let us know, and we'll take care of the rest.
Nice and Easy!
Once we've enabled multi-store for your account, you should have a bag at the top (with a dropdown and a series of toggles) like this:
From here, you can choose which stores you want to have enabled/disabled for any reports you run. So, for example, if I went to the Orders report, I can see either the orders from one store or toggle 'All shops' to see every order from every store.
Note - These toggles will remain in place until you change them, even in between sessions. Oh, and if you don't see the latest changes reflected after changing them, refresh your browser.
Assess Relative Performance
Of course, it's no good just throwing all of your data into the same bucket if you can't measure how each store is doing.
- Obscure references AND stock photos? Fans of 'The Stanley Parable', rejoice
But perhaps more seriously, this just obviously makes sense right? If I want to analyze the sales of a certain product, I need more than just the totals! What I need is to be able to see the sales from each of my stores and compare them side by side in the same report.
That's why we introduced a column for Shop Name in Report Toaster.
By adding this column to any report, you can see exactly which rows apply to which store and segment the data from there.
Take the above report for example: say I wanted to filter it to show only sales of a single Product (our Sail on a Slice) I could introduce a filter:
Now I can easily see which store is selling more of a certain product. Go Float Fancy!
- The aforementioned Sail-on-a-Slice. Because I know at least one of you was curious...
While assessing things like Sales or Profits is probably the main use-case for multi-store capability, this functionality actually works for most reports in Report Toaster.
This opens up some exciting possibilities, such as:
Combined Store Dead Stock, Low Stock, or Out of Stock alerts. Together with our Scheduled Reports feature, this lets you combine the data from each of these reports into a single sheet, helping you to manage your inventory while de-cluttering your inbox.
Keeping up with Fulfillment. Just because you're running multiple shops doesn't necessarily mean you're running fulfillment out of multiple locations. Want to see the pending or unfulfilled orders from all your stores? Want to have a single list to chase down pending payments? Add in Shop Name and now you can :)
Identifying trends. Sometimes you don't see whether something is a pattern or an anomaly until you have something to compare it to. For instance, maybe you have 3 stores that all sell very similar products, but one of them is seeing slightly higher returns. Why is that? Could this be improved?
Cross Promotion Opportunities. Got Customers from one store that you think might be well suited to another? Why not try adding Store Name to a Customers (or even just Most Valuable Customers) report, sorting by Customer name, and look for any rows that aren't customers at both?
Filing taxes. This one almost goes without saying, but having a birds-eye view of all your stores and the pertinent tax information can really help simplify this process.
Note - Multi-store is pretty awesome, but there is one tiny caveat. Currently, multi-store functionality is only supported for storefronts that all utilize the same currency. For storefronts running multiple currencies, please contact us to discuss your needs in further detail.
So if you're running multiple storefronts on Shopify, why not give multi-store a go? All you need to do to get up and running is sign up for a paid Report Toaster account on each store, contact us at email@example.com and we'll take care of the rest?
Thinking of a few more use cases? Want some help getting a report put together for your account? Why not hit us up - we'd love to hear from you :)