6 Minutes to read

Expand internationally with Magento Multistore

Annemette Rosenkilde Lucas

Marketing Manager

Annemette's area of expertise is inbound marketing. With several years of experiences, first as an E-mail Marketing Specialist, later as Marketing Automation Specialist and now certified HubSpot specialist, she is today responsible for MCB's internal marketing.

Magento is an open source CMS that was developed to control and manage webshops. It is also a user interface that lets you manage your entire business flow from one administration panel. This means that you can create products and product variants as well as handle orders, shipping and payments in one place.

When you dream of scaling your business and selling internationally, and you would like to get rid of a solution that is both challenging and time-consuming, then Magento may be exactly what you are looking for.

Perhaps you already manage more than one shop, which is why you already know the challenges that can be associated with development and maintenance in several places at once. And again, Magento's multistore can be an ideal solution.

Multistore is many things - most importantly, it is a function designed to make it easier for you to handle several shops at once. Therefore, it is also simple to add another language layer if you want to expand in the least resource-demanding way.

It is attractive. Many people today feel a need to expand. The market is tough and it's only getting tougher. The Internet is full of opportunities, and more people see a light in operating online. Therefore you can experience several competitors who offer the same as you, and you must be ahead of them - on several points.

However, it is all about having a website that not only meets your needs and makes it simple for you to manage both one or more language layers, it must also be user-friendly for your customers, potential customers and business partners - and this is something that applies whether you are doing business B2B or B2C.

We are in a time where all segments make demands on the online experience we are presented with. You should have a well-considered and strategic effort online when you also want success.

And that success can advantageously start with your webshop built in Magento's CMS and the many possibilities, functions and features you can utilize and derive great value from here - especially if you have made a migration to Magento 2.


What is Magento Multistore?

Magento Multistore is the feature that sets Magento apart from other eCommerce solutions. 

With Magento eCommerce, you will experience scalability and a system in which you always get the help and support you need - both B2B and B2C. This is because it is an open source system, which enables everyone to personalize their own experience through development and code. However, we recommend that you always look for experienced partners when you start up or upgrade in Magento, because there may be a need for specialized knowledge in the system in order to end up with the most optimal result.

Magento is the system that grows with your webshop, and when your e-commerce expands, it may be necessary to have several webshops on different domains. 

Usually, more shops also means more backends, but not with Magento, which ensures you the possibility of managing several webshops at the same backend. In Magento, the multistore is already part of the CMS, without expensive license or a large integration.

It is an advantage with the different currencies you display for the same product, depending on which domain you access your shop form. For this, you can both make use of the built-in currency function, where you choose your own exchange rate for each currency based on a standard currency, you can retrieve your exchange rates from an external service, or you can handle all your prices manually. 

There are also delivery options and payment options, which are very different depending on the market. Therefore, you can increase the number of transactions you handle by splitting your order management, product management and checkout. Today, everything has to go fast, and if your delivery time is longer and more demanding than that of your competitors, you have already failed. Therefore it is a mistake to only focus on product price. Many are willing to pay a little more for a product if it means they can get it faster.

All countries have a preference for online payment - some prefer PayPal, especially in the USA, and others prefer Klarna, while we in Denmark love MobilePay, and there are countless of other solutions. It is important that you offer the right options in your international shops, to make it as simple as possible for your potential customers to complete a purchase. If it is too difficult, they will move on and maybe find the same product or a similar one on a webshop that seems easier to shop at.

When you offer the preferred payment options, your webshop will appear much more real. 

In order to offer the best global presence, language variety is important. In this way, your shop seems more attractive to potential customers, and it is easier to relate to your products and thus complete a purchase.

With Magento Multistore, you can configure different languages ​​on each of your webshops. You can do this with the well-known language selector in the menu - that icon is intuitive and an effective solution. By clicking on a given country or language, a customer is sent to the correct shop.

However, you can also create webshops with specific URLs for each language.

We all know that we go to different markets in different of ways. The way we approach the American market is thus not the same as the way we approach the European market. And this also applies to design and layout. Therefore, with Magento Multistore, you have the opportunity to give each language layer its own look.

However, we recommend that you make use of the same theme, so you create a coherent and basic thread for your entire brand - and then you can subsequently adapt on each language layer to hit the different target groups correctly. On each language layer, you can also connect different functions in order to best meet your customers.

Each shop can have its own domain and design and also layout - and differ from each other, but they use the same server, which is why they can share modules (if they are licensed in the Magento installation. Some modules may require a license for each domain)

Please note that Magento Multistore does not exclusively mean an expansion internationally. You can have different webshops and domains under the same Magento installation without being located globally.

So what suits your business and your vision for the future?


Advantages of Magento Multistore

As mentioned, there are several advantages with Magento Multistore. Let's dive into some of the most important ones below.

It is easier for you to experience an expansion internationally regarding both language, currency, delivery and shipping, but you can also build separate catalogs for each shop - just as well as you can choose to use the same across them all. You get the freedom to work with your store as it makes the most sense for you in your framework.

Particularly within the B2B segment, this is an advantage, as you can ensure the most targeted view.

Ease of use is often alpha and omega. Therefore, you should make it as easy as possible for your customers and potential customers to shop with you - which is possible with Magento Multistore. 

You can let your customers navigate in a shop which is divided by category rather than having to find their way around one large shop within a number of different categories.

Very few of us take the time to search through an entire site to check whether what we need is available at the shop. If we don't find it within a short time, we move on. With that said, you can make further use of the division into segments. Let's assume you sell clothing to both women and men. To give each of them the best experience, you should re-direct them to shops with women's clothing or men's clothing. In this way, it is easier for your visitors to find what they are looking for, and they get a sense of a more complete, structured and personal experience in your shop.

And… it makes it easier for you to update based on data, as you get separate segments. You can provide exactly the experience that each segment demands in order to hit the target in the best way. And therefore it is no longer necessary to compromise to find a solution that satisfies almost everyone.


Get started with Magento Multistore

Before you approach he world, make sure to have formed a good base nationally. You should know the local markets. There are often a number of disciplines that you have to learn and be able to handle on your own - unless you choose to outsource part of the tasks. 

And the little thing is actually not so little. Your feeling and approach can mean the difference between a success and a fail.

This may initially mean a migration to a Magento Webshop.

Perhaps you need to export all data - from products to customer data from an existing shop to a new one. For that, you should use an experienced Magento agency that ensures that everything is handled correctly and in the most efficient way without data being lost.

Everything should thus proceed smoothly and according to a strict plan. There may also be some modules or features that need to be coded into Magento so that the platform meets your needs, or you may have some wishes for an upgrade that you would like to implement in reality.

It may also be that you already have a presence on an existing Magento Webshop that you want to expand. Or maybe a migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is a necessity.

If you currently operate on a Magento 1, we recommend in any case that you migrate to Magento 2 before embarking on an international adventure.

Compared to Magento 1, Magento 2 provides value. You will experience a better architectural structure, an improved speed, a higher performance, more extensions and a supported security.  Magento 2 supports e.g. the latest PHP versions.


You must check this before entering a new country

You should also take a look at your speed before expanding your business. Often you have less than one second to convince visitors that they should stay on your website - it's not a long time, but it's long enough to be able to make a difference in terms of your conversion rate.

Especially if you sell B2C. Many indications tells that the B2C segment is much busier than the B2B segment. You should therefore ensure a fast loading speed, especially on your product pages. 

Search engines such as Google also prefer sites that cut down on unnecessary waiting time.



Whether you are looking for a business partner to set up a new shop on Magento, you already have a Magento webshop, or you are looking for help with the migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2, we will be happy to help you.


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