Multi-channel selling can be lucrative for most sellers, but executing it properly can still be challenging. Not all marketplaces are created equal, and using a one-size-fits-all approach to multi-channel selling can do more harm than good. In this article, we tell you the value of multi-channel selling and the questions to ask before launching your products to a new marketplace.
Why Multi-Channel Selling Is Good for Business
Retail is increasingly becoming more crowded. Online selling has lowered the bar and allowed savvy entrepreneurs from all walks of life to open shop in digital space. No other era in history has it been so easy to source products from vendors, import from other countries, drop ship or outsource their warehousing and fulfillment.
Online shoppers are becoming more sophisticated, and with busy lifestyles, they tend to go straight to their target marketplace to find what they want, searching for the best deals. Browsing on niche marketplaces could also allow shoppers to find related products.
Likewise, if you don’t have a solid multi-channel marketing strategy, you won’t be reaching customers effectively. More than half of shoppers check Amazon first before Google, but that doesn’t mean Amazon is the only way they could find products. Social media offers great product discovery opportunities, especially when shoppers are not actively searching for your products.
If you’re only selling on 1-2 channels, you’re missing out on potential traffic and revenue. Shoppers are literally everywhere. To illustrate, despite not selling on Amazon, many sellers got a 44% boost during Amazon Prime Day. According to a survey by Internet Retailer, shoppers checked out deals from other sites, including Walmart.com (16%) and eBay (14%) during Prime Day.
To properly scale your retail operations, you should maximize your digital footprint by applying the best multi-channel strategies to win today’s shoppers.
Things to Consider Before Going Multi-Channel
With all the advantages of multi-channel selling, expanding into new marketplaces can be time-consuming and operationally challenging. While it’s tempting to launch your products in as many sales channels as possible, poor execution could mean failure, not more sales.
Still, many types of businesses will benefit from going multi-channel. If you already sell on Amazon or eBay, there’s likely a niche marketplace you could consider selling on, where certain communities are actively searching for products like yours. For instance, if you have a more creative product line, selling on Etsy could be a good option.
It’s important to know the type of audience and shoppers that marketplace caters to, otherwise your conversions will be low. More visibility and traffic doesn’t always translate to sales. If the marketplace caters to penny-pinchers, and your pricing is too high, your products will likely be ignored.
Once you've narrowed down your marketplace, consider first if you should launch with your entire product catalog, or only select products to begin with. Most marketplaces will have listing fees. Launching a few popular products may be a good way to test the waters.
Similarly, selling on multiple channels involves various costs and fulfillment methods, so pricing could be an issue. Should your price points across marketplaces be the same? Should they match your website? Having inconsistent pricing could impact a shopper’s buying decisions.
Some sellers also take advantage of selling under different brands or seller profiles on marketplaces. This is done if branding is not too important to the seller, and opening multiple stores is more favorable. Doing so could potentially cause inventory problems, unless shadow listings are used properly.
How you market and describe your listings on each channel matters as well. If you optimize your Amazon listing, will it also make sense for Walmart? Do you have a single place to house all your product content and variations? If your vendor changes their price, would you be able to update your multi-channel listings in time?
How to Succeed with Multi-Channel Automation
Every channel has its own demands and could take a toll on your daily operations. Without proper automation, it’s so easy to lose sight of your inventory, product content, pricing and order fulfillment - making it difficult to maintain positive seller ratings. The last thing you want is to get negative reviews on the marketplaces you wanted to expand to.
An ecommerce automation solution like Jazva helps sellers navigate through today’s complex omnichannel landscape. Unlike other Amazon seller software tools, Jazva is more than just a multi-channel listing software. It provides robust features that streamline and simplify ecommerce.