Multistore B2B Solutions
Multistores grow increasingly popular on world-class B2B eCommerce platforms for many reasons, but the primary factor that fuels the trend is customer convenience. Unique branding options, popular store-within-store applications, simplified ordering, easier-to-find product information, dedicated manufacturer catalogs and creating regional stores are among the top benefits of creating multiple stores in one B2B platform. The benefits of establishing multiple stores within an eCommerce platform framework include:
- Creating niche shops that can provide greater focus and visibility on key products and brands
- Enhancing the ability to close deals without confusing customers with too many products and services
- Crafting content that's more brand- and industry-specific
- Personalizing marketing to a higher degree
- Separating products that appeal to different customers, industries or economic groups
- Making browsing and shopping for products easier and more focused
- Highlighting manufacturer brands, high-end merchandise and more profitable items
- Allowing customers to save their account information and shipping preferences to use in all related stores without needing to update information or use separate shopping carts
- Fine-tuning customer segregation by tracking which stores customers visit
- Increasing Google SERP displays for the platform by segmenting stores and keyword strategies to work around Google's policy of limiting the number of links from a single domain
- Creating specialized stores for anniversaries, special occasions, holidays and other benchmarks
- Reducing comparison shopping on other sites by shifting comparison-shopping activity to stores within the platform
- Enhancing customer acquisition efforts
Reaching Vastly Different Customer Profiles
One of the most important advantages of creating multiple stores is the ability to target diverse types of customers while playing to their specific B2B needs. The trends of B2B eCommerce favor platforms where customers can find multiple products and services from a range of manufacturers, product vendors and service providers. These B2B marketplaces are gradually taking over the traditional, static website that offers only one supplier even when the supplier markets a vast range of products and services. Multistores make shopping easier for buyers by categorizing products in greater detail. That makes it easier for advanced structural engineers to find the construction products they need without having to wade through pages designed for neighborhood handymen and plumbers. About 33 percent of procurement specialists complain that their biggest ordering difficulty is finding product information because many suppliers carry too many products and ordering options for simplified ordering. An astonishing 89 percent of survey respondents also expressed a desire for B2B ordering as simple and compelling as consumer purchases. Multiple stores can offer customers these benefits and the following marketing and sales advantages:
Audience Segmentation and Expansion
Marketing automation, custom integrations, customer portals, ordering dashboards and multiple stores within a platform enhance the ability to gather detailed buyer behavior information to segment audiences by many criteria including location, age, income, brand loyalties, industry, purchasing history and price ranges. Audience segmentation can be used to build regional stores or provide native-language subdomains. The Common Sense Advisory study found that 75 percent of buyers in countries where English isn't commonly spoken prefer to use websites written in their native languages despite increasingly common translation services on the Internet. About 60 percent of buyers never buy from English-only websites.
Centralized Back-Office Control
The right integrations and architecture allow eCommerce companies to manage multiple stores, brands and databases from one centralized administrator dashboard. This benefit simplifies administrative tasks such as updating account information, adding new products and writing or changing product descriptions. There is really only one catalog with many subdomains, but staff can change product descriptions in subdomains to focus on different customer profiles and different industries, create unique, subdomain-specific marketing campaigns and manage changes and updates for all stores from a single resource. This unified management of multiple stores enables real-time updates across subdomains and single-cart shopping to work across multiple stores.
Each store or subdomain in the platform should have its own URL to get the best results from organic searches and to enhance internal navigation. A robust eCommerce platform allows companies to create as many subdomains as they choose with unlimited products, categories, specifications, descriptions, photos, videos, etc. The company can then optimize searches for subdomain-specific keywords and different user profiles.
Investing in a powerful B2B eCommerce platform instead of a simple eCommerce store offers many advantages for providing user-friendly services, applications and third-party connections, but the investment can also generate cost savings when the platform is used to run multiple stores. Companies can use the same fully integrated software and applications to run multiple business operations that can attract a wider audience, improve customer experiences and promote ancillary products and services that customers might not buy from a single catalog but happily change their minds when ordering from a niche supplier with its own URL and marketing approach. Companies can also set special prices for each store and only offer those prices to certain groups of favored customers. Another marketing trick is offering incentives for cross-store purchases to encourage one group of buyers to investigate the products at other platform stores.
Creating regional stores is often more beneficial than segregating customers by profiles, demographics and other criteria. It's especially effective when different languages are used, cultural differences are significant or regional buying habits have their own distinct characteristics or regionalisms. For example, appealing to western U.S. states would involve using different content and subtext than marketing to big northeastern cities and urban metropolises. Regional stores can create stronger connections with regional and international customers, and subdomain catalogs can offer region-specific holiday specials, colloquialisms, SEO geographic details and content that recognizes local customs and sensitivities.
Considerations for Developing Multistore Capabilities
Regardless of whether you want to build multistores to showcase products to better effect, grow a more diverse customer base, offer signature ancillary services on your platform or simplify ordering for your best clients, your B2B platform can help or hinder the process. Adopting a robust platform with a versatile middleware layer allows you to streamline a multitiered, client-server architecture to run many stores from a single platform. You can enjoy unlimited scalability to add new stores and services, integrate customer technologies, fine-tune your content to focus on each application where it's used and empower staff to manage multiple stores while always representing the right brand, philosophy and details for each store. A trusted vendor partner who supports collaborative development can help your team add unlimited stores to your B2B platform by integrating your back-office and CRM software, customer resources and third-party applications into a stunningly efficient business-to-business marketplace platform.
 Web Retailer: 10 Statistics from the Online Marketplace Seller Survey www.webretailer.com/lean-commerce/statistics-marketplace-seller-survey/
 Marketingcharts.com: B2B Procurers Want E-Commerce Options Too, See Multiple Benefits www.marketingcharts.com/online/b2b-procurers-want-e-commerce-options-too-see-multiple-benefits-24857/
 Common Sense Advisory: Survey of 3,000 Online Shoppers Across 10 Countries Finds that 60% Rarely or Never Buy from English-only Websites www.commonsenseadvisory.com/Default.aspx?Contenttype=ArticleDet&tabID=64&moduleId=392&Aid=21500