Multichannel eCommerce for retailers

By | April 11, 2012

Are you a retailer? Have you ever heard of multiple sales channels? Multiple sales channels linked to the same backend are usually referred to as multichannel eCommerce solutions that are peculiarly beneficial for retail businesses. In other words, eCommerce backend manages multiple sales channels, providing full control over product information, stock levels and prices, complete overview of the whole operation automatically synchronising data flows between all parts of the system. To be more particular, multichannel eCommerce enables the sales of products through a number of retail channels, covering not only the famous marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, play.com etc. but also classic MOTO (mail order telephone order) and EPOS (electronic point of sale).

The use of several sales channels increases chances of success both for start-ups and growth of developed retail businesses. Whatever stage your company is at, make sure you take advantage of at least two sales channels: highly functional eCommerce website and an active merchant account on eBay and/or Amazon. For a retail business, being represented online is essential for one simple reason – the target audience out there is incredibly wide. And with proper provider, turnkey eCommerce website integrated with eBay and/or Amazon merchant account will bring any retail business to the top of success.

Another sales channel is the good old brick-and-mortar shop, that some store owners still prefer to run. If you are of them, you can use your shop to advertise your online retail website, by allowing your customers to surf the actual site right from your computer. They will see it with their own eyes and will most likely want to get back for more.

Lots of researches are constantly held, and one of them was run by the famous Shop.org. It showed that the combination of brick-and-mortar shops, online (eCommerce/eBay/Amazon etc.) stores and catalogue sales altogether build the clientele that has a 12% larger buying frequency and a 32% higher yearly spending history, that equals a 73% of likelihood to make similar purchases from that retailer with three sales channels, rather than with just one.

Generally, there are many more sales channels that can be implemented and quite successfully:

  • B2B websites (quick and efficient interface that manages complex transactions)
  • B2C websites (easily customisable and have multiple skins that match unique brand identities)
  • Multiple microsites (highly targeted sites that are built to optimise direct response campaigns)
  • Item feeds (make products available automatically on third party feeds, ex. Google products)
  • Social Media (connect with the world to build a company brand, ex. Twitter, Facebook)
  • Mobile Sales (mobile browser based sales for customers to be able to buy from any place at any time) etc.

Choose a few sales channels for your retail business, sometimes the more, the better and sometimes it’s best to stop at two or three and lead a confident way to the top.

About the Guest Post Author: Elena Bizina, Marketing department of Holbi. Takes particular interest in eCommerce industry to learn from top professionals and share with beginners like herself. In the past  – an English teacher and a Business Development Manager, at present – a full-time mother and a part-time Assistant to Marketing Manager whose core responsibilities are researching the eCommerce industry and writing about it.