Magento is a powerful and robust eCommerce platform! We love it because it’s open source, which means our developers can customize aspects of an install as they see fit. We’ve already guided you through the journey of installing Magento Enterprise Edition with our 10 simple steps, now it’s time to actually set up your store. It can seem like a fairly daunting task at first glance to set up your Magento store, but trust us, you can do it! By following some simple steps and having the awareness of what comes next you can easily get your Magento store going. First things first, you need to figure out your region with Magento. This will then dictate the following: language, accepted currencies, and payment gateways.
Hierarchy in Magento
When doing an initial setup working in a Magento store/environment, there’s 3 different types of setups to keep in mind.
- Store views
Ask Yourself – 1: Where Do You Want to Sell?
Theres a few major configurations in Magento that can only be done on website scope. This includes shipping origin, payment gateway credentials, and shipping credentials. The implications of this is the first question to ask: where do you want to sell? Where are the places you want to sell your products? For example, country listings (U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, etc).
Ask Yourself – 2: What currencies will you collect?
What currencies do you want to collect? By default Magento will only do one currency per website. If you want to collect in Canadian and U.S. dollars, you’ll need two website. For example, Umbra has 8 websites. Umbra and Umbra Shift are the only two visually different site, but what you can’t see behind scenes s that Umbra is made of 4 websites, and Umbra Shift is made of 4 websites. They all look the same, but it’s the level of configuration that differs, Umbra has USD/CAD/GDP/EUR – 4 different currencies on 4 different websites. Ask yourself where do you want to sell and what currencies do you want to collect? If you want to sell in Canada and collect CDN, that’s easy; you’ll only need one website. If you want to sell in the US but only collect in CDN, only 1 website.
Ask Yourself – 3: Do you have multiple shipping origins/carriers?
Magento will only do one account per website. In the backend you’ll enter your credentials for a credit card gateway (i.e. Authorize.net) so if you’re selling in North America you’ll have your CDN and USD credentials. These can only be entered at a website scope, not store views. If you have one website and four store views you can only have one currency provider. Shipping origin – this will correlate with your shipping provider. If you have multiple shipping origins you need multiple websites. There is only one global inventory number for Magento, so even if you ship from two different places, Magento will only recognizes one global inventory.
To remedy this, our team at Demac Media implemented a multi-location inventory module internally with our clients. Demac has this to help merchants split their global inventory levels in Magento. this is at a website level.
With this in mind note that if you want different currencies, locations, inventory counts, etc. they need to be done in the website scope of Magento not at the store view scope.
Ask Yourself – 4: What languages will your website need to be in?
Languages can be done on a store view level. For example: Mackage has four websites and size store views. In this case there’s Mackage and Soia & Kyo are two different brands under the same umbrella company, so that doubles everything. Mackage has U.S. and CDN website for both currencies, and then within Canada they have English and French languages. This equates to three store views and two websites.
Ask Yourself – 5: Are you going to have different brands?
Pertaining to roadmap planning, your first questions to ask yourself are:
1.) where do you want to sell?
2.) what do you want to do in the future?
You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot, so you need to consider your options or possibilities for down the road to properly prepare, and have the hierarchy, static blocks, CMS pages, assigned to the scopes, so when you do want to launch internationally it’ll be easier to do so later.
When you first set up a Magento store it will have: default website, store view, so on and so forth. Down the road when you look to change to U.S. and/or Canada, and switch the website from the default to a Canadian website, there will be implications and it gets riskier, because there could be hard coded items. If you know that you want to sell in the U.S. in a year, start your project off right and get the foundation in place first and then you can set up your success down the road.
Below is an example of how we at Demac Media start when scoping out a Magento site set up. This is by no means a detailed document, but will certainly help you in figuring out how your site needs to be set up from the get-go:
Major considerations for Your First Magento Store
- Regionalization is a biggie
These are the main things that determine where the things will break down in Magento.
Always use a URL folder path as opposed to a subdomain because then you’re not competing with your other sites for SEO. Keep in mind that this is a broad statement and there are ways around it, but the best practice in Magento is to use a folder path for your different websites. For example: instead of ca.umbra.com or eur.umbra.com it’s umbra.com/cad/ or umbra.com/usd, the reason behind of this is to avoid competing SEO. If you have a subdomain they will compete with each other for “Google Love”. This is where you want to structure your urls better. You could use a .ca or .com, but if you’re doing it based on currency and not on country it can be more challenging for you.
Another best practice to follow is implemented when determining a user’s geographic location. When people land on your site their GeoIP will help you determine a visitor’s geographic location, this will then relate to where you sell and how you sell. If your website has a modal, for example, people are landing on your site from a specific location and as GeoIP isn’t the most accurate having a redirect modal – something that says “Hey are you in Canada? Click to Proceed”, or “Select Your Country”- will help you greatly in catering to your visitors from other countries. Cookie the user, so when they eventually return to your site, you’ll know immediately what their presence is and won’t need to ask them each time they visit.
So remember To Ask Yourself
1. Where Do You Want to Sell?
2. What currencies will you collect?
3. Do you have multiple shipping origins/carriers?
4. What languages will your website need to be in?
5. Are you going to have different brands?