eCommerce Insiders

Should You Launch More than One Store?

I know how it feels.

The feeling usually comes in the morning, when you are just about to launch into your day. You start up your computer and wait for all the usual tools of the trade, analytics and others to load.

And then suddenly you realize it. It’s gone.

You don’t feel the buzz anymore.

You spent the last few months building the business. You researched your niche, contacted all suppliers, built a product offering, a site and marketed it to the point where it starts generating sales.

Great!

But now it feels, well, ordinary.

I don’t think there is an ecommerce owner who wouldn’t go through a phase like that at some point. I have gone through it only recently. The original excitement of building an ecommerce store wore off, the buzz I was getting from seeing my store taking shape and gaining traction was no longer there. What’s left is a perhaps a bit dull reality in which your days are filled with the same tasks, processing orders, marketing the store and trying to build a brand. (And don’t get me wrong. All those things are exciting as well but they don’t hold the candle to the buzz you get from launching a store).

That moment when the feeling hits is the very time when you start considering launching a second store. The thing is, is it really such a good idea? Let’s weight the pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Running Multiple Stores

Pros

  • It Offers Potentially A Faster Growth Opportunity Most stores hit a point after which their development halts or progresses very slowly. Creating and running multiple stores can ensure that you always have a new and steady growth in a business, as even if some sites get stall, others will still be developing.
  • It’s Safer Running multiple stores is certainly a good strategy if you want to secure your business from Google’s wrath. The search engine is known to throw updates which often cause even good quality sites sink in rankings. But when having multiple stores, even if one of your sites gets hit, you still have the others to rely on with your income. Having said that, they could all be eliminated one by one, so building all your traffic from search only might not be a good idea anyway.

Cons

  • Distraction and Lack of Focus Every new store you open takes away the focus from your main one. And, it can be really challenging to give the same attention to all of them.
  • Cost Every new store costs money to launch and promote. This investment can be far greater than the cost of growing and building additional traffic sources for your main site.
  • Management Running multiple stores also adds to the management tasks you need to perform everyday, often resulting in having to hire more staff or manage additional workload yourself.

Should You Open a New Store

OK, I admit, it can be hard to turn away from opportunity. After all, you are a business person, building businesses is what you should be doing. Sometimes however, even though it might seem otherwise, it is actually easier to grow one store and increase its revenue rather than keep on opening new ones.

And sure, having multiple stores protects you from the Google’s rage. But you shouldn’t be relying on Google for your traffic anyway. It should be only one of the channels the visitors find you through and by far, no the main one.

It’s also easy to see how multiple stores will increase your revenue but at what cost? You can be having a new stream of money but also an additional cost that outweight what you make. And, it’s not that impossible, as costs of starting up a new store are huge.

Last but not least, it is extremely difficult to build more than one separate brand. Full stop.

Do I try to discourage you from considering opening a second store? Not at all! But as someone who has opened many stores and discovered the pros and cons of doing so in practice, I am trying to present you with an honest opinion on the matter. It is only understandable that you are seeking to feel that buzz again but believe me, once you stick through the first dull moments, you will start getting a much bigger buzz from the increase of orders and your stores growth.

Although, if you need a scientific approach to working out if it is feasible to build another store, try this formula. It’s actually quite simple and all you need to do is answer these four questions:

  1. What sales does your store generate today?
  2. How long did it take you to get there?
  3. How long would it take you to get to the same point with a new store?
  4. How long would it take you to double your main stores income?

In other words, try establishing what will be easier, building a new store or growing the existing one. If your anwers suggest that your main store has reached its peak, then by all means, work on a new one. But if you feel that there is still room for growth there, I’d suggest to consider sticking out with it for a while and building it into a much larger store.

Conclusion

Once the buzz of building a new store wears off, it is only natural that you might be seeking to feel it again through launching a new site. Before you do so, however, you should honestly weight all pros and cons to establish whether it will actually grow your business or just dilutes your efforts.

Pawel Grabowski is a SaaS writer, working with B2B SaaS companies primarily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *