Shopify Plus offers an array of fresh and useful features for merchants, but what about multiple stores? Many entrepreneurs strive to run several ecommerce stores simultaneously – ideally from one place. 

If you’re ready to expand your business, but don’t have a solid understanding of the possibilities that can come with the Shopify Plus platform, this blog will cover everything you need to know to guarantee success. 

Can you have multiple stores on Shopify Plus?

It’s not currently possible to run multiple Shopify stores under one unified view, so if you’re looking to launch more than one store, you’ll need to create a separate Shopify account for each, as they cannot all be managed under one dashboard. While Shopify does support merchants owning multiple stores, inventory will need to be managed for each store through its own Shopify dashboard. You can use the same Shopify account for as many stores as you’d like.

Many retailers operate through more than one channel, whether it be with brick-and-mortar stores or international branches of the same business. This is something that Shopify Plus does support and you can manage these channels under one roof.

When it comes to going global, Shopify expansion stores are key to accelerating growth. Typically, Shopify Plus merchants use storefronts for true internationalisation.

What is a Shopify expansion store?

Though the name may give it away, a Shopify expansion store is an additional store under the same brand, for the purpose of international ecommerce, i.e. selling in different languages, countries and currencies. They are designed to drive business growth, provide maximum flexibility and customisability.

Expansion stores compliment your main store and are only available to Plus merchants, which is why it is integral that enterprise businesses upgrade sooner rather than later.

An expansion store comes with all of the features required to successfully manage international ecommerce, from local shipping options to localised content experiences that allow brands to improve conversion rate, as well as organic search and paid media performance. An important distinction between Shopify Plus storefronts and functionality such as Shopify Markets is that Shopify Plus lets you change, personalise and run the entire store differently, rather than just customise a few settings such as currency and locale.

If you require an expansion store, you need to contact the Shopify Plus Support team after upgrading – they can create them for you very quickly. If you work with a Shopify agency, they can handle this process for you.

Your expansion store must be related to the billing store; you can’t run completely separate ecommerce ventures from a Shopify Plus store with storefronts; think or Gap & Baby Gap.

Shopify store types explained

As you delve deeper into your Shopify organisation admin, you may come across a list of different store types. To help you keep track of what’s what, we’ve explained each store type below:

Billing store – this is your first and primary store. Any financial matters such as billing, can be accessed via this store. Shopify Support can help should you ever need to change the billing store in your organisation.

Expansion store – Shopify allows up to nine regional stores for the purposes of internationalisation, separate physical locations and other related purposes.

Retail – a store created to sell in-person only.

Wholesale – a wholesale store is an additional store or storefront for the purposes of selling to other businesses, usually designed to handle larger or bulk orders. Shopify’s B2B features make it a great platform for wholesalers.

Members only – this store type is created to sell to only employees or a select number of members.

Development – a development store allows you to experiment with themes, branding and custom coding without impacting the appearance or functionality or the real one. These stores are not used for the purpose of selling products. 

Other – a store created for a reason not included in this list. 

How to create an expansion store in Shopify Plus

Your first point of action will be ensuring that you have store management access. Without this, you won’t be able to manage the stores that exist within your organisation, create new ones or approve any additional fees that may be applied to your existing plan. 

Things to consider

When you create a new store, you automatically become its owner. A store owner can be changed after creation via the Shopify ‘admin’ section of the dashboard. During set up, you’ll need to assign one of the above store types for the store. The type you select won’t affect features or capabilities. 

When creating a new store, you have the option to pre-install a number of apps from the Shopify App Store that will help you get your store up and running.

Importing data from an existing store 

Once you’ve created your new store, you’ll be able to import certain features from an existing one. Note that automatic imports can only be performed during the creation process – once your store is set up, manual imports are the only option. Importable data includes themes, files and staff (only email verified staff can be imported). 

Any changes made to the theme in your original store will be reflected in the expansion store. So if a file in the original store is deleted, it will be broken in the new one. 

A step-by-step guide 

Head to the organisation admin to create a new expansion store, then follow the below steps.

  • In the organisation admin section of your Shopify dashboard, click ‘Stores
  • Select ‘Create Store’
  • Now it’s time to choose the purpose of your store, choose the most appropriate option from the list we discussed above
  • You’ll then be prompted to input store details – enter a name and URL. The URL cannot be altered so be sure to double check that it’s correct
  • At this point you’ll be given the chance to pre-install a range of Shopify apps
  • Now it’s time to import themes. Head to the ‘Themes’ section of the dashboard
  • Click ‘Import Themes’ and then check the themes you’d like to import. Imported themes will then appear under ‘Choose a Theme’ and can be published to your store. If you don’t want to import any files, uncheck the ‘import all files’ option.
  • Select ‘Done’
  • If you’d like to import staff, navigate to the ‘Users’ section and click ‘Import Users’. Select the staff members you want to import
  • Click ‘Done’, then select ‘Create Store’

Your new expansion store should now be ready to go. You can log in and begin to add any details you want. As always with Shopify, it’s a simple and straightforward process and opens (quite literally) a world of possibilities for your ecommerce business. 

Need help getting started with Shopify Plus? Whether you’re migrating your store over from another platform or need a hand with your ecommerce growth strategy, we’d love to chat. Send us a message and we’ll be in touch.