With so many terms being thrown around in the 'Multi-Everything' eCommerce technology market, we've found it useful to define some of that terminology to help clarify solution types and the needs they service, and help business owners better identify a solution that suits their specific needs.

Whether you're searching for a Multi-Tenant, Multi-Site, or a Multi-Vendor system, we're here to help facilitate the conversation. The first step to identifying your company's solution is to simply articulate the requirements of the system. There are also some questions to ask up-front to ensure the solution meets the expectations of the business. How does your business manage its data? Will vendors take part in catalog management? Are there complex, differentiating parameters for each site? Your answers to these questions will be articulated best when accompanied by a Multi-Everything vocabulary.

Multi-­Store ­

The solution needs multiple customer facing sites. These sites may or may not share customer or catalog information.
Multi-Store Variations
  • Franchise subsidiary
  • Site locale

Franchise Subsidiary Example: Let's say you're a large floral brand. You have a network of local florist franchisees that are linked to your site's catalogs. Each franchised site can have its own look/feel, while still pulling items to display from your centralized product catalog. You may allow these sites to add site specific products and modify the product information and prices specific to their site. These sites, would not share customer data, seeing as each franchise runs as its own, independent business.

Site Locale Example: Let's say your business sells home goods. You operate your business' websites globally. Multi-Site will enable you to determine if you would like to restrict selling certain items to certain geographies. Using location as an example, it might be feasible for your business to ship an armoire to a U.S. address from your warehouse based in the states, but shipping that same item to Europe would be intangible. This type of eCommerce system would allow you the ability to exclude such items from various catalogs based on geographical location.


Differs from Multi­-Site in that separate teams, possibly even separate companies, manage the solution.
Multi-Site Variations
  • Multiple brands with different catalogs
  • Different companies
Multiple Brands with Different Catalogs Example: In this example, you own a Parent Company that oversees a number of brands. Let's call them Brand A, Brand B, and Brand C. You would like all of the sites to operate within one system so the parent company can oversee the sites and set permissions for who can manage the different brands. Brand A's team only has access to Brand A's catalog, and is not affected by any changes Brand C's team makes to Brand C's site. However, if the Parent Company would like to roll out a sale across all of its brands, it can do that with a single push.


Generally indicates that the solution needs to allow catalog and inventory data to be managed by multiple 3rd party vendors. This might be done via integration, or by providing vendors with limited access to tooling. These solutions also tend to have vendor specific fulfillment, customer service, and returns requirements.
Multiple Third-Party Vendors Example: You own a company that wants to control the branding and the channel. However, you don't want to worry about maintaining the catalogs themselves and would rather delegate that responsibility to the vendor that provides those goods/services. In this case, those vendors are responsible for using the tooling to manage their own portion of the catalog that is later exposed through your channel.


Indicates the site needs to support selling or just displaying the price in more than one currency.
Multi-Currency Example: This functionality typically comes into play based on geographical currencies or alternate payment methods. Geographical currencies can be as simple as displaying item prices in the currency specific to the site's geographic location and current exchange rate. Another example is when alternant forms of payment are used, for example, some companies have websites for their employees to cash in 'credits' to buy items.


Describes the need to show content in multiple languages. These could be separately managed sites or within a single site where a user has chosen a country or language.
Multi-Language Example: Similar to Multi-Currency, the language displayed on your site can be set to be specific to a site's geography or site visitor's preference.

Multi-Pricing and Multi-Catalog

Some solutions have a need to vary the pricing and items that are displayed to specific customers or customer groups.
Customer-Specific Pricing and Catalog Example: For many B2B businesses, contract rates are set for various customers. Customers can log in to your site, and their contract rates will display as the item prices. To take it a step further, let's say these customers also have a license to purchase certain goods that are not generally available to most site shoppers (i.e. certain pest control products), these items/catalogs would then be available to view and purchase by this particular client.

It is not uncommon for a solution to need a combination of the aforementioned options; we're here to help facilitate the conversation.
If your unique use case for Multi-Everything has not been covered in this article, let us know about it. We would love to hear about your web business requirements and design a solution to suit your needs.
For a private demo of the Multi-Site solution, please feel free to send a request by contacting us.