We interviewed 9 multi-store sellers and here’s what we have learnt about running multiple stores online

Having a successful e-commerce store is a wonderful feeling. But wouldn’t it be better if you can have multiple successful stores? The transition from a single e-commerce store to multiple stores is anything but easy. The obstacles and challenges faced by multiple store sellers are starkly different from single store sellers.

The first and one of the most difficult in your multiple store journey is the decision. How do you decide if and when you should start your next store? This is a question that plagues the mind of a large chunk of e-commerce sellers. Are you having the same question? Today, we bring you tips for 10 successful multiple store sellers, to help find your answer.

1) Rebecca Wright

Stores: www.mbotanicals.co.uk, www.botanicalformulations.com

Customers love her natural beauty products. She provides natural beauty products in one store and product formulations in another. Her unique value proposition of helping other sellers with her affordable formulations is her USP.

What does her typical day look like?

Quality is her main agenda. Apart from usual store work, she spends her time on photography, edits and social media that help her gather audience.

Top challenge

Create a cohesive theme for your Instagram marketing.

Pro-tip: No tip is the pro tip

2) Shirley Tittermary

Stores: www.mamabirdphoto.etsy.comwww.swallowlikealady.com

She sells unique photo-based mugs in one store and provides photography coaching in another. Her products stand out from the rest of the standard mugs because of the unique language. They create magic by connecting with the casual language of the end user because of the uncensored approach.

What does her day look like?

Her time is mainly shared between social media posts, stock photography, editing and listing. Both her stores complement each other because of the common photography demands thus helping her handle things easily.

Top 3 challenges

  1. Marketing
  2. Time management
  3. Work-life balance

Pro-tip: Decide if you are starting a second store because you don’t love what you are doing for the first one or LOVE both?

3) Inga Zilakauskiene

Stores: VintyLadyFloryClay

Customers love her for one-of-a-kind jewelry and gifts.

What does her day look like?

She spends most of time updating product descriptions and photos for her new listings.

Biggest challenge

Time management is the biggest issue. Allocating time for photography, listing and social media posting.

Create a cohesive theme for Instagram marketing.

Pro-tip: The second store requires more attention than your first one.

4) Deanna Simonsen

Stores: www.mymusejewelry.com, foramomentkeepsakes.com

Customers love Deanne’s unique jewelry and her personalized customer service. Her personal attention in every step of the buyer journey guarantees complete customer satisfaction.

What does her day look like

Most part of her day is spent in her creative studio. She starts answering her emails and then proceeds with the day’s order. She delivers all the orders at the post office by 4 pm. Making notes of all her supply needs throughout the day helps her stay stocked.

Top 3 challenges

  1. Maintaining social media challenges
  2. Billing and accounting tasks
  3. Giving each store the attention it deserves

Pro-tip: Visibility and brand awareness in social media takes time to establish. If you make time every day and every week to supply good content, post visual imagery that’s interesting and authentic, it will eventually pay off with more views and more sales.

5) Julie Dulong

Stores:  JDzignerGawkStationeryMugMessages, athomedecorstore

Unique & customized products delivered with exceptional customer service and responsiveness is the reason why customers love the store.

What does her day look like

Link descriptions and SEO are the most time consuming tasks of the tasks. She spends time researching her competition to identify important areas that can help her stand out. Another interesting part of her day is finding and posting non-sales related content to post relevant to her niche.

Top 3 challenges

The biggest challenge is spending time working on each shop every day, which encompasses the 2nd and 3rd biggest challenges; promoting each store on separate social media channels and adding new products consistently.

Pro-tip: You need to carve out time every day to spend on each of your shops (even if it’s 1/2 hour promoting, 1/2 hour updating or adding listings and 1/2 hour researching new products or planning what you’ll do the next day – for those of us who have jobs outside our shops).

6) Jen Rogers

Stores: PinkPomPomPrintablesPinkPomPomKidsPinkPomPomDesign

Graphic design is the single most important reason for which customers love Jen’sstores. The unique graphic designs that she provides in all three stores attracts and retains her customers’ love.

 

What does her day look like

Her days are filled with a self-proclaimed “madness”. She juggles a very hectic schedule as corporate designer for 3 days of the week and manages all 3 days in the rest of her time.

Top challenge

Keeping all 3 stores up-to-date in terms of listing, SEO etc,

Pro-tip: Make sure your first shop is in perfect condition so you can concentrate on growing the second shop.

7) Lena Gosik-Wolfe

Stores: printsicle.com, shoplenadesigns.com

Customers love her store for the genuine care that she shows for quality. Her approach consists of a mix of design skills, creative theory, and practical application that makes her graphic design irresistible for her customers.

What does her day look like

Checklists are the most important tool that helps her organize her day. At any given point she has an overall checklist that lists her monthly goals and also an individual checklist that lists the daily goals for each store.

Top 3 challenges

  1. Being organized
  2. Handling multiple social media accounts
  3. Bookkeeping

Pro-tip: My one “pro tip” for sellers thinking of opening a second store would be to get organized from the beginning. Get your paperwork in order to make sure your shop is legally set up right from the start, implement a system to keep your bookkeeping for each shop separate and in order, and organize your workspace some how to keep after your orders and supplies for two different products much more easily.

8) Lucy Mason

Stores: LucyLucyLemonMinimalScratch

Her wide range of Jewelry collections including rare vintage collections make her store really attractive to her customers. She also takes the time to answer queries from jewelry enthusiasts.

What does her day look like

She works from sunrise to sundown. A world-wide customer base requires early morning and late night work for communication across time zones. At night, items are inspected, cleaned, researched, photographed and then detailed notes are made for the description and hashtags written. Her daughter helps her manage her social accounts with the help of Around.io.

Top 3 problems

  1. Not getting found in the searches on Etsy.
  2. Finding time for social media. 
  3. The commitment of time and space in your home to run two successful stores.

Pro-tip: Shop from other sellers and ask questions. Do your research. Keep yourself well ahead with media scheduling and listings ready to go. Link your shops so people can go from one to the other.

9) Lisa Mitchell

Stores: FauxFerocity.com,  www.TheShopDoc.co

She understands her customer demographic and posts jewelry products that they will be interested in, this becomes the secret ingredient for her success. With her second store she provides coaching and tips for shop owners. Her motivating yet real guidance gets work done for her customers.

What does her day look like

Good planning helps her stay ahead of her jam-packed schedule. She focuses on her jewelry product store for most part of the day and squeezes in the shop coaching service in between at the breaks.

Top 3 problems

1) Marketing evenly.

2) Not missing a deadline.

3) Keeping calm.

Pro-tip: Make sure that a second store is truly needed. It is double the work, double marketing, work time, etc.

As long as you are very organized you can rock it!

Final Takeaway:

Running multiple e-commerce stores is a whole different ball game with a unique set of problems. Some of the most prominent problems faced by multi store sellers are:

Being consistent on Social Media: Consistency is the key to social media success. Using a tool like Around.io to schedule all your social media posts ahead of time will help you overcome the issue.

Time management: As Julie Dulong suggests, carving out time for each shop everyday will help you manage your time much better and help you stay organized.

Being organized: Using an app or a the standard notes to maintain your priority task is the solution suggested by majority of the successful multi store sellers.

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