Tips for Building an Efficient Multi Channel Selling Strategy
Every seller has a desire (really, more of a need) to grow and scale their business, expanding into new markets. Retailing on multiple platforms brings billions of dollars to merchants daily.
Expanding into other marketplaces has become a game-changer for the whole e-commerce industry. About 50% of online product searches in the US start with marketplaces while only 35% of internet users search on Google first. Whether you like it or not, customer trust and loyalty depends on your brand presence on marketplaces. 65% of consumers are more likely to buy from unfamiliar merchants if customers bumped into them on Amazon, eBay or any other top marketplace.
Still not sure if multi-channel e-commerce strategies are worth a shot? Let’s dig into business benefits and risks as well as tips to remember while building a thorough multichannel strategy.
What is a Multichannel Strategy?
Multichannel retailing is the process of branching out and selling your products on more than one sales channel to reach more potential customers. A multichannel seller is always embracing touchpoints where customers prefer to shop, which includes, but is not limited to:
- Social media
- Comparison shopping engines
- Deals websites
- e-commerce stores
It’s not necessary that you go to all of them. It’s more about choosing the right platforms full of your potential customers.
Why Go to Top Selling Platforms?
The more marketplaces you conquer, the more customers you acquire. When looking at huge platforms, it is clear to see why you should buy in; eBay has 180 million active buyers and Amazon is visited by almost 200 million people worldwide every month.
If you broaden your customer base, you gain more sales and ramp up your revenue as a result. Moreover, 15% of online buyers who explore and shop on multiple selling channels tend to spend more money than those who shop on a single one. Multichannel customers also show a higher lifetime value.
What does the buying decision process look like? When consumers come across your product, they don’t buy it on-the-spot. It takes time to read reviews, evaluate, and look for alternatives... but the more touch points you embrace, the higher the chances consumers will remember you, and as a result, buy from you.
You have likely already started your e-commerce business on one sales channel. Therefore, it requires less time and money to branch out. Say you sell on Amazon and want to have your products on Walmart; the main difference in the process is that on Amazon you sign up, and on Walmart you apply to join as a seller. Why the risks are lower? You simply list your best products to test the market and watch the results. If all works well and you want to list your whole inventory, you can use a special listing tool to automate the process.
What to Remember While Building an E-Commerce Channel Strategy?
It’s easy to start multichannel distribution but challenging to do it successfully. When you go multichannel, you have a lot on your mind: what channels should you pick? How do you market effectively? Should an SEO strategy differ for each platform?
To help you through this, we compiled a list of key tips that can make your e-commerce business success a reality.
Be Where Your Customers Shop
Do not pick sales channels chaotically and randomly, even if you have an ambitious plan to conquer the whole range of marketplaces (which is an irrational and inefficient strategy). Pay attention to those sales points that suit your customers' location and preferences. Search for the same products that your competitors sell on the potential selling channels to figure out if you can stand out there. It is also important to keep in mind that each platform will have its own set of regulations and fees that should account for in your plan. All of this will help you make a well-thought-out strategy to choose the right channels.
Customer Experience Comes First
The customer ultimately rules every sales channel. Strive to create the best shopping experience for the consumer. The flip side of selling multichannel is processing and delivering orders quickly as you start to manage more than one platform. To reach better results in these business processes, use multichannel listing tools with order management.
Stick to a Consistent Brand Identity
Online shoppers should recognize your brand on each sales channel it is presented. Brand recognition is the thing, remember? Therefore, make sure you have the same tone of voice, brand color palette, logo and photos on all the marketplaces.
Develop Marketing and Pricing Strategies
Make them differ from each other. These strategies should be tailored to a sales channel and marketplace audience. You cannot just duplicate them as each channel has its specificities and unique customer mix. What works for one marketplace does not necessarily work for another.
Do Channel-Specific SEO Tricks
Just listing your products from one marketplace to another is not a sure-fire way to increase revenue. What you need is to find and learn SEO techniques for each sales channel to optimize your listings. It’s that 20% of work that brings 80% of results. You can automate any transfer but there is no way to automate the application of proper SEO. Poorly structured SEO strategies will result in your customers being unable to find you and your products.
Prepare Your Business to Growth
Once you’ve tested multichannel selling and realized its power, you will want to benefit from it and use this business growth strategy to the fullest. But before you start, make sure your business is prepared. The more sales you generate, the more efforts in customer and fulfillment services you will need to invest in. Therefore, hire new support managers and find platforms to automate more processes. At the end of the day, your business needs to be scalable to achieve success.
Rely on Efficient Tools
No matter how good you are at selling and organizing your work, when you go multichannel it’s hard to keep track of every process and manage multiple tasks. Let tools do all the tedious work while you focus on sales and growth. Consider using platforms that do product research and repricing for multiple channels or fulfill orders from different marketplaces.
A tool that you will need for getting your multichannel business started is a listing platform. One of them is Sellbery. It integrates online stores built on Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, etc. with top marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Etsy, and many more. It lists and syncs products and orders within minutes so that you will avoid overselling or underselling. Moreover, you will not need to switch between seller platforms as you control your inventory and order management in a single platform. Try Sellbery and start selling on multiple marketplaces.
Yes, it’s challenging to be a multichannel seller but it is also rewarding! Broadened customer base, improved brand recognition, increased multi channel sales and revenue are just a few of the perks it brings. If you give it a try, don’t forget to adapt your marketing and pricing strategies to each marketplace, create a great customer experience, prepare your business to scale, and automate the selling process with special software.
About the Author:
Anna Plachkova is the Digital Marketing Manager for Sellbery, a
multichannel listing platform that connects online stores to multiple
sales channels. Anna is an eCommerce marketing expert with over 3
years of intense experience. Her desire is to help more people start
their online business and grow.