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We have a client who has an existing Magento website. It is one website, one store, and one store view. The base currency is GBP.

They have recently raised a question about adding the option of offering their products at USD prices as well. They would like to specify the USD prices (ie. not use conversion rates). The background is that they currently have a US distributor of their products which is not currently being utilized on the GBP site, and all US customers are having to pay pricing to ship from UK to US, using the UK-based distributor.

In the past, when we've had clients with the need for multi-currency, we have set up each currency in separate store views, and installed InnoExt Advanced Pricing module http://innoexts.com/promotion/advanced-pricing/ to allow setting of fixed prices per currency. But we've found issues with Magento reporting and credit memos with orders placed in "other" currencies as Magento still uses its currency rates for these areas and still takes one currency as the "base currency".

Due to these issues, I'd like to rethink what our setup should be. I'd like to stick to Magento's default behaviour as much as possible, with minimum requirement for third party modules. My feeling is that we should build another Website (the US website), set USD as the base currency for that website.

The specs are:

  • Products should be shared between US and UK distribution.
  • Customers are shared between the US and UK distribution.
  • Other content like pages/blog posts (aheadWorks blog) should be shared between US and UK.
  • The whole environment exists on a single domain (is this possible with multi-website)?
  • There may be different tax rates for the US and UK distribution.
  • There may be different shipping methods for the US and UK distribution.
  • There may be different payment accounts or gateways for the US and UK distribution.

Am I right in thinking baskets cannot be shared between websites? For example, if someone is in the UK store but they want to ship to the US and enter that address on checkout, switching them to US website would not be as simple as switching store views is?

I know of course we need to investigate and test this, but I would like thoughts from the Magento community on the best strategy for how to set this up. Are we right to go down the multi-website route?

Thank you so much for any advice in advance, and for reading this!

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You are not completely right about baskets not being shared between websites. The reason is that normally Magento uses a specific Website scope (so Magento terminology) to refer to a specific website (so common web terminology). A website is bound to a domain, so this also implies each Website scope has its own domain. And because cookies can't be shared across domains, Magento sessions can't be shared across domains and the shopping cart can not be shared either. But this is the default setup. If you are using multiple Website scopes that are all part of the same website (www.example.com), the same cookie (for instance, the frontend cookie) is shared across all Website scopes (Magento terminology), because they are technically part of the same "website" (web terminology).

Unfortunately, there are still some parts in Magento that lock a carts content to the Magento Website-scope. You might be interested in this post here: http://turnkeye.com/blog/share-magento-cart-between-multistores/

Does this help you a bit further?

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