How to Sync Stock With Shopify Multiple Stores
An entrepreneur's spirit to... entrepreneur, can never be quenched.
But some entrepreneurs are beasts when it comes to pursuing the adrenalin rush of making a sale. So much so that they are willing to put more on the line by selling products they have manufactured.
However, that’s still not enough for this breed of seller. They may open, not only one but two or even three stores.
If this sounds like we’re describing you, way to go champ!
But let’s get serious now, if you’re a manufacturer working this way, you will already know how confusing it can become managing several businesses on the go.
Especially if you're selling the same inventory under different stores. For example, someone with consignment inventory will store products with another business and sell directly to customers.
Shopify inventory management across different stores can quickly become confusing.
In this blog, we’re going to look at how manufacturers can get more control of their Shopify multi-stores and look into Katana’s new Shopify stock synchronization feature, which is very important for getting the most accurate information on your inventory levels.
But, before we delve into this, are you looking to maximize your Shopify stores?
Shopify has over 800,000 active sellers, meaning you can't afford to slack with your business.
Take a copy of our free and ultimate guide on how to sell on Shopify.
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Everything you need to succeed.
What Are Shopify Multiple Stores?
Shopify multiple stores, in a straightforward explanation, refers to a Shopify seller who has more than one account. Sometimes also known as a Shopify multi-store.
Sellers will set up multiple stores with Shopify to expand their business and better serve their customers.
Might sound counter-productive, right?
On paper, it may appear that way. But there are various reasons as to why a business would have Shopify multiple stores. It could be that they sell vastly different products, or one store is B2B and the other a B2C.
Sound confusing? Here are just some of the reasons it would be beneficial for manufacturers to sell through Shopify multiple storefronts.
The Benefits of Having Shopify Multiple Stores
So here are the reasons it can be a lucrative decision for a manufacturer to set up multiple stores with Shopify:
1. Managing Your Brand’s Value
This is the trickiest strategy to manage, and it’s why we want to talk about it first. Some business’s with luxury brands have off-price or outlets to appeal to different audiences. This would be an ideal tactic for businesses with a brand that is a household name.
The idea is to have your main store, but then open another store so that customers who’re frugal can get something cheaper, without devaluing your other products.
2. Selling Internationally
It could be that it’s time to open Shopify multiple storefronts to sell your products across the globe.
Even though you can show different currencies on one store, you can only receive payments in one currency, which is your store's default.
Depending on where you’re going to sell, there’s a chance you’ll be dealing with different tax rates and other regulations you’ll need to follow.
Setting up a different store, even to sell the same products, allows you to make sure that your business is compliant.
Not only that, the target audience in another country won’t necessarily be the same as the original store's audience. Each region should be treated as a different market, and you’re going to need to figure out how to attract that new audience.
3. Selling to Different Groups
Think of the last time you watched some gaudy advert about some perfume or cologne. Do you remember the formula for the advertisement?
For Women: A celebrity climbs naked out of a bath, everything is golden, and it finishes with “so and so, for her.”
For Men: A celebrity wrestles with his suit, an attractive woman appears, and it finishes with “so and so, for him.”
The different groups these stores are targeting are men and women.
But this practice isn't only limited to targeting different genders. It can be used by businesses wishing to appeal to different age groups or even customers and businesses separately.
Having different sites allows you to design your stores to attract different audiences.
PRO TIP: It can be a struggle for small manufacturers to fulfill orders while also trying to organize their Shopify stores and having Shopify multiple stores only increases the likelihood of delays occurring.
Having a Shopify order management system allows makers to easily track their raw materials, finished goods, and order fulfillment statuses from one simple to use visual dashboard.
The Challenges Makers Have with Shopify Multiple Stores
Before we highlight the issues crafters face selling products across multiple stores with Shopify, it should be mentioned that even though you might see your business in one of the above scenarios, you should evaluate if your business is ready to support another website.
But, if you do decide that you’re ready to have Shopify multiple stores, you should be aware of the challenges which come with them and how you can overcome them.
Let’s begin with the most crucial element and then break it down:
Having to Manage Multiple Stores
The most obvious difficulty in having Shopify multiple storefronts means having to manage these stores.
Having multiple Shopify stores means you’re going to have to contend with separate orders, production schedules, and inventory management.
As you’re dealing with orders from two or more stores, it can get messy quickly, especially when trying to fulfill orders or receive returned products.
The same goes for managing your inventory. One little error and you could end up storing dead stock or even delaying your production.
The way you prioritize and showcase products across Shopify multiple storefronts can easily confuse you as you manage several stores at once.
4. Integrating Inventory Management Software
It’s challenging to manage the inventory of several Shopify stores, so a lot of other Shopify sellers use manufacturing ERP software to achieve this. However, most software on the market is either designed for big corporations or tedious to implement into your business.
It’s tricky managing multiple stores with Shopify, but these following tips and upgrading your inventory management is how you can get more control over your stores.
How to Manage Shopify Multiple Stores
If you are going to have Shopify multiple stores, following these steps can help you not get overwhelmed by multitasking these stores.
Step 1 - Optimize Each Site Specifically
Because you’re targeting a certain type of group or selling internationally, you’re going to need to design and promote your Shopify multiple storefronts separately. A copy and paste attempt may not appeal to both audiences.
Step 2 - Centralize Your Order Management
To avoid getting confused with dealing with orders across your stores, you’ll want to develop a system where you can manage your orders in one place.
Step 3 - Update Inventory in Real-Time
Finally, you’ll want to update all your inventory movements immediately because with material and finished items moving around multiple stores, it means a lapse in concentration can cause products to become lost.
But, as you can see from the above steps, to keep on top of your Shopify multiple stores, you're going to need to be diligent to avoid mistakes.
As you can imagine maintaining your multiple stores with Shopify, along with managing inventory, fulfilling orders and scheduling production, can consume a lot of your time, dragging you away from your love for crafting your products.
How other small manufacturers keep on top of all this is by implementing a Shopify inventory software like the one offered by Katana to stay in control of their business.
So how can you boost your business with this software?
Using Katana to Manage Shopify Multiple Stores
Katana is an inventory software that you can use to optimize your multiple stores with Shopify.
However, unlike other software on the market, this one has been specifically designed for small manufacturers selling on Shopify. It helps you get more control over order fulfillment, inventory management, and production planning.
Katana’s features include:
1. Smart Inventory Management
Items and materials moving around your inventory are automatically saved in real-time. The unique auto-booking system takes your available materials and allocates them to your manufacturing orders.
2. Streamlined Floor-Level Management
Have a clearer understanding of your production statuses with our visual dashboard. However, if you need to prioritize a newer order, our drag-and-drop system allows you to do so and even redistributes material to accommodate the new workflow.
3. Integrating Your E-Commerce and Accounting Software
By integrating your Shopify multiple stores and accounting services, such as QuickBooks, you will be able to receive orders or generate invoices all from one dashboard.
So How Do You Integrate Your Shopify Store(s) With Katana?
1. First, log-in with Katana or create an account with our 14-days free trial. Then, go to the “Settings” tab at the top of the dashboard, and under there select “Integrations”.
2. Select “Connect” and simply search for your store by typing in your Shopify store name.
However, if you wish to connect Shopify multiple stores you will need to integrate each store separately.
Once you have typed in your Shopify stores address, click next to continue.
3. At this screen, you’ll be able to choose whether you want to import all your open orders, customers, products, and even inventory levels from Shopify and sync them with Katana.
4. Finally, review your details and once happy, select “Ok, connect my store” and then you’re done! Just don’t forget, if you want to connect Shopify multiple stores, you’ll need to repeat the process with each store.
For a more visual tutorial, watch the video below to see how Shopify connects to Katana:
Shopify Stock Synchronization
Once you've imported all the above data, you have the option to have a live connection between your Katana and Shopify accounts by selecting “Yes, automatically synchronize stock levels from Katana to Shopify.”
By enabling this, any changes to stock levels made in Katana (like product availability), will also be reflected across your Shopify multiple stores for your customers to see.
Don’t worry if you’re only selling through one account, as the stock sync is still available.
Essentially this turns Katana into your primary tool for managing your entire Shopify business operations.
For example, if you receive a sales order on Shopify, it will automatically be pushed into Katana and will notify you if you have enough stock available to fulfill the order.
If you do, great! If you dispatch the item to the customer and mark the order as “Delivered” on Katana, the sales order will appear as “Fulfilled” on Shopify.
The same will also work vice versa, meaning if you marked the order as “Fulfilled” on Shopify it’ll also update on Katana.
However, maybe you're a make to order business that wishes to have your manufacturing and sales orders separate. Simply ignore the option to enable synchronization so you can monitor sales with Shopify and your manufacturing with Katana.
But, if you wish to switch the sync on or off later, you can do so under "Integrations" and by selecting "Reconfigure" for Shopify.
How Does the Stock Synchronization Work?
Katana can give you correct inventory readings across both accounts based on these factors:
1. The sync is triggered by changes to the quantity of a product. So, if a product is committed to a sales order and updated as delivered, this will appear on Katana and your Shopify inventory.
2. The stock sync only works if items exist in both Katana and Shopify. Basically, once your items have been imported from Shopify to Katana and the stock sync has been enabled, any new products which are created afterward will not be synchronized. These new products will need to be manually added onto both accounts for the stock sync to work.
Katana can match Shopify products by their Shopify SKU (or variant code) and import the data over. But if there is more than one product with matching SKU’s it’ll only import the product with the latest created date.
If no SKU’s are available, Katana will then try to match products by an unseen Shopify ID to attempt to sync the stock.
There is also a way to export your products from Katana onto Shopify, but you’ll need to export an inventory list as a spreadsheet and import it into Shopify.
PRO TIP: Need a hand with coming up with some SKU’s for your Shopify products? Why not check out our free SKU generator to help you make some.
Example of Stock Synchronization
A small crafter sells leather handbags. They have two stores, a B2C and a B2B.
They've imported all their Shopify data onto Katana and have enabled stock synchronization.
Currently, they have 20 bags in stock. Both B2C and B2B stores will display that they have 20 handbags in stock on Shopify.
So, if a sales order comes in from each store, one bag for the B2C and ten bags for the B2B, the inventory (once marked as delivered in Katana) will be reduced to nine.
But, if a manufacturing order for 20 bags was marked as finished on Katana shortly after, the stock levels (on Shopify and Katana) will increase to 29.
Having this centralized point of inventory control means you don't have to monitor two different inventory levels, saves you the trouble of manually updating the new and accurate inventory levels, and allows you to fulfill sales orders from one dashboard.
However, it should be mentioned that when a sales order is generated on Shopify, the inventory is immediately lowered on Shopify. But, on Katana, it won't decrease straight away. Instead, it'll allocate available products which you can find under "Committed" and, the inventory on Katana lowers once the sales order is fulfilled.
For the visual learners among us, below you can find a short video explaining the stock synchronization:
Now you know how to optimize your Shopify multiple stores or what you need to do to get them running.
But also, you know the importance of finding a Shopify inventory software which can communicate with your Shopify store to give you an autonomous, correct, and up-to-date overview of your stock levels.
Having a stock synchronization feature means you don’t have to waste any more time tolling through spreadsheets. Katana gives you a centralized point to monitor your inventory across Shopify multiple storefronts, fulfill sales orders on time, plan production, and get a clearer understanding of the status of production.
Look for yourself!
Katana offers a 14-day free trial. You don’t need to input any credit card details, just sign up and you’re away.
Do you have any questions? Feel free to pop us a message below, we’d be glad to answer them.
Until next time, happy manufacturing!