The face of e-commerce is changing every year. Gone are the days of customers going straight to their favorite website, picking out what they want, and checking out without hesitation. With marketplaces and niches getting more competitive, online shoppers now have a dizzying amount of places to buy from. Getting your brand in front of these buyers is the way to get sales. This is why multichannel listings are going to be the new standard in 2016.
Benefits of Multichannel Selling:
You might have an online store of your own, whether it’s a seller profile on Amazon or a Shopify store. You have worked out all of the kinks in your landing pages, listings, and sales process, and you’re being rewarded with a steady stream of sales. If you are comfortably selling on one sales channel, what’s the benefit to getting involved in multichannel listings?
Increased sales volume
The most obvious benefit to listing on additional sales channels is to get more sales. Marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy have millions of shoppers every day. While Amazon sells a number of items directly, most of these marketplace sales are through independent sellers.
You won’t have a chance to sell to these customers unless you are listed on their marketplace.
Many of these buyers went directly to that marketplace to begin their search, rather than using a search engine or checking out smaller retail channels. That means that you won’t have a chance to sell to these customers unless you are listed on their marketplace of choice.
Exposure for new brands
If you are selling products from a new brand, getting that brand’s name out there is incredibly difficult. As traditional advertising methods are getting more expensive, many brands are turning to other avenues to get the word out. While you could gain traction by marketing through social media and physical pop-up shops, nothing beats the exposure that a major sales channel provides.
You are instantly exposing the brand to millions of potential buyers every day.
By listing new products on a marketplace like Amazon or Etsy, you are instantly exposing the brand to millions of potential buyers every day. Even though the competition is fierce, you can flesh out your listing with strong photography and sales copy to stand out from the crowd. This kind of near-instant exposure simply isn’t possible through other means.
New markets & demographics
An important key to successful e-commerce is that it’s not all about what you’re selling, but to whom. Tailoring your product listings and sales techniques to a target audience is vital to boosting your conversion rate and securing an audience within your niche.
You could have different channels tuned for different audiences.
This is where multichannel sales can be a surprising tool. While your primary store might be aimed at selling to your primary country or currency of choice, you could manage other stores that target other regions. Similarly, you could have different channels tuned in copy and layout for different audiences, such as different age groups, occupations, or interests relevant to what you’re selling.
Frustrations of MultiChannel Listings:
Many sellers that embark on the multichannel journey quickly run into some headache. Managing listings across different environments takes a lot of coordination and attention to detail. To make matters worse, every little balancing act you have to play with a single channel – inventory counts, backorder statuses, shipping policies – can get multiplied with every new channel that you bring on board.
Avoiding inventory conflicts
Easily the most common complaint we hear from multichannel sellers is how hard it can be to keep inventory counts accurate across multiple listings. When you’re selling the same product on multiple sites or marketplaces, it can be hard to keep track of how many units are going out the door and what you have left in stock.
Have a multichannel inventory solution that can act as the master of inventory.
The solution to this inventory confusion is to have a multichannel inventory solution that can act as the master of inventory. “Master of inventory” is an industry term that refers to a channel or service that is in charge of counting stock for a SKU being sold elsewhere. Whenever that SKU is sold and shipped through one channel, the master of inventory would be in charge of calculating that stock change. The master then pushes the new stock count to all of the other listings for the SKU.
Keeping listings updated
When you’re selling on your own store, routine tasks like updating the pricing or main images in a listing is a piece of cake. Throw in other listings on other channels and the situation can get a lot hairier. If you sell an item on a dozen sales channels, do you really want to update that price a dozen times?
Update the price or tweak the description, and the change gets pushed out to your sales channels.
Of course you don’t. That’s why there are multichannel listing management tools that help you update several listings at once. Update the price, add a new picture, or tweak the description, and the change gets pushed out to your sales channels. That leaves you with more time to actually run your business.
Inconsistent fulfillment processes
Every e-commerce platform or marketplace has their own idea of how order fulfillment should work. They all have different ways to manage order lists, status changes, shipment notifications, and package tracking. If you are in the business of fulfilling orders placed on different sales channels, you already know how confusing it can be.
All of your orders will be in one place and they’ll all be marked as shipped on their respective sales channels.
With a multichannel fulfillment solution, you can skip all of that. All of your orders will be in one place, you can pick, pack, and ship them all at once in the same process, and they’ll all be marked as shipped on their respective sales channels. Let SKULabs wrestle with the sales channels so you can focus on getting the actual sales.
SKULabs integrates with over a dozen e-commerce platforms and marketplaces. Click here to see a list of partners that SKULabs supports.