How to manage multiple storefronts with Magento and Microsoft Dynamics 365/AX

February 15 2019

E-commerce has touched almost every sphere of the business world. However, not every business trying to fit in the digital economy finds itself coping very well with the change. There could be many reasons, but the most important one is that businesses are ignoring crucial factors while trying to rush into an e-commerce setup. Multiple-storefront management in e-commerce is one such factor that needs attention and careful planning before you decide to roll it out to production.

Why consider multi-storefront management in e-commerce

Let's talk about why we need multi-storefront management in the first place when you could sell everything from one webstore. Not every retailer needs to rush into creating multiple webstores, but there are a few who must base their decision on the following parameters:

  • Looking to scale the business to multiple geographies: Although the internet might seem like the easiest way to reach people from around the world, when it comes to selling, you must research your customers' cultural norms to better design your webstores. To brand yourself in different countries, you must address their preferences.
  • Selling unrelated products: When selling products that do not relate to each other, posting them on the same webstore may confuse your customers. The best way to offer multiple product lines is to create multiple storefronts.
  • B2B or B2C: A retailer can serve businesses as well as end customers. However, branding and user experience makes a huge difference when dealing with different sections of the market.

Operational challenges faced in e-commerce

It is vital to understand the challenges of the e-commerce setup, and progress accordingly. When thinking about multiple "storefronts" it's important to keep in mind that they are actually webstores. When a company sells dissimilar products or targets different countries and languages it often makes sense to have multiple e-commerce websites.

Looking at examples from the market, there are plenty of cases where companies failed because they didn't successfully adopt a multi-storefront model. Webvan, an online grocery store which started in 1999, had to shut its operations in 2001 and was later folded into Amazon. The major reason for its failure was its aggressive expansion to various cities without enough adaptation for each market.

To move to a completely different infrastructure and business model, one needs to look for technical and brand awareness issues, as well as societal, legal, ethical and intellectual property hurdles. While others are comparatively easy to handle, technical issues make up for most of the chaos.

Here are a few of the technical issues that can turn your new business model into a disastrous flop:

  • Interoperability: Working in an e-commerce setup means communicating with different software platforms Failure to do so can lead to denial of service and unauthorized access, as well as theft and fraud.
  • Data management and organization: You must know the right way of locating the long list of products and services parked in different directories.
  • Security: This one might not need much explanation. Everyone working on the internet is aware of the damage security vulnerabilities can cause. An insecure system can result in everything from theft of data to a complete system crash.
  • Privacy: Because of new laws in places like the European Union, in the case of GDPR, businesses are now required to keep their customer's data safe. Failure to abide by these laws and maintain legitimate use of cookies could result in steep fines.

Other problems creep in when any of the above parameters are not defined and regulated. To run manage multiple storefronts for your e-commerce operation, you must adopt the right technology before making the plans.

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About Kasyapa Malladi

Kasyapa Malladi is the Marketing Manager at i95Dev. He is a marketer, curious reader and a technology enthusiast. At i95Dev, he is responsible for marketing strategy and operations. Ask him about B2B Ecommerce growth strategies. Make sure to read the B2B Ecommerce Handbook for more information

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