What is Multichannel Selling
Just as the name indicates, multichannel selling is the action of selling products on various platforms such as marketplaces, e-commerce platforms and offline vendors. Not so long ago, multichannel selling was a concept relegated to a very basic notion of having an online presence in addition to a brick-and-mortar store.
Things changed for the better, as diverse marketplaces became available and the popularity of online transactions grew as well. A good place to begin would be to explore the various channels of selling over the Internet. Further down the road, we can analyze the manner in which both large companies and small ones can use the most effective multichannel selling strategies to maximize profits.
Channels of Multichannel Selling
There are a few things that everyone should know about multichannel selling before embarking on this quest. All the solutions we explain below can be used to sell physical items and we’ll highlight the advantages and shortcomings of various marketplaces, offline vendors as well as e-commerce platforms.
Ecommerce platforms are now routinely used by all who sell products over the Internet. They allow a great deal of flexibility, by keeping owners in control of the brand and enables them to take orders and share success stories. Vendors have various tools at their disposal and can stay in touch with clients by using email marketing, and they can choose between self-hosted and hosted e-commerce platforms.
If you choose hosted e-commerce, then you will be paying a third-party company for a service, as they will be the ones managing the technical side of your online venture. The advantage is that you don’t have any responsibilities, as everything from security to coding is taken care of. Users are still in control as they can access the store using a regular web browser and two shining examples of hosted ecommerce sites are Shopify and Bigcommerce.
The alternative of self hosted e-commerce appeals mostly to tech savvy people who are not frightened by the prospect of managing the server hosting. In exchange, they benefit from more customization options, so they can make plenty of changes until they reach the desired results.
The Amazon FBA program is one of the best examples of marketplaces, as it handles all the processes associated to the selling process. They range from companies performing basic tasks to those taking care of the entire process, including the shipping of the item. Third-party sellers will have to pay a fee for benefiting from their service, while the marketplaces are also driving traffic to generate cash. Amazon.com, eBay, Etsy and Rakuten are the leading marketplaces for those selling online.
The vast majority of sales in Singapore are still performed in offline stores, despite the fact that the online market is on a constant expansion. As much as 90% of all sales take place in traditional retail, which range from land-based stores and trade shows to local markets. Although the online sales are growing by double-digit figures, sellers can still build brand awareness by participating in trade shows.
More Ecommerce Entrepreneurs Employing a Multichannel Selling Strategy
Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there and this is particularly true in the highly competitive world of e-commerce. Entrepreneurs need to stay competitive and they can do so by using the right multichannel selling strategy and covering all bases. Even relying on major companies such as Amazon.com or eBay can be dangerous, as you can never know when these online giants change their policies. It’s even more dangerous to focus exclusively on brick-and-mortar sales, so it definitely pays off to have a diversified portfolio by using multichannel selling.
Are You In On Multichannel Selling?
If the answer is “Yes”, then you are already halfway through and very likely to be successful in the long run. Once you embrace the concept of multichannel selling, you need to make the most of it. You can do it by effectively promoting your brand across all markets and making sure that those who enter your offline or online store will have a good reason to linger.
Know your competition and try to learn from their mistakes, so pay attention to what others are doing before jumping headfirst into shark-infested waters. Last but definitely not least, any successful multichannel selling strategy needs to have the customer at its heart. Get to know your clients and use sales data to better understand trends and always try to meet customers halfway.