Go where your customers are going to be. If your target customers are frequent Amazon or Instagram users, your products should show up on these platforms as often as possible. But what if your target demographics are multi-channel users? They’re usually on eBay, but they also check out Etsy or Facebook Marketplace from time to time. How can you reach out to them on multiple platforms effectively? Consider creating a multi-channel e-commerce strategy.
The Advantages of a Multi-channel E-commerce Strategy
Before we guide you in creating a winning multi-channel e-commerce strategy, we’ll share some of its benefits. If done right, it can take your e-commerce business to the next level.
- Increased brand visibility: Putting your brand & products on multiple platforms allows you to target diverse audiences online. It won’t only expand your reach, but it’ll also boost your brand visibility and recognition over time. Turning your brand into a household name in your niche will be much easier.
- Better customer experience: With a multi-channel e-commerce strategy, your customers can shop anytime, anywhere—and on any platform. They’re not bound to shop in a brick-and-mortar store with set operating hours or on a single app they may not prefer. That provides a better customer experience. And what happens if customers have a great buying experience? They come back and become loyal.
- Improved customer personalization: When implementing a multi-channel e-commerce strategy, you are likely to use tools that can help you track tons of data. These data aren’t only beneficial in keeping your inventory levels or shipments optimal; they also help you get to know your customers better. Use these data to personalize marketing posts & better interact with them on their favorite platform.
5 Tips on Building a Multi-channel E-commerce Strategy
Here are some tips to help you reap the benefits of a multi-channel e-commerce strategy:
1. Find the right sales channels.
Being multi-channel doesn’t only mean being anywhere and everywhere. You have to find the sales channels that are most relevant to your business. If your e-commerce business targets only the B2C sector, choosing eBay, Amazon, and even Facebook Marketplace can do wonders for your strategy. But if you also cater to B2B or wholesalers, you might want to have a presence on B2B e-commerce platforms & sites like Shopify Plus & BigCommerce.
Another way to find the right sales channels for your audience is to ask them. Conduct surveys & interviews to understand their demographics and service preferences. Also, you can study the channels your competitors are using. Maybe, you also need to explore Rakuten, Alibaba, and other global e-commerce platforms since your competitors are there.
2. Use automated inventory management software.
Say you have an online fashion store spread across eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and more—and you have 50 designer handbags in stock. In a day, you sell four on Amazon, ten on eBay, and another five on Etsy. So you have to update your website & other e-commerce site inventory since you only have 31 designer handbags left. Now, can you do it accurately in real-time?
That’s where automated inventory management software steps in. With this tool, you no longer have to worry about tracking, adding, deleting, and replenishing stocks on every e-commerce platform you use. It helps you avoid embarrassing situations where you sell more than what you have in stock. Just make sure to get the inventory management tool with proper e-commerce integration and features that best suit your e-commerce processes.
3. Maximize data and insights.
We’ve already mentioned how a multi-channel strategy gives you tons of customer data. Now, the challenge is to maximize this to ensure your strategies work across all the channels. When collecting data from your e-commerce tools, pay attention to the following:
- Segmentation of your customers according to their demographics
- Preferred sales channels of each demographic
- Products that each demographic buy
- The average amount of a single purchase by customers
- Items that usually go together in customers’ carts
- Products with high cart abandonment rates
- Slow-moving items
- Products with the highest ROI
These data will help refine your marketing and retargeting tactics on every platform or sales channel you use. So make sure to maximize collecting these bits of information and analyze them before you launch a new Google Ads campaign or social media marketing.
4. Prioritize customer experience.
While e-commerce is a lucrative industry, it’s also a competitive niche. Online shopping gives people too many choices; they can easily abandon your website or Amazon store in seconds. So if you want customers to choose you over your competitors, make them a priority. Make their buying experience smooth and seamless, no matter which channel or site they use.
If customers can get freebies when they shop on your website, they should experience the same when they’re on your Etsy or Amazon store. Otherwise, that could hurt your reputation. Consistency is key when implementing a winning multi-channel e-commerce strategy.
5. Prepare an expansion strategy.
You can always start small, but you should always strive for growth & sustainability. Say you’ve begun your strategy by selling on Amazon, Instagram, and your Shopify website. As you implement that, don’t forget to look at how other channels are working and whether they’re being leveraged by your competitors and see if you can do the same.
Otherwise, you miss out on maximizing the power of a multi-channel strategy to grow your e-commerce business. As with any sales tactic, this strategy isn’t a “set-and-forget-it.” You should continuously correct, refine, and even expand when the time is right.
Carrying out a multi-channel strategy to sell your e-commerce products is an efficient way to grow your business—but only if you do it right. We hope the tips above help you as you carve your path to being a multi-channel brand.
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