Magento is the 2nd most used e-Commerce platform today and rapidly expanding. It offers unique and useful features that make online shopping easier for customers and store management convenient for store owners and administrators. One of such exciting features is Magento multi store which gives you the ability to create more than one stores/websites with a single installation. These stores can be accessed on different URLs and share the same backend. You can have as many stores as you need. This is a great feature if looked from the administration and development perspectives. You can create multiple stores without having to install and code differently.
With Magento multiple store views, it’s easy to expand your business by targeting different countries and regions. Each store can be optimized locally by creating localize content and offering native currency of the target country to attract local visitors. You can also offer products and payment methods appropriate for specific countries. Magento multi store feature allows you to configure SEO settings for each store view by editing Meta titles, keywords, description and custom URLs.
Suppose you want to sell Laptops and smartphones so you create 2 separate websites named laptops.com and smartphones.com. You sell laptops and smartphones from all major manufacturers. Next you create product catalogs. It’s a good idea to create separate categories for each of these brands such as HP.laptops.com, acer.laptops.com, Sony.laptops.com and Samsung.smartphones.com, Nokia.smartphones.com etc.
Advantages of Magento Multi store:
Some of the obvious advantages of Magento multi store feature are the following.
- It adds scalability to your store. You can add new categories and stores anytime you need without having to change anything.
- It improves customer’s shopping experience as they can find their desired products easily.
- It makes store management easier. Administrators can change theme, impose restrictions and do any other changes and apply it across all stores.
- Improved SEO management as each product has a unique identity.
- Distinct branding
How to Setup Magento Multi store:
You can setup multiple store views in Magento by first logging into your Magento admin panel. Once logged in, do the following.
- In the top menu, go to Catalog –> Manage Categories.
- Click Add Root Category.
- Enter your new store name in the Name field.
- Under Is Active, select Yes.
- Under Display Settings tab, in Is Anchor, select Yes.
- Save the category.
Once the category is saved, you can create the new store as follows.
- Go to System –> Manage Stores.
- Click Create Website button.
- Enter your new store name in the Name field.
- Save the website.
- Click Create Store button.
- Select the website that you just created for Website field and Root Category.
- In the Name field, type a name for your store.
- Save the store and click on the Create Store View button.
- Select the newly created store from the drop down menu. Give your view a name in the Name field, enter a unique string for Code. Select Enabled for Status and save the store view.
Finally, you have to configure settings for Magento multi store.
- Go to System –> Configuration.
- In the Current Configuration Scope drop-down, select the website that you just created.
- Go to the Web tab, and click to expand the Unsecure and Secure sections, respectively.
- For each section, clear the Use Default check box next to the Base URL and type the URL for your store. Make sure to include the trailing slash. Click Save Configuration.
For Magento 2: Click here to setup multiple store views in Magento 2
Magento Store Switcher:
Magento multi store helps store owners increase sales by targeting products in a hassle free manner. However, it suffers from the problem of finding the desired products if the store is too large. Customers might find it difficult and take long to explore products of their interest. Magento multiple store fronts becomes more efficient if a user is automatically directed to a store where they could find their desired products. This functionality is achieved by using an extension called Magento store switcher.
You can use Magento GeoIP store switcher extension by FME, which automatically detects visitor’s location and redirects them to a relevant store. You can create regions and assign countries to a region to target Geo-locations. Manual redirection and IP exceptions are also possible. Store switcher Magento extension offers the following features among many other features.
- Automatically detects visitor’s location
- Auto or manual redirection
- Set default store view per region
- Customize store view theme
- Customize store switcher popup
- Add IP for exceptions – users you don’t to be switched either for security reasons or white listing
- Import Maxmind GeoIP database in CSV.
Magento store switcher extension will drive targeted traffic to these stores, hence increase the chances of an increase in revenues.