What is multichannel selling?
Multichannel selling involves listing your products on multiple sales channels simultaneously. By taking this approach, you can capitalize on the existing customer bases of other platforms and expand your reach to boost sales.
A successful multichannel strategy is not just about using as many channels as possible; it requires a careful selection of platforms, considering the type of shoppers they attract, customers’ expectations and needs, and the competitive market. To succeed with multichannel retailing, you must thoroughly know your target audience and conduct extensive research into the channels you intend to use.
Where should you sell?
With all that in mind, here are several sales channels worth considering.
Your online store
An eCommerce website can help establish your brand’s credibility by providing a space that is wholly owned and managed by you. Your site should be mobile-optimized, load quickly, and have consistent branding across the page. It should act as an information hub for customers to learn more about your business, look through your products, and make purchases with convenience.
It’s also an excellent place for businesses to collect customer contact information, share exciting events and promotions, and build relationships with their customers – all of which can be challenging when using third-party platforms.
Online marketplaces are a common destination when people are in the process of researching products or seeking out cheaper options than higher-end brands. Selling on these sites can provide you with an extensive pool of customers. However, to ensure your success, it is essential to be familiar with the rules and regulations and have a point of differentiation for your items.
Here are several of today’s most popular marketplaces, though the list goes far beyond these.
- Amazon – With over 310 million customers across the globe, Amazon is one of the biggest online retailers in the US – with nearly a third of those being loyal Prime members. As such, selling on this platform can be competitive, and it’s important to know what you’re getting into before starting.
- eBay – eBay is an excellent choice for sellers looking to reach a large and diverse audience. With more than 138 million active buyers from around the globe and 18 million active sellers, including renowned brands like Adidas and Bose, it’s easy to find your perfect customer base. Plus, eBay’s selling cost is lower compared to other platforms, making it an excellent option for those selling niche products such as vintage or collectibles.
- Etsy – Etsy is a trendy e-commerce platform, boasting over 95 million active buyers and 7.7 million active sellers worldwide. If you’re a DIY merchant looking to make sales online, Etsy is a great place to start – but other options may be worth considering if the fees become too costly.
- Shopiroller – ShopiRoller Marketplace is an eCommerce platform that acts as a one-stop shop for online shoppers looking to purchase goods from multiple sellers. It offers customers a variety of payment options, such as PayPal, credit cards, and Apple Pay, while also providing secure transaction processing. ShopiRoller has integrated several features that help merchants and buyers alike, such as its tracking system, allowing shoppers to track their shipments and transactions. ShopiRoller offers merchants a free online store to list and promote their products to the marketplace’s potential buyers. Overall, ShopiRoller Marketplace is an excellent platform for both customers and sellers.
Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are becoming increasingly popular as social media sites and as sales outlets in their own right. For example, Instagram Shopping allows customers to buy items without leaving the app. This social commerce is an excellent supplement to other selling features like tagging products in your Instagram posts and
directing customers to your page. The great thing about social media is that it enables you to get in touch with potential customers on the platforms they visit daily.
Even if people aren’t necessarily looking to purchase something at the moment, staying involved in these channels will help keep your brand at the front of their minds.
Search engines provide a range of organic and paid tools like Bing Shopping, Google Shopping, and Google Ads to draw attention to your products. With the help of Google Merchant Center, you can upload product feeds and choose which platforms (including YouTube) will feature your items. Participating in these programs can give more visibility to your products as shop.
Able posts, thus helping users to find and purchase your products more easily at each stage of the buyer journey.
Physical (aka brick-and-mortar) stores
Physical retail is not a dying industry. Instead, it is transforming. Many direct-to-consumer businesses are now incorporating “clicks-to-bricks” methods in their strategies, using physical stores as showrooms or fully stocked stores. As you make your products available through various online channels, think about how to link your store locations with your online selling platforms to provide a seamless omnichannel experience. It is not enough to look at each channel as an individual avenue; instead, consider how they interconnect and how customers transition between them effortlessly.
Top benefits of a multichannel retail strategy
While increased sales opportunities are a significant perk of multichannel retail, it’s not the only one. You can also expect to reap other benefits such as:
- No two shoppers are alike, so why limit your business to one sales channel? By giving customers more options on how they purchase from you, you can reach a broader range of potential customers and increase your overall sales. Offering multiple purchasing channels is the key to success. So take advantage of the chance to make more sales – explore your options today!
- A competitive advantage. If you’re not on a sales channel your competitor is on, you lose out on a sale, but worst of all, you run the risk of the competition completely dominating the mind share of your target audience. This means you automatically lose out on even the potential of a sale in the future, as customers will never think of buying from you when in product-search mode.
- You need to have a presence on the same sales channel as your competitor to avoid losing out on a sale immediately and putting yourself in danger of being completely overshadowed by your competition. This can also cost you future sales opportunities, as customers will likely need to pay attention to your product when looking for something to buy. Having the edge over the competition can be a huge advantage.
- Joining an online marketplace can benefit you by taking advantage of its promotional initiatives and technological tools. For instance, Amazon’s Prime Day attracts much attention, allowing your brand to reach out to millions of customers who may purchase from you on that day and in the future through your website or store.
- Having a presence in more places can boost your brand recognition and build trust with potential customers, making it more likely for them to purchase from you in the future.
- Using multiple sales channels can help reduce your risk in the eCommerce industry. By diversifying, you’re mitigating any drastic changes caused by internal or external forces that might affect one channel. This approach allows merchants to see better results and more stability in their businesses.
Top challenges of multichannel selling
But for all of its advantages, multichannel selling still comes with challenges. Those include:
- Deciding which channels to use for selling your products is a crucial step. Instead of reaching too many platforms at once, consider which ones are better suited for bringing in the customers you want. This way, you can avoid being overburdened or spending valuable time and resources on channels that won’t give you the desired results.
- Staying consistent is crucial when you’re managing multiple channels. Regarding product information such as prices, titles, descriptions, images, and branding, one source of truth must be established, and a system implemented for any changes to be applied across each channel. This becomes increasingly complicated the more media you add.
- In a friendly mannerly authentic toneStaying on top of compliance. Every third-party marketplace has operational procedures, like categorizing products and evaluating seller performance. To maintain your selling rights, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the platform’s regulations and keep up with any policy changes (no matter how sudden).
- Consider using multichannel fulfillment to meet various shipping expectations. Amazon FBA is commonly used by 90% of Amazon sellers due to its speed, cost efficiency, and the coveted “Prime” status it offers. This can give you a competitive edge in the market.
Survival tips for multichannel sellers
In short, multichannel retailing is a proven way to boost sales, but it takes the right strategy to avoid inefficiencies and costly errors. The below tips can help you to get started the right way.
Evaluate your channels carefully
Avoid becoming a victim of the “shiny object” syndrome and selling on channels simply because they are fashionable. This broad approach often leads to great disappointment and causes many sellers to write off media too soon as unsuccessful platforms. It’s best to research and concentrate on the sales channels that make the most sense for your business. Consider essential elements, such like:
- Target buyers
- Top-selling products
- Average price points
- Seller services and features
- Reviews from other sellers
- Fees and commissions
- Ranking algorithms
- Listing Policies
- Pricing policies
- Payment options
- Customer service policies
- Returns policies
While there will always be a learning curve, it’s well worth it to take the time upfront to research and learn how each platform operates.
Automate repetitive tasks
When it comes to having products in multiple places, manually keeping track of each channel can become challenging. From generating listings to ensuring you have the correct quantities available – all these mundane tasks can be simplified and done much faster and more efficiently with automation.
Shopiroller offers a variety of features to simplify your workflows, such as listing, inventory, pricing, and order management tools. You can easily import your Shopiroller catalog into new sales channels and manage shipping policies and promotions without requiring manual data entry. Plus, Shopiroller will take care of the rest once orders are placed by automatically updating inventory counts across channels.
Optimize for mobile shoppers
Mobile commerce is expected to make up nearly 42% of all eCommerce traffic by 2024. This future trend can already be seen on channels like social media, where most users are accessing the site from their phones. You must evaluate your eCommerce site’s mobile experience to ensure that all mobile visitors easily navigate your store. If you’re using Shopiroller, you can switch to Editor mode and click on the icon in the upper-left corner to view (and customize) your mobile view.
- Is fast-loading
- Includes text, images, and buttons sized appropriately for small screens
- It has a clean, easy-to-use navigation menu
- Offers mobile payment options like Apple Pay and PayPal
- It is free of clutter on every page
Make sure that your product details are consistent
Inconsistent prices, outdated images, and expired deals can harm sales or even lead customers to turn away from your brand. To avoid this, create a central database for storing and updating product info using Shopiroller. With this tool, you can sync your listings across multiple platforms and customize details according to each one. This ensures that you always have accurate, up-to-date info for each product.
You and your team should use this database to stay updated on the latest product information. Keeping it synchronized with your POS systems in-store will guarantee that everyone from the eCommerce staff to store associates is kept informed.
Practice price parity
Generally, it’s essential to maintain pricing consistency across all channels. Marketplaces may impose penalties if your product is available at drastically different prices on other sites. However, you can take advantage of this by reserving certain items for specific channels – like selling premium products exclusively on your website and stocking last season’s models. This allows you to enjoy more flexibility in terms of pricing. Remember that it’s essential to remain competitive while ensuring you make a profit.
Protect your brand identity
When you sell on an external platform, you don’t have as much control over how your products are branded and presented. However, there are still ways to increase brand recognition while adhering to the limitations of these channels. Writing descriptive product listings is a great way to showcase your company’s personality, standards of excellence, values, and other distinguishing factors. Be sure to create a distinct description for each channel rather than relying on copy-pasting the same content across various sites.
Another way to build relationships through your digital channels is to provide an excellent customer experience. Think about offering strong, distinctive product images that make it easy for potential customers to see what they buy. Take photos of each product from all angles and consider featuring lifestyle images that capture the atmosphere you’re trying to create.
Be sure to respond to customer inquiries in a timely and helpful manner and address any issues or returns promptly and respectfully. Doing so can help turn even negative first impressions into positive experiences.
A successful multichannel retailing strategy can be advantageous for your business. Do your due diligence, select the best channels, and automate whatever processes. You can start With Shopiroller, and owners can easily handle multiple selling channels directly from their dashboard. Streamline the process and focus on making more sales. Get going with Shopiroller now.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: What should I do to ensure product details are consistent?
A: You should create a central database for storing and updating product info by using Shopiroller. With this tool, you can sync your listings across multiple platforms and customize details according to each one. This ensures that you always have accurate, up-to-date info for each product.
Q: What is the importance of maintaining pricing consistency across all channels?
A: Maintaining pricing consistency across all channels is important because it allows you to remain competitive while ensuring you make a profit. Marketplaces may impose penalties if your product is available at drastically different prices on other sites.
Q: How can I protect my brand identity when selling on an external platform?
A: Protecting your brand identity when selling on an external platform involves writing descriptive product listings that showcase your company’s personality, standards of excellence, values, and other distinguishing factors. Providing robust and distinctive product images and responding to customer inquiries promptly can help turn even negative first impressions into positive experiences.
Q: What is the best way to get started with multichannel retailing?
A: The best way to get started with multichannel retailing is by using Shopiroller, which allows owners to handle multiple selling channels directly from their dashboard efficiently. Streamline the process and focus on making more sales. Get going with Shopiroller now.