By Erin Wawok

Nov

26

Why Multichannel Selling is Smarter

Your e-commerce store is up and running, you’ve ironed out the bugs, and your customer base is growing. Expanding your online reach through multichannel e-commerce is the next logical step as you continue to grow your retail business. But why bother selling across channels when you might be doing well with just one? Here are seven reasons why multichannel selling makes sense:

Increase Sales

While 95% of marketers understand the importance of multichannel selling, only 73% have a solid multichannel strategy in place. This is unfortunate, as the first and most obvious reason to sell your products through multiple online outlets is that you can increase sales, and without an effective roadmap in place, your business can lose out on potential revenue. 

Plus, with a higher profile, more visibility, and access to new customers, your products will be seen by more people—shoppers who are in the right frame of mind to click that ‘buy now’ button. Different online marketplaces attract different kinds of customers, so why place your eggs all in one basket? Look for any and all ways to sell your products; make an effort to reach as many customers as possible. Doing so can allow you to increase sales across the board. 

More Options For Customers

Happy customers are loyal customers. Consumers often multitask, shopping using their smartphones while on coffee breaks or waiting for appointments. While it may be most convenient for them to shop for your products in-store one day, they might be busy running errands the next and need to access your e-store. Online shops also have the potential to offer quick customer service, and customers who feel taken care of in this way are more likely to make purchases and leave better reviews.

Being able to find your products wherever and whenever they happen to be virtually shopping can leave a lasting positive impression on customers. They can feel confident knowing that you’re available at different places in different ways. The importance of mobile shopping cannot be overstated. In fact, 71% of customers who use their smartphones for research in-store say that it’s become an important part of the experience. It’s clear that they value the ability to not only make purchases from their phones but browse listings while shopping at brick-and-mortar stores as well. 

Gather Data and Get Smarter

The more places you sell your items and engage with your customers, the more opportunities you have to collect data. And, the more data you have about your customers, the better you can understand their needs and provide what they are looking for. Knowing where and when your customers are shopping, what devices they are using, and how they are engaging with your content can help you design better and more effective marketing campaigns. Understanding and assessing what’s working can help you manage your marketing budget more effectively. 

Scale Up!

The benefits of economies of scale are easy to calculate. Larger quantities ordered mean better purchasing power with your suppliers, which in turn can result in bigger savings. By reducing your costs you can increase your profits, and adding channels like eBay, Jet, and Shopify can allow you to sell larger quantities of items across different platforms, thus improving your profit margin on each item sold.

Improve Productivity and Efficiency

Integrating multiple sales channels can result in better staff efficiency. This works in a couple of different ways. For instance, a staff member in your brick-and-mortar store can check product details, locations, or special promotions on a tablet carried onto the floor, providing the customer with top-notch service. We’ve all experienced the frustration of hearing about a special sale, heading to the store to take advantage of said sale, and learning that products are out of stock.

By facilitating better communication and integration with various sales channels, including online shops and multi-location physical stores, staff can quickly be alerted to fluctuations in stock between stores. They can even update mobile apps and social media to reflect these changes, providing rapid digital communication to customers to keep them updated on the status of different sales and promotions. 

The workflow of your core team managing various online channels evens out because using more and varied sales channels tends to reduce dramatic day-to-day and hour-by-hour sales fluctuations. Smoothing out these ebbs and flows makes staffing easier. 

Staffing is also more efficient when you can use the same personnel to manage online listings, update images, send out coupons, manage special offers targeted to individual customers, and take advantage of the unique promotional tools offered by different channels.

Encourage Customer Engagement

Integrating your online sales channels and social media feeds with brick-and-mortar marketing strategies can be a powerful mix when it comes to improving customer loyalty and increasing sales. Special coupons, time-limited specials, and contests that involve some sort of social media engagement are all great ways to encourage customer loyalty.

Different sales channels offer their own strategies for facilitating engagement: the cumulative effect of taking advantage of various options can be significant as your brand profile grows and you are seen to be everywhere.

When targeting younger demographics, it’s especially important to engage with them in fun, effective ways. Social media is a great way to do this, as younger people are more frequent users of these platforms. About 20% of Gen Z say that Snapchat influences their purchasing decisions, and more than 70% of Millennials claim to be influenced by social media marketing in general. Bringing together multiple sales channels to create an engaging customer experience for your audience is critical to fostering the brand-consumer relationship and getting your customers more actively involved with your business.

Diversify to Decrease Risk

In the event of a disaster, it’s good to have multiple safety outlets. By spreading your online presence over multiple channels you reduce the risk of a catastrophic failure should one of your channels go down. The costs for adding new channels are generally low, but the potential benefits are huge.

If your brick-and-mortar store is damaged in a natural disaster, for example, you’ll be relieved to have a steady stock of supplies at the ready in another location. Provided you have in place the proper partnership with a good vendor, you will be even better off if you can make a quick phone call and get a new shipment of items coming from overseas or wherever your supplier is located. 

You Don’t Have to Figure it Out on Your Own!

Managing multiple channels and making sure you stay on top of your inventory management even when sales start coming in from many directions doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Listing Mirror can help you keep on top of listings across multiple channels, coordinate order fulfillment, and synchronize your inventory. We offer order fulfillment and inventory syncing services to help you stay organized and on top of things. 

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Erin Wawok

Erin is the Co-Founder of Listing Mirror.