Yes, Shopify allows you to easily create as many stores as you want. No, there is no native solution for unifying the data generated across them, regardless of which plan your business is on. Indeed, without third-party integrations, you won’t be able to get a complete and accurate view of things like: inventory and warehouse data, product data, customer support data, or business and marketing analytics to determine ROI.
The purpose of this article is to address these four data integration challenges faced by businesses running multiple Shopify stores and offer two solutions for how to overcome each.
- Managing Inventory and Warehouse Data
- Managing Product Data
- Unifying Customer Support
- Tracking Multi-Store Shopify Analytics
1. Managing Inventory and Warehouse Data
Managing inventory across independent Shopify stores can quickly turn into a logistical nightmare, especially if all stores are pulling inventory from the same warehouse. The most common traps that businesses fall into are over- and understocking.
Shopify somewhat compensates for its lack of multi-store integration via its robust app store. The store’s highest-rated app for inventory management is Stock Sync.
Stock Sync is extremely flexible and eliminates loads of data feed roadblocks. Importing products from suppliers, updating stock quantity, and changing prices or product specs (like packaging and weight data) can be done seamlessly and on the fly. It’s also no-code, so you won’t need any expensive web developers to get up and running.
Though the initial setup can be confusing, once users get their data flowing, they will find that the app can support a number of management approaches. For example, instead of via a product feed, it can also trigger updates via file import, or by navigating to a URL.
In addition to offering a plan that’s completely free of charge, they offer a free, 14-day trial for all their paid plans, which start at $5 per month. This makes it good for growing businesses (it even works for empty stores).
Skubana is a powerful, could-based solution that’s actually built by sellers, and therefore targeted to ecommerce businesses with more heavyweight needs.
It offers direct integrations with all major sales channels and ecommerce tools, as well as indirect integrations with lesser-known tools. The app is known for its impressive analytics capabilities and forecasting tools, which allow users to detect opportunities for both cost-cutting and profit (e.g. seasonal trends), down to each individual SKU. Popular features include automatic purchase order generation, order filtering, automated fulfillment logic, and automated stock reordering.
Skubana is more complex than Stock Sync, so many users find the learning curve to be steeper. Skubana’s pricing starts at $999 per month, for up to 1,000 orders per month.
2. Managing Product Data
When you have eshops catering to different regions, demographics, sales channels, etc., your product data will likely be structured differently. Without a product information management (PIM) solution in place, this can easily result in a twisted data mess. In contrast to software like Stock Sync and Skubana, whose focus is product info on the back end, PIMs help manage product info on the front end, such as technical data, marketing data, product attributes, digital assets, and other information that is displayed to customers.
Listed as a leader in its category for winter 2022 by G2, Sales Layer is an agile PIM that lets users store all product data, images, and assets in one place, and share it with manufacturers, distributors, and retailers across their supply chain.
Despite being intuitive to use and customize, it is a complete tool. Entry and categorization of product information, as well as copy and pasting it en masse, is a breeze. The in-built analysis mechanism helps enrich content by scoring things like name, product description, and image, and the export connectors make it easy to connect Sales Layer with other third-party apps to ensure that all channels receive the same content.
The app does have some minor limitations, like not being able to search all catalogs at once or customize the order of products (order is always alphabetical), but most users can work around these. Interested subscribers can have a 30-day free trial, while pricing depends on individual client needs and starts at $1000 per month.
Plytix is also a G2 category leader for winter 2022, only it caters more to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses thanks to its ultra user-friendly interface. But don’t be fooled—it is a complete PIM that enables users to quickly and automatically get their product data flowing across teams and sales channels.
Top features include smooth management of digital assets for all file types, bulk editing of product data (attributes, assets, categories, variations, relationships), and unlimited filter options. The recent addition of “computed attributes,” or spreadsheet-type formulas that automatically transform attribute outputs, is another highlight. Its integration with Shopify is fantastic, and its documentation is very straightforward.
One potential downside (or upside) is that the layout is constantly being tweaked and updated, which can be confusing for users already familiar with the existing layout. Standard pricing begins at $300 per month, but they offer a free plan for small companies with up to 1,000 SKUs.
3. Unifying Customer Support
Without some kind of help desk solution to enable streamlined processing of a high volume of customer inquiries from multiple channels, your support team will waste hours per week manually logging in and out of each store, matching SKUs with order data, and turning customer commentary into insights for the sales and marketing teams.
Zendesk is one of the oldest and most comprehensive help desk platforms out there. Not only does it strive to give companies a 360-degree view of customer data, it incorporates the use of marketing and sales tools, making it a popular choice among larger enterprises.
It is best known for its ticketing system, which brings together conversations from all support channels, offers tools for managing and tracking SLAs, and allows agents to collaborate on responses. Its knowledge base is highly customizable, and AI-powered suggestions will help you determine which content serves your customers best. What’s more, its multi-lingual Answer Bot can automatically suggest articles you’ve created to customers who prefer to serve themselves. And its suite of reporting and analytics tools lets users keep close track of KPIs.
One drawback of Zendesk is that its in-built tools are often not enough, requiring users to either pay for access to additional features or install third-party integrations (fortunately, the Zendesk marketplace has plenty of these). With standard prices ranging from $49 to $215 per agent, Zendesk can also get pretty expensive for enterprises with lots of agents and high support needs. There is no free plan, but there is a free trial.
A popular alternative to Zendesk is Freshdesk. Whereas Zendesk offers features that veer into the territories of marketing and sales, Freshdesk’s feature set is focused more exclusively on customer support.
Like Zendesk, Freshdesk’s ticketing system centralizes conversations with customers across all communication channels, only it offers a few unique features. These include a robust and customizable notification scheme, as well as an interesting “thank you detector,” which prevents unnecessary reopening of tickets when customers give a “thank you,” resulting in more accurate metrics for ticket closing times. It also has a knowledge base, reporting and analytics tools, and an app store with pre-built integrations.
Also like Zendesk, some nice-to-have Freshdesk features are only accessible if you pay for higher-tier plans. Still, it is cheaper than Zendesk, which makes a good solution for smaller organizations. They offer a free plan, while standard pricing starts at $15 per agent per month.
4. Tracking Multi-Store Shopify Analytics
Analyzing the data from a single Shopify store is reasonably manageable using native Shopify tools and Google Analytics. But once you start opening more stores, the data gets overwhelming, fast. Short of using another third-party service, there is no way to combine all your Shopify analytics—much less blend them with marketing data—for an accurate, global view of things like transactions, refunds, and customer data.
Note: For in-depth treatment of this aspect of data integration, see our guide for how to combine business and marketing analytics from multiple Shopify stores and third-party services.
Putler lets ecommerce companies consolidate all their stores, payment gateways, and Google Analytics in a single app.
Its on-board analytics help users track sales data, customer behavior, website visitor behavior, lifetime value, subscription metrics, and more. Data can be blended, harmonized, and cleaned, then visualized in multi-channel reports for instant, actionable insights. It's especially handy for businesses that use both PayPal and Stripe. Also impressive are its RMF segmentation capabilities, which help marketers break down their customer base into communication clusters.
Though Putler is constantly expanding its list of connectors, it still lacks connectors for popular services like Facebook Ads and Google Ads, so it won’t serve as a standalone data integration solution for companies that spend on paid advertising. Its Starter and Growth plans go for $20 and $50 per month, respectively; If you sign up for a custom pricing plan, the monthly fee will fluctuate in accordance with your monthly revenue.
Putler can help you get data from Shopify, your payment gateways, and Google Analytics, but if you want the ability to combine this data with data from your marketing channels (like Google Ads or Facebook), customer support tools (like Zendesk or Freshdesk), or other tools in your arsenal, you will need to opt for a data integration platform like Dataddo.
With Dataddo, users can link Shopify to data warehouses like Redshift and BigQuery, where they can safely store data for further use, or send it directly to dashboarding apps like Google Data Studio and Power BI for visualization. Pipelines can be customized to extract and funnel data from most common third-party services, allowing users to combine Shopify data with all their social media, marketing, financial, and customer behavior data, for a global overview of key performance metrics. Dataddo offers multi-account extraction, advanced filtering, and automatic syncing options.
Dataddo does not offer any native analytics capabilities, so it cannot serve as an all-in-one solution, and therefore must be incorporated into an existing data stack. Standard pricing is $35 per source, while companies that need more advanced features and support can determine a custom plan for a flat monthly fee.
Harness the Power of Data
Whether you have two Shopify stores or ten, streamlining data management across them is entirely achievable with the right combination of third-party solutions. Keep in mind that there any many of these both within and outside of the Shopify ecosystem. Once you find the combination that’s right for your business, you’ll achieve heights you didn’t know you could.
See how Dataddo can help you get the most out of Shopify
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