Everything you need to run your eCommerce Website!

The Prestashop-thirtybees multi-store feature has been a fixture of releases for a while since Prestashop version 1.5. Today, I would like to take advantage of the opportunity to provide in-depth feedback on its usage.

This post is useful to website owners and managers and people who are looking to expand their ecommerce business with multi-store platform. As well as for ecommerce developers wanting to learn how it is done. We will start with the relevant question of:

When to use the Prestashop-thirtybees multi-store features?

The best time to have multi-store feature done is when you want to sell products to a different target audience.

  • For example a webstore for targeted traffic like women’s toys, or a public shop, a pro shop, or customers from another country different from where you are. Or perhaps from where your original ecommerce website is targeting – like www.mysite.fr for France, or www.mysite.uk for UK customers, and www.mysite.us for US customer, etc.
  • You can also do a  multi-store on a part of your products or product categories which has grown over the years. For example, when you are selling household appliances and serves as a general store. While you have a website dedicated to large TV monitors, another for coffee machines etc.

There are plenty of idea that we can come up with that may need one to consider putting up another website. Rather than just placing it under a sub-category on a large ecommerce website. The purpose of this is to meet the expectations and need of targeted customers better.

Multi-store facilitates the centralization of information & management of your ecommerce websites.

How Difficult is Prestashop-thirtybees multi-store to set up?

Activating and setting up Prestashop-thirtybees multi-store option is relatively simple to do. You can probably set it up and have everything done in 5-10  minutes.

But after setting up is where it gets a little complicated. The native modules work well with the multi-shops, but modules that comes from a purchased themes, is where we have a little more trouble. Even if theme developers are really good, it does not necessarily follow that they have the multi-store option. You will not see it right away, you will only see it when you have completed the theme installation.

As a Warning: For example with templates purchased via Template Monster. We have seen modules that do not have multi-store option, so we have to re-code a part of the module which is very pain in-the-neck and time consuming.

Can I Apply same theme across my prestashop-thirtybees multi-stores?

It is a common request or requirement for shop owners to keep similar or the same theme across his multi-stores at the beginning. At least something close enough visually. But often times there will be necessary exceptions for it not be so. For example different footers and  redesigning of headers. This makes the task too complex to do in a single theme. It often takes one theme per shop, which means tracking the translations of the interface for each theme and passing on the changes or bug fixes on both templates. In many cases, you will end up cloning the initial theme for each individual store, for greater flexibility.

How about My Store Data and information?

Let’s talk about product management which requires a certain level of discipline to keep a coherence between shops. I think for example in multilingual multishop – when you create a secondary shop, the descriptions are then cloned even if you have not necessarily finished translating the shop base language. So you have a pseudo translations already cloned in your second shop.

When you modify a product, it will always ask the same question -is this change global or dedicated to a specific shop?  you need also to be very disciplined in the actions that you do in the back office. The behavior of Prestashop-thirtybees ecommerce is quite ingenious – a very intuitive ecommerce platform – however, this is not always clear to users, and a lot are confused about this. I will have to publish a post solely dedicated to how to do multi-store in Prestashop-thirtybees in the future.

Minimize the work

To help you minimize the work, my recommendation is for you to create the second shop once the first is really operational. Or when the contents and product lists and categories already translated.

 

The multi-store feature is usually suggested for customers who are accustomed with the management of a prestashop-thirtybees e-commerce site! One must know it’s ends and outs first before really diving into it.

Separate ecommerce website development versus Multi-store website development.

Each has its merits and demerits. For our part, we have had customers who asks us if it is cheaper to do multi-store than another separate website. Our answer is No, not necessarily cheaper or better. As far as speed of development, yes, actually we save time in the beginning because we will just be cloning the original shop. But once we are caught up in the configuration that must be done again and again: re-testing processes, integrating the theme, etc. According to our experience, in the end having a multi-store is more complicated than to build a new independent and separate ecommerce website.

Advantages of Prestashop-thirtybees Multi-store ecommerce website

  • Multi-store’s biggest advantage is of course, its ability to manage all your ecommerce websites in one single administration area. You do not have to login to another interface every time you need to do admin stuff for your particular store. The other advantages are listed below:
  • Essential in keeping track of your orders and stock supplies right under one admin console.
  • Save valuable time in adding of products and categories. You can easily manage which product or categories are being shown in which stores. If you are using same products for all of them, you only have to add them once instead of doing so separately for each store.
  • Your stores can still be made to look different and have different domain names.

In conclusion:

The multi-store can ease up the facilitation and the management of logistics. It can lighten up companies that already have resources and experience in e-commerce, by having to manage all stores in one admin console! Clients who are comfortable running website with Prestashop-thirtybees ecommerce and is looking to expand business should consider having it.

Let us know in the comment section below if you agree with our take. Do you know of some ideas that makes multi-store feature a disadvantage or advantage for store owners, please let us know.

Resource: thirtybees.com for multi-store support.

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