If you need an easy way to create and run multiple websites, a multisite platform could be ideal for your business. With multisite capabilities, B2B and B2C companies with multiple target audiences can seamlessly add new sites and tailor their content to meet the unique needs of each demographic they serve.
What is a Multisite?
Multisite functionality enables the management of multiple websites from a single location. By building their website(s) on a multisite platform, the owners or administrators can easily replicate and tailor sites to its unique customer base. For example, a restaurant franchise doing business in every state but with differing products or services at each location may wish to use a multisite platform. With multisite capabilities, standardized sites can easily be created, that can be customized by franchise owners to promote weekly specials and best-sellers, and share news relevant to their brick and mortar location.
Do I Need a Multisite?
Multisite functionality is an ecommerce game-changer for many business owners. To determine if multisite functionality may be beneficial to your business, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your products or services targeted to multiple vastly different customer bases?
- Do your products, services or prices vary between locations?
- Are you an international business with locations worldwide?
- Do you need multiple websites in multiple currencies or languages?
- Do you wish to share themes and plugins across multiple sites?
- Do you need to create multiple websites that can be seamlessly managed from a single location?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, choosing a multisite platform could be the best move for your business.
An Anecdotal Example
Unsure whether your customer base is vast and varied enough to demand multisite capabilities? This anecdotal example may help. Imagine you sell fire extinguishers. This invaluable product only does one thing, but is essential for multiple different audiences. If you're selling to a homeowner (B2C) vs. a professional kitchen (B2B) or an oil rig (B2B) you should target each customer base with very different, tailored messaging.
Perhaps your customers are not as different as those in the example above, but live in different countries, speak different languages, have different cultural expectations or pay in different currencies. If this describes your business, creating multiple websites via a multisite platform is also likely to be very beneficial to you.
Get Started with Multisite
Choose Your Channels
A good multisite platform will also have omnichannel or multichannel capabilities to ensure you can reach customers across channels while maintaining a consistent brand identity.
“Channel” refers to the means via which your customer is interacting with your brand. Whether a customer walks into your store in Shanghai, uses your mobile app in Chicago, or browses your ecommerce site using a desktop computer in London, their experience of your brand should be exceptional and consistent.
Research by Statista found that 66% of shoppers will occasionally browse products online, and complete their purchase in store. For 24% of respondents, this was a regular occurrence.
Ensure you are available to your customers via as many channels as possible. If you don’t make use of an omnichannel or multichannel solution, you’re likely to miss out on customers that didn’t come across your brand.
Identify Target Audiences
The next step is to identify your target audiences. In many cases, this will be a logical process. Once again, bear in mind their needs – can they be divided into various B2B and B2C categories, by location, language or currency preferences?
Whether you determine that you need 3 sites or 300, a good multisite platform should be able to meet your needs.
Once you have identified your target audiences, create customer personas. As Forbes explains, one customer persona per industry niche is likely to be enough. Too much segmentation can actually hinder progress.
A customer persona may include age, occupation, salary, interests, location and more, as best fits your business needs. The examples below refer back to our hypothetical B2B2C fire extinguisher company:
- Persona 1: Georgie, female, age 30, B2C customer, new homeowner, married, tight budget, prioritizing the safety of young children, influenced by customer reviews, looking for an easy to understand, user-friendly B2C website.
- Persona 2: Zach, male, age 40, B2B customer, restaurant owner, father to two boys, busy professional, needs information quickly and concisely. A mobile user looking for an exceptional B2B2C experience.
- Persona 3: Bob, male, age 55, buyer for an oil rig. Greater understanding of technical aspects and chemical language. Prefers traditional B2B channels.
The above customer persona examples are simplified. Your customer personas should be more detailed and provide in-depth insight.
Once you have created your customer personas, you’ll be able to tailor customer experience accordingly.
Get Started with the Right Ecommerce Platform
ROC Commerce is a multisite platform suitable for B2B and B2C sales, with multilingual, multi-currency and omnichannel capabilities. ROC Commerce is also the fastest ecommerce solution available, can integrate with virtually any system and enable you to create a personalized experience for your users. Request a ROC Commerce demo today.