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MultiStore – The Intelligence Behind Multi-Channel Marketing

In their article last week, the good people of Able Commerce gracefully crafted the argument that a multistore shopping cart generates duplicate content which is rightfully penalized by Google. Essentially, the article poses two dilemmas: (i) posting the same products over multiple sites will bring down the wrath of Google on the basis of duplication, and (ii) the need to invest more effort in generating essential backlinks for every store is onerous and would mean the dilution of focus which should (Able argues) more sensibly be focused on a single store.

What a great way to avoid growth. All merchants who want to stand still, should read the Able blog and pay great attention, because it’s true. If a merchant is unwilling to put effort into success, then MultiStore is indeed a big mistake.

Fortunately we can rest easy and know for sure that there is nothing “disingenuous” about *our* MultiStore platform. Let me explain why we can do so much better for our merchants than the picture served up as a warning by Able.

I’ll deal first, and quickly, with the argument that multiple stores necessitates multiple links. Certainly, how can we argue? Every domain will find greater success with more links. Equally and conversely, though, a merchant with stores focused on different demographic groups (or different products, or different nations – all so perfectly easy with MultiStore) will find it easier to approach relevant companies and request a pertinent and valuable link. Sure, it’s some work, but I say again, this is a platform for merchants who don’t want to stand still.

Secondly (this is the argument I’m really looking forward to redefining), Able charges a multistore platform as guilty of generating duplicate content. Well, in exactly the same way, a merchant with a single store, who is not committed to his own enterprise can take a product feed from a distributor and whoosh! – duplicate content. This is not a function of the platform – Able Single Store or AspDotNetStorefront MultiStore, we all owe it to our customers to equip them to think intelligently about their shoppers and match the products to the buyers. We do a number of things for just exactly that reason. We teach, energetically and consistently, the importance of relevance – see any of our webinars to hear exactly that message. Above all , though, I think Able have failed to notice one of the key, remarkable features of our MultiStore.

We introduce “clone-and-map”.

The principle of MultiStore is intelligence, not indolence. We give every help in enabling the smart merchant to take a product, clone it, work the description, the name, the image and even the price to match the demographic market, and then map to the right domain. And, oh, what a saving of time to be able to sit at one master-console and map products to match the stores. The Able blog post makes it sound as though only the themes vary, but I’m here to tell you that the delight and strength of MultiStore is that countless things can flex, filter and flourish.

If you’re serious about enterprise, and about online merchandising, then the argument that “doing it right with MultiStore is a lot of work and if you only have a single store then you can get away with less effort” probably won’t work for you. We know about success and we’re here to help.

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Posted in Company News, Product Feeds, SEO | 5 Comments

5 Responses to MultiStore – The Intelligence Behind Multi-Channel Marketing

  1. I agree with both sides. Multistore is a phenomenal platform with an incredibly strong suite of features. It is clear that time has been taken to accommodate the needs of most businesses. However, it is also true that having duplicate content across multiple sites can become an issue. It may not be much trouble for a small retailer with a hand full of stores and products, but for a retailer with 1000′s of products across dozens of stores (why not hundreds), this definitely raises a serious concern.

    Cloning products and mapping them to different stores presents a tedious and incomplete solution, albeit a solution nonetheless. For one, cloning products requires a manual process, which for 1000′s of products may be unfeasible. In addition, Inventory Management, Reporting, and ERP integration becomes a bit confusing as cloned products may require unique SKUs.

    A more complete solution might include the ability to have multiple names, descriptions, and SE data per store, per product. This solves the dupe-content issue, and opens the door for even more flexibility within an already fantastic product.

    As for the back-link concern – this is a pointless and futile argument. As mentioned in the post above, “this is a platform for merchants who don’t want to stand still”. I couldn’t agree more. Whether you have multiple single stores, or a single multistore, the difference is only visible on the back end. Regardless, the typical retailer will have their “multiple stores” across “multiple domains”, and thus face the same challenges with link building no matter what technology solution they have decided upon. The amount of time, effort, and money put into link-building (and more generally building visibility), is 100% dependent on the retailer, not the solution in this case.

    Just my two cents,

    John Richardson
    Swank Internet Business Solutions LLC

  2. Mike says:

    What version of Multistore allows for this “clone-and-map” you’re referring to? The version we are using, AspDotNetStorefront Multistore, does not have this magic.

  3. 1. Log in to your admin.
    2. Select “Products” -> “Manage Products”
    3. You will see a list of your products. Find the product you wish to clone. To the right there will be a link labeled “clone”. Click this link and the product will be instantly cloned.
    4. View the details of the new product, and under the “Mappings” tab you will have the ability to map this product to a new category/department/etc.

    John Richardson
    Swank Internet Business Solutions LLC

  4. Mike says:

    Thanks John, I see this now. However, I agree with you, “Cloning products and mapping them to different stores presents a tedious and incomplete solution…”

  5. LOIS RATHBURN says:

    Thoughtful blog post , For what it’s worth , if someone are searching for a service to merge PDF or PNG files , my secretary found a tool here “http://www.altomerge.com/”

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