How Shopify Expansion Stores Work (and Why You’d Need One!)

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Shopify is an excellent ecommerce platform for growing your online brand. With a range of pricing options and a host of proprietary tools, companies of all sizes get the support and infrastructure they need. Shopify Plus, the premier Shopify subscription level, includes one neat benefit – more stores.

Shopify Plus expansion stores offer brands a way to curate content to different audiences, create stores to serve specific regions and optimize SEO more effectively.

Thinking of making the upgrade? Here’s what to know!

 What Are Shopify Expansion Stores?

Expansion stores are additional storefronts associated with your Shopify Plus account. Whether you create a second store or more, you can import as much (or as little!) data from existing stores as you want. This could include porting over the same themes, files, staff permissions and access, and billing and inventory.

Why Would I Need an Additional Storefront?

Organizations have different motivations for opening a second store on Shopify, but the consistent theme is to organize content for a more specific audience. We’ll run through some of the most common reasons to add an additional store. If you’re already a Shopify Plus subscriber, expansion stores aren’t an additional expense, but managing the additional sales channels can take time.

Make sure each new storefront adds value!

Here are a few ways brands use expansion stores:

  • New markets or currencies – Expanding to a new part of the country or a new country altogether? Congrats! Ecommerce brands can leverage expansion stores to create region, country or language-specific content to improve user experience and even SEO.
  • Brick-and-mortar – Shopify Plus software can be used as an in-person point of sale (POS) system. Creating a retail expansion store keeps in-store and online sales separate and neat, while aligning expenses and inventory.
  • Members only – Within Shopify, member-only stores provide fixed pricing and product information that can address specific customer needs without it being shared with a wider audience. For example, companies could offer employees logo gear at cost and include different payment and shipping options.
  • Wholesale – Manage your wholesale business with an expansion store. This creates a specific storefront with wholesale pricing and shipping that makes it easier for distribution partners to order what they need, when they need it.
  • Testing – Many Shopify Plus users create a “sandbox” store to test new store themes, coding or brand updates. These “development stores” are rarely published – they’re a safe place to experiment.
  • Serve new product lines – Expansion stores are a low-cost way to differentiate product lines as your brand evolves. For example, a home goods retailer with a long history of selling kitchen faucets could expand into a similar product line – kitchen sinks! The brand would serve both products in its original store and create a sink-specific store to serve that audience.

Not sure if you need an expansion store? We can help you decide whether an additional storefront suits your ecommerce strategy and creates the right content to make your marketing more effective!

Read more: Shopify vs. WordPress for Ecommerce

How to Create a Second Shopify Store

Here’s how:

Make sure you’re logged into your Shopify Plus administration account, and give yourself some time to connect the themes, apps and other details you’ll need.

  1. From the admin home page, select Stores.
  2. From the dropdown menu, choose “Create a Store.”
  3. From the Store type menu, choose the purpose of your store – the options will be similar to those listed above, or fill in a type by selecting “Other.”
  4. Next, name your store and choose a custom URL. IMPORTANT: You won’t be able to change the URL once the site is live!
  5. Select any Shopify apps to connect – we recommend connecting all the apps you use on your primary store.

This will take you to the home screen of your new store. It’ll look almost identical to your primary store’s home or administration page, so regular Shopify users will have no trouble accomplishing tasks like making new pages or adding products. Before you do that, let’s get the look right!

  • Select “Themes” from the navigation menu and select “Import themes.” This will take the same themes from your main store and make them available in the new property! 
  • Make sure you select a theme to use – don’t sweat; you can make small changes like colors and fonts anytime.
  • Next, import files from your store. If you’re only selling some products on the new storefront, you’ll only need to import the files associated with that product line.
  • Click “Done.”
  • Finally, select “Users” from the new store’s homepage and choose which staff accounts will have access to the store.
  • Click “Done.”
  • Drum roll please … select Create Store!

If you need a hand, get in touch with us or check out Shopify’s rather thorough documentation on the process.

How Many Stores Can You Have on Shopify?

As many as you want! Kind of. For clarity, we need to split this into two questions:

How many Shopify stores can you have?

There’s no limit to the number of stores a single email or user can access. Marketing agencies and developers like Oneupweb might have access to dozens of Shopify stores, but that’s only part of the answer.

How many stores can you have on one account?

For each Shopify Plus account, one user is designated the owner. An owner account can only create a total of nine stores per payment plan. So, each owner’s Shopify Plus account can create nine stores; any additional storefronts would be under a different Shopify Plus subscription and would not be able to connect to inventory, billing, apps or themes associated with that initial account.

Case Study: Shopify Migration with French Paper

Looking to Grow? Oneupweb Can Help!

Expand your marketing chops with a vertically integrated team of experts. From developers with Shopify expertise to content marketers with fresh ideas, Oneupweb offers a host of solutions to meet your organization’s toughest challenges. Ready to level up? Contact Oneupweb or call 231-922-9977 to get your Shopify expansion store project rolling.

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