The better way to sell online

The perks of multichannel selling

Back in the day multichannel meant selling your products via mail, catalogue, telephone and in store. The goal was to get your product in front of as many people as possible, tailoring each solution to a different customer type. Now multichannel means largely the same thing, but with one key difference. Many businesses today exist only online, and so being multichannel has become more important than ever..

Why multichannel?

By offering your customers different ways to purchase your products you’re making it easier for them to buy. They may have set habits they’re unwilling to change, or simply prefer or trust one way of buying more than another.

By placing your products where they are, you make your products available. But you also capture more and new traffic: those who buy products on Amazon and over social media might be two completely different groups, and by putting your product in front of both you can maximize profit.

Multichannel isn’t just nice, it’s essential.

Research has shown that customers need on average 7 touchpoints with a business before they buy from it. By spreading yourself across different channels, you increase the amount of times a potential customer can see you, making them more likely to buy. In fact, retailers who have two marketplaces almost generate 190% more revenue than those who simply rely on one.

Despite the obvious benefits, only 40% of retailers have made the leap to multichannel, which means there is still plenty of opportunity for other businesses to take the lead.

Customers need to encounter a business 7 times before they buy. By spreading yourself across channels, you increase the amount of times a potential customer can see you, making them more likely to buy. Retailers who have 2 marketplaces generate 190% more revenue.

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Finding out where your customers are.

A successful multichannel strategy depends on selecting the right channels! Here are some options you can explore:

  • Pop up shops
  • Print catalogues
  • Markets, fairs, festivals: in person
  • Distributors, other stores
  • Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook
  • Your ShopFactory store
  • Marketplaces like Amazon or eBay
  • Comparison-shopping sites

Before you decide where to place your products, it’s important to identify your target market and whether a channel would suit them. For instance, difference websites are used by different demographics. Instagram users tend to be younger than Facebook users, Prime members are usually well off, and over 40% of people go directly to Amazon when they want to buy a product. Establish what kind of people you’d like to target, and then place yourself in the places they go.

Establishing strategies.

Once you’ve decided where you’d like to sell your products, it’s important to come up with a tailored strategy for each platform.

Facebook posts aren’t the same as Instagram posts, and products posted on Amazon follow different formats than those posted on eBay. For each place you decide to sell, you’ll need to come up with specific goals, plans, and formats.

Make sure you establish what kind of metrics you plan to measure from the start. How will you measure your success? Through engagement, traffic, clickthrough rates, or products sold? It’s important to think of these things before you begin.

Delivering a consistent message.

A multichannel approach isn’t just about getting your products out, it’s also about spreading your message. While your advertisements and methods should be tailored to each site you sell on, it’s important to keep your message (and service) the same across all your channels.

Don’t prioritize one kind of customer over another, and make sure they all receive the same standard care and respect – don’t let personal bias impact the quality of your business. You might not agree with third party websites like Amazon, but if you decide to sell on them, you need to respect the buyers.

Mistakes are okay.

Just because you decide to try out a channel doesn’t mean you need to commit it to it forever. If you find your customers aren’t engaging with your products on a certain platform, it’s okay to roll back your product there and try it again elsewhere. Success in business is a process of trial and error: and the potential wins far outweigh the risks.

190% more revenue for just one extra platform? 300% extra if sell through four or more?

Lena Klein

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