By Jonathan Wright, Marketing Manager at Luminos Labs
Many issues need to be taken into consideration when managing a multi-brand / multi-market eCommerce experience. Companies, particularly retailers and distributors, may have numerous brands under one umbrella sharing similar catalogs, and some of these brands may transact internationally. It is crucial to have the right Content, Commerce, and Marketing tools to cohesively showcase multiple brands, and seamlessly transition their customers from one brand experience to another across customer experiences.
A multi-site eCommerce platform is key to managing multiple brands and international growth. What happens when your eCommerce tools don’t support your business initiatives or if you have outgrown your current digital commerce solution? The last thing you want to do is create the same website multiple times, starting from scratch without relying on a unified codebase. Selecting the right digital commerce solutions for your ecosystem will provide you with a unified platform to handle the synchronization of inventory, orders, products, customers, and more among your multiple eCommerce brands or markets.
Look for accelerators to save 1,000s of hours of website discovery, design, and development through pre-built connectors to your legacy systems. Seamless integration between the eCommerce platform, back-office systems (e.g., ERP), and other 3rd party systems (e.g., the payment gateway) is critical when dealing with multiple brands as sometimes those systems can change per brand or per region. Launching a single website, optimizing based on actual customer data, and then scaling out to new brands from the same system, can provide a roadmap to get your brands up and running quickly. This allows you to minimize costs while having all the shared features in an easy-to-manage place.
Your company may present multiple brands, but “behind the scenes,” you’re one company. Don’t segregate how you manage your inventory, just because your stores are separate. You’ll want to centralize where you manage inventory and make sure all inventory numbers are up to date across your stores in real-time. In other words, don’t try to manage your inventory for each website within each website. Synchronize inventory to a central point, like an ERP, so that you maintain a true “master” set of information.
Integrating a PIM with your ERP and eCommerce site may be useful for managing product data across multiple brands. These systems allow you to map data from the PIM, leverage complex product attributes through the PIM to sync automatically, and organize within your eCommerce platform and ERP to manage complex catalogs and multiple taxonomy scenarios. Connectors can speed up the implementation process so your various brand products can meet the same specifications as the website to eventually scale and support multiple sites and products to be available in different markets.
Different buyers from different countries require and use different payment processes. Preferred payment methods differ by region, and if you know your markets, you should have a good idea of how to prepare. Select the right payment gateway provider, preferably one with an API or connect to speed up implementation. Partners can take the difficulties of managing different currencies, tax rules, payment providers, shipping providers, and fulfillment centers depending on the country.
Providing the ability to calculate things like delivery time and global costs can be invaluable to your customers. Choose a reliable shipping carrier that serves your target markets for each country. Just like with inventory management, you’ll want to centralize how you manage and fulfill orders. Keeping fulfillment, customer care, and drop shipping processes consistent across your company’s brands makes it easier for you to manage them. It’s best not to manage orders within individual websites but rather to push order data to a centralized system that can handle requests for all customer touchpoints.
Market Entry Case Study: Fenix Outdoor
Fenix Outdoor launches the new global Fjallraven website, creating a website a framework to eventually expanded to their other brands
Phase I: Scalable Multi-Website Framework Launched in Under 4 Months
Fjallraven launched its website in under four months due to the usage of the Luminosity Episerver Accelerator. In that short period, they were able to build and integrate a new eCommerce site using Episerver as their backend solution, with the ability to scale.
Phase II: Optimize the website to better target your eCommerce website to the international market.
Initially, Fjallraven had a previous implementation partner that wasn’t able to handle the full scale of their inRiver PIM integration. Luminos Labs successfully delivered the PIM implementation and used the Luminosity inRiver Connector to sync data to the website in a proper manner, integrating with their ERP system, updating price data, and stock data every hour.
Phase III: Launch additional brand websites using the same framework
Fenix Outdoor applied the existing website framework used for Fjallraven to other their other brands. This phase involves utilizing the same general codebase and scaling it out to other brands to have the same multi-market, multi-language, and multi-currency features. The sites all have the same backend usability features, using the same admin backend tools to support those websites as well.
Your digital commerce transformation project should not take 6+ months and cost over half-million dollars. A lot of complex research and strategy before go-live is essentially guesswork, and website features should develop from real data. Setting up a unified framework for your global eCommerce project can help you decrease the timeline of your implementation, saving money, and increasing each of your brand’s site quality.
If you’re looking for an implementation partner to help you invest in digital commerce platforms and ecosystems that are flexible and scalable, Get Started with Luminos Labs to help guide you through your journey.