Magento embeds a native multistore model that allows to configure multiple e-commerce models on the same magento source. If you are a Magento beginner, perhaps you are quite a bit lost with these stores, websites and views context. Each one has a dedicated role, and you should respect them, otherwise you would have to modify deep Magento’s working layer which would be quite difficult.
The magento websites are used to define your way of working :
- Define a sales catalog
- Configure the price rules management
- Configure how customer accounts are shared between all yours stores
Define a sales catalog in a Magento website
Your catalog is manageable through the administrative panel catalog > Manage products. You can define there all your products data: name, description, price, etc
But this is not because you have enabled a product in this administrative panel that it will be salable: it needs to be part of a sales catalog: what do you want to sell on your store? All your products? Only some elements of your work?
For example, take a look at the LVMH group. This group owns Dior fragrance, Louis Vuitton bags, etc… Imagine they want to build a Magento to sell all their catalog (and if you want, you can contact me :)), they would want to sell each dedicated brand products in a dedicated store. To do that, they need two things:
- They will first describe all their products in Magento back-office: product’s names, reference in their informatic system, etc. Afterthat products are editable, but not salable
- Secondly, they’ll have to publish them in their sales catalog to ensure that only fragrance will be published in the Dior dedicated store, and only bags will be sold through the Louis Vuitton online store
To do that, products need to be linked to a website. This is available through the product sheet website tab
Checking the website checkbox will publish your product in the related sales catalog
So you should have at least one website per sales catalog
Are your sure? I’m not LVMH group, have only one online store, and I never do that, and I’ve not the website tab …
When you are in a single website context, all is done in background without any action
Define the scope of your prices in Magento through website
At this point you should know how to define your sales catalog
Now imagine that your business model will propose two different prices for the same product: a discount store and a normal one for example. If your prices rules are not managed with conversion rates, you should configure the price rule scope as website instead of global
This configuration value is available though the administrative panel system > configuration > catalog > prices > Catalog price scope
You can with this rule apply a specific price for an article in a dedicated sales catalog
Configure how customer accounts are shared between websites
Websites allow also to configure the visibility scope of your customers account.
Suppose now that Amazon would migrate to Magento. (Yes perhaps you need to do a benchmark for other solutions, but it’s another problem 🙂 ). Do they want the customer accounts to be shared between amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, and amazon.de? Sharing same shipping address, same customer email account, etc? If so if you update your customer account on amazon.com, data will be also updated on amazon.de.
Customer accounts scope is a configuration value available through the system > configuration > Customers > Account sharing scope.
This option value will define how your customer accounts will be shared between each website
Why is it so important to well define the store model on your Magento?
As you can see, website define deep main work of your client and for this reason website are probably the most important degree of organization in the Magento multistore model. Updating a store model during a Magento project life is not an easy task, and for this reason, you should well define it at the beginning of your project. So be sure to ask yourself the revelant questions