Ecommerce has redefined the term “multichannel selling”.
Prior to eCommerce (indeed prior to the internet) multichannel selling was limited to combining a brick-and-mortar store with a telesales service and/or catalogue.
Now, however, there are so many sales channels available to even small eCommerce operations that it’s hard to keep count. Ecommerce companies have the option to sell on online marketplaces and social networks. And these are incredibly popular channels, which boast millions and millions of users.
Most eCommerce sellers begin with the online store. This usually acts as a foundation, a place to drive traffic toward, and, probably, the most profitable platform to sell from.
But with so much competition online – especially when it comes to SEO – even with a great site, unless you already have a substantial following, it can be difficult for potential customers to find your store.
Multichannel selling is one way to get around this problem, and, as such, many smaller or new operations should be seriously considering multichannel selling as a potential eCommerce solution.
Multichannel selling will allow you to reach more people, make more sales, improve your brand’s reputation, get repeat custom, and, ultimately, make more money.
Still not convinced? Well, here’s our list of four reasons for why you should be considering multichannel selling.
#1 Make More Sales
The more of your product you can shift the better. And any eCommerce solution that may be able to increase the amount of goods you sell should be drawing you in like a moth to a flame.
There are many ways to increase sales, but multichannel selling is one of the best.
By selling products on online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, you will, with a few clicks, improve your reach exponentially. Shoppers often make a beeline for these sites, and use their search functions to find what exactly they’re looking for. By signing up, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to appear in these searches.
And because all of the major online marketplaces pay for their listings to be displayed on Google, you will benefit from increased search engine exposure, too. Bidding on your own AdWords is all well and good, but with giants like eBay and Amazon on your side, you’re far more likely to make an appearance on relevant searches.
However, in order to benefit from internal online marketplace searches and search engine searches, you need to have good listings. Sites like eBay have fairly high standards, and love mobile-optimised listings, so it’s important you find out what they want and list your products accordingly.
#2 Lower Risk
Ecommerce is, unfortunately, a risky business. Competitor sites can spring up overnight (which, incidentally, is why we recommend niche selling), your products may go out of fashion, somebody may start outbidding you on AdWords, you server may crash, etc. etc.
But keeping all of your eggs in one basket just compounds this risk – a lot! If you only sell from your own site or are loyal to one marketplace, your success is contingent on one platform. By adopting multichannel selling as an eCommerce solution, you reduce risk with every channel you set up.
In the same way that any good investor will spread out their money, good eCommerce sellers adopt multiple
#3 Get to Know Your Customer Better
Of course, you already know how important it is to know your customer. Even a basic understanding of what your target audience likes, doesn’t like, cares about, and has no interest in can make marketing and selecting new products far more effective.
Multichannel selling provides more engagement points to gather information about your clients. Many social networks have pretty thorough analytics and insights functions. And there are some pretty ingenious ways to use them!
Maintaining good social media channels is a fantastic way to communicate with consumers in real-time, and keeping an eye on the content they engage with (as well as the content they don’t) can get you a very detailed overview of your customers.
Moreover, by using online marketplaces to track what customers are purchasing, and where, you will be able to target your marketing much more accurately. So long as your channels are integrated, the information gathered from one channel can be quickly and easily shared with the others.
#4 Don’t Get Left Behind
As the digital generation gains more buying power, the world’s biggest retailers are changing the way they sell to suit their needs.
The digital generation flit between devices, networks, social media platforms, as though it’s nothing. They watch TV and use their tablets at the same time. They start a purchase on one device and finish it on another.
In response, retailers are disintegrating their “central hubs” (sites, stores, etc.) and selling on multiple channels.
And these companies don’t do things for no reason. They’re meeting their customers’ needs. And those needs are digital integration and a seamless multichannel experience. Those companies which fail to embrace multichannel selling are in serious danger of getting left behind.
Multichannel selling is great! And we hope that we’ve convinced you that this is the case. But there are a few things you have to remember if you’re serious about getting you multichannel eCommerce solution off the ground.
- Be consistent: all of your channels should all have the same look and feel. Use similar pictures and colours to ensure that the customer knows that they are dealing with a brand.
- Be committed: multichannel selling is hard work, especially at the beginning. This means you have to be prepared to invest a substantial amount of time and effort in yours.
- Maintain privacy: privacy is a big concern for many consumers, and the line between being helpful and being intrusive is a fine one. Make sure consumers provide consent whenever you store information.
Are you interested in multichannel selling? Perhaps you’re already doing it! We’d love to hear any tips you have to offer for getting multichannel off the ground. Let us know with a comment.