Magento is a highly adaptable, extensible and user-friendly software. One of the most important and powerful features of Magento is the Multi-store feature. With this feature, businesses are allowed to manage multiple stores through only one Magento installation under a single admin panel.
Getting to know Magento Multi Store
Magento uses the terminology of GWS which stands for the first letter of these words: Global, Website, Store. It explains the ability to create multiple websites and stores within a single store installation. In this case, we will get to know about Magento Multi Store.
Global refers to the complete installation of Magento.
Website is the domain you are using. Each domain or website can have multiple stores.
Stores are your actual product catalogue. Multiple stores can be created on a single domain or more than one domains.
We have an example that is very easy to understand the Multi Stores definition. Let’s assume that you want to open a store that sells electronic devices and digital devices. The electro store sells electronic devices including desktop, laptop and smartphones, therefore, three separated websites for three separated stores named desktopelectro.com, laptopelectro.com and smartphoneselectro.com can be created for you to share the data among the stores. The same is applied for the digital devices’ website, which can be separated into 2 different stores cameradigital.com and webcamdigital.com.
This way, managing your site becomes easier once it starts to grow. Generally, you can understand that a website can contain multi stores.
Additionally, Magento is amongst the few open source e-commerce software allowing the creation and manipulation of multiple stores in a single setup, it also supports regional and multilingual websites.
Multi Store feature in Magento will definitely make your life easier and provide you with many benefits.
- It is easier for the customers to explore your site. Because the website is separated into different stores with their own features for each store. Take the example above, we can see that it will be easier for the customers to find their wanted clothes based on their gender. You should create a clean and uncluttered site that will help improving customer experiences.
- It is easier to manage customer accounts. The data between or among the stores can be shared for one another. For instance, the customers want to buy shoes for women, they create an account when logging into that store. However, after that they also want to buy shoes for their children, they can go to the children’s shoes store and start shopping right away without having to log in since they have already created an account on women’s shoes store and it can be shared among the stores in the shoes website.
- It is easier to manage your site. There will be a central panel that helps you change the theme and restrict extensions. Each store can have their individual identity.
- You will be able to manage a completely different catalogs and category structure for each store.
- Payment Methods: specific payment methods are not available for each Store. Only one payment methods are applied for all stores, which is very inconvenient.
- Shipping Methods: separate shipping methods are unavailable for each store as well.
+ Tax structures cannot be changed within stores.
+ You cannot manage a separate inventory with stores
- Configuration Settings: You will not be able to manage ANY configuration settings among stores.
In order to get rid of those disadvantages, you have to create multi websites.
How to setup
In order to set up the Multi Store in Magento, on the admin menu, you go to System > Manage Stores. In here, we have “Create Store”. If you want to create more, just click on those buttons to create one.
After clicking to create a new store, a new page will appear and you will have to fill in all the blank boxes as follow:
In conclusion, we should imply that Multi-Store is one of the most essential factors of a Magento site. It is easier and more convenient for the customers to use and for the business to manage since this feature allows managing multiple stores through only one Magento installation under a single admin panel. To take advantage of it, we can easily change our own pricing policy for each store view of a store by using a Magento extension like Multiple Store View Pricing that can set up different price for the same product per store view while Magento default just allow doing this one at the level of store. So that is an advanced feature of this module to overcome drawbacks of Magento default.
In addition to Magento 1 version, a Magento 2 version for Multiple Store View Pricing was also released with almost the same functions that can optimize you own pricing policy per store view.