Why a multichannel ecommerce strategy is essential for brands
Today's fast-moving digital landscape requires brands to remain ahead of the competition by optimizing their online presence and maximizing multichannel ecommerce strategies.
Havard Business Review research indicates that over 70% of consumers use multiple shopping channels. Furthermore, those using multiple channels return more often and spend more money. Multichannel marketing should not simply be considered "nice to have."
This guide explores a multichannel ecommerce strategy and potential benefits it provides to your business.
What is multichannel ecommerce?
Multichannel ecommerce is a strategy that enables businesses to grow their reach and connect with a broader audience. It works by expanding your sales channels beyond your website. It can include selling your products through digital storefronts such as Shopify, social commerce (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook), online marketplaces (Amazon/eBay), and brick-and-mortar retail establishments.
According to Oberlo, the social commerce market alone is expected to grow by over 30% year-on-year up to 2025.
China is home to an unparalleled livestream ecommerce industry, which saw new users surge by an estimated 200 million between 2020 and 2022.
Multichannel ecommerce meets customers wherever they shop. That could be Amazon's vast marketplace, Instagram shopping, or the experience of visiting a physical store. Multichannel ecommerce ensures your brand remains visible on every channel.
To gain a deeper understanding of the multichannel approach and how it differs from omnichannel ecommerce, you may find it beneficial to explore this insightful article on omnichannel ecommerce. This resource will assist in understanding both strategies, providing guidance to help make informed decisions that expand and engage a broader customer base.
How do multichannel listings help ecommerce businesses?
Now that we understand multichannel ecommerce let's delve deeper into why it should be implemented within your business strategy.
Selling products across various channels significantly amplifies brand visibility. According to Webinar Care, 90% of consumers expect to interact with a brand across multiple channels.
Suppose you run an artisanal jewelry brand, for instance. In that case, this approach ensures potential customers encounter your creations on your website and via Etsy, Instagram, and even local craft fairs - increasing recognition and recall rates by potential customers.
Selling on multiple marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and niche marketplaces allows you to reach diverse customer bases, take advantage of built-in trust relationships, and access fulfillment services. These marketplaces cater to various customer demographics, allowing you to widen your customer reach and potentially boost revenue.
Expand Your Geographic Presence
Multichannel ecommerce allows businesses to expand geographically with multichannel sales channels. If, for instance, you run a niche coffee bean roasting business, listing products on an established coffee marketplace could attract fans of coffee from all around the globe. This could kickstart cross border ecommerce and open new markets without incurring unnecessary expenses and setting up physical locations in different locations.
Diversified sales funnel
Each sales channel brings its distinct audience and user behavior, allowing you to diversify your sales funnel by tapping multiple platforms simultaneously. For instance, fashion brands could utilize Instagram for trendier demographics while providing quality-focused consumers with quality goods via their website - this way, all their eggs don't end up in one basket.
You can access abundant data for data-driven decision-making by selling across multiple channels. Analyzing which products perform well on different platforms or understanding customer preferences allows for fine-tuning your marketing strategies accordingly - such as selling electronics where high-end headphones sell exceptionally well on tech-focused marketplaces, allowing for allocating more resources toward this channel.
Resilience and risk mitigation:
Relying solely on one sales channel can be risky; should technical problems, policy shifts, or market fluctuations affect that channel directly, your business could experience irreparable damage. Multichannel ecommerce provides a buffer against such issues should one channel encounter challenges while others continue generating revenue. For instance, in times of economic difficulty, you could use your strong presence online as leverage while reviewing how best to adjust your strategy for marketplaces.
By adopting a multichannel strategy and considering these factors, your ecommerce business can thrive across environments and adapt quickly to shifting customer tastes and market dynamics - essential ingredients of sustainable success in digital commerce environments.
Tips for a successful multichannel ecommerce strategy
Now that you understand the importance of multichannel ecommerce let's delve into some practical tips to execute a successful strategy.
1. Automate your multichannel listings
Manually managing listings across multiple channels can be overwhelming and prone to errors. To streamline this process, consider using marketplace integration software. These tools allow you to automate the listing and updating of products on various platforms, saving you time and reducing the risk of discrepancies.
For a comprehensive understanding of automating your listings effectively, check out this article on integrated ecommerce.
2. Ensure that all your backend systems are linked
Efficient inventory management is crucial in multichannel ecommerce. To avoid overselling and ensure that you're always displaying accurate stock levels on every platform, integrate your Product Information Management (PIM), Warehouse Management System (WMS), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems with your marketplaces and sales channels. This connectivity provides real-time visibility into your stock levels and sales volumes, preventing costly errors.
3. Understand the strengths of each channel
Different sales channels have distinct characteristics and user behavior. It's essential to tailor your approach to each channel's strengths. For instance, if you're selling on TikTok Shop, focus on creating engaging short videos that capture your audience's attention. Understanding what works best on each platform can significantly boost your chances of success.
4. Implement a unified customer experience
Consistency is vital in multichannel ecommerce. Your customers should have a seamless and uniform experience regardless of the channel they choose to interact with your brand. Over 50% of consumers will switch to a competitor after one bad experience.
Ensure your branding, messaging, and customer support are consistent across all platforms. This creates trust and fosters loyalty among your customers.
5. Monitor and analyze performance metrics
Monitoring and analyzing performance metrics is essential to optimizing a multichannel strategy, whether sales, conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, or feedback from each channel. By regularly assessing these insights, you'll identify those performing well and any requiring changes - giving your strategy maximum effectiveness.
Multichannel ecommerce strategies have become necessary in today's fast-evolving landscape, allowing your brand to expand its reach and increase market share and sales growth. Automating listings across channels, integrating backend systems, and tailoring your strategy according to each channel's strengths will lead your ecommerce plan toward success in multichannel environments.
Mastering multichannel ecommerce requires flexibility and an acute awareness of your audience. Leverage the diversity of sales channels to automate wherever possible, and always stay ahead of the game if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your strategy.