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Online store in multiple countries – keep on one website or duplicate on country-specific domains?

I work for a relatively small e-commerce store that is looking to launch into a second country.

We're unsure whether we should keep the whole site together (.store/ca & .store/uk), or whether we should duplicate it with a separate site for each country (brand.ca & brand.co.uk). We have the local domains for our brand in both country, so that isn't a problem.

I suspect that it's easier for us to keep it together as there is a lot of content (how to's and blog posts) that is equally relevant to either country, and duplicating is bad for SEO. However, it seems like it's inherently good for SEO to use local level domains. It would also be easier to keep the website updated and manage the product database if it was all centralised.

Testing on a staging environment I have found that redirecting traffic based on IP location causes slow loading times, but that may be because I'm doing it in a clunky way.

Has anyone got any insight or experience that they're willing to share on this? I'm genuinely really lost! 🙂

submitted by /u/kwyk
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