Multichannel ecommerce is what all brands and companies are going for nowadays, and with good reason. Its application to businesses everywhere ensures that brands maximize their reach and engagements with their customers and other consumers, maintain marketing efficiency and generate more income. Let’s take a look at multichannel ecommerce and what it could mean for your business.
Multichannel ecommerce definition
This is pretty straightforward. Multichannel ecommerce is when you sell products (goods and/or services) and engage with your potential and existing customers on/from more than one platform/place. You’re wherever you think your customers are.
Even as a consumer yourself you might already have some knowledge of this or notice it to some degree. You would probably, from time to time, see similar ads or just the brand itself on different places that you frequently see or visit, such as on social media.
What is the difference between multichannel and omnichannel?
The omnichannel way gives your customers a unified experience when shopping with your business. As the brand, you do this by having some form of centralized data management that connects your customers to a single, uniform shopping experience. This way, they can start their purchase from one place and still be able to complete it on another. Everything is connected to a single point.
Multichannel on the other hand, as the retailer, you manage the different channels you have on the different places your marketing and selling on, differently and separately. You set up shop on different channels that provide different shopping experiences for the customers.
What are the benefits of multichannel marketing?
The reason other businesses are also doing multichannel marketing is because they see the benefits that it gives them. These include:
Extend and expand content and audience reach
Proper distribution with quality content maximizes your returns. Spreading your content across multiple different channels will increase your authority over the space, or at least set yourself up to possess some.
Simplify customer journey
Your customers can reach you on the channel they prefer to shop and by sending them direct and relevant links. There’s therefore, little time wasted when sending your customers to the marketing team. Making the experience easier and quicker.
Take advantage of varying benefits
Channels can be perfect and less ideal depending on the time. You can mitigate the shortcomings while taking advantage of the different positives that the different channels offer.
Enhance retargeting campaign successes
Utilize different channels to engage with your customers and gently nudge them to not only shop with you but to also purchase more from you. Multichannel marketing helps retarget customers quicker. A retargeting campaign is an essential part of marketing strategies for any brand.
Consistently being available via a customer’s chosen channel directly aligns your brand with higher levels of conversions. All channels working together is the real advantage that multichannel marketing brings to your business.
Heightens brand awareness
Having your presence felt across multiple channels increases the likelihood of consumer recognition towards your brand. Users will recognize you more easily and gives you the attention that you need.
Of course, increasing brand awareness, higher conversion rates, simplified customer journeys and successful retargeting lead to a heightened revenue stream for you. More channels mean more options, and more opportunities, giving you more transactions and up-selling.
Collect better customer data
Every channel and a different place provides more customer insights. Tracking how users interact across all your channels gives you the opportunity to learn more about their preferences which you can then use to further personalizes their shopping experience with you.
Elevate brand consistency
Oftentimes, consistency is key. A multichannel strategy is a good exercise for you to practice giving your brand consistent messaging that your customers see.
Raise customer base
Multichannel marketing is effective in increasing your customer base and doing so at lower costs. Having your ads and content across multiple channels can help you reach a wider audience at a lower cost per acquisition.
The biggest challenge with multichannel ecommerce
Inventory mismanagement is arguably the biggest challenge with multichannel ecommerce. It can lead to overstocking or overselling which leaves customers dissatisfied and pushes them to leave negative online reviews and shop elsewhere.
Apart from that, you would need exceptional buyer personas to actually close sales and not just get customers’ attention, not to mention additional expenditure costs on your marketing budget. And even more importantly, multichannel marketing can be quite the challenge for you if you don’t have the technical know-how to actually run a campaign similar to it.
Steps to get started a multichannel ecommerce on your business
So now you’re looking at your business and see that you have what it takes to take on a multichannel ecommerce strategy. Everything is prepped and ready. But in getting started with this, it takes multiple considerations that need answering as steps to starting out:
Your business’ ability to handle multiple channels
For a moment, take a gander and revisit your business’ infrastructure. Ask yourself:
Does the current infrastructure you have built and placed able to support selling on multiple channels?
How will you, and can you, source products in time as you receive demands?
What mix of technology and personnel are you thinking of employing to streamline and operate such a critical business operation?
Evaluating your options
Think about the channels you’ll be using to sell. Evaluate whether setting up shop on that channel is sensible fiscally for your company and if the user experience that platform provides suits your products, services, business model, fulfillment model and market strategies. So:
- What channels are you going to sell on?
- What are the fee structures, and which product fits best?
- Can you fulfill orders efficiently on the channel?
Approaches to selling and fulfillment
Look into your fulfillment model. Wonder:
Does it make sense with respect to your fulfillment model when expanding to multiple channels?
How far can you really effectively fulfill orders on time?
How much of your inventory can you fulfill yourself and how much of it would you have to outsource such as through dropshipping and third-party services (when needed)?
The right partners and tools
You don’t have to necessarily go at it alone. With the right seller software and fulfillment and management partners, you can successfully boost your sales, increase your profits, streamline your operations, and maximize your business’s chances of success.
Be everywhere to get everyone
The internet is a wonder of convenience both for consumers and for retailers like yourself. Multichannel ecommerce leverages the ease with which online space can provide in terms of engagement, communication and user experience. So be sure to lead your business into having a presence anywhere you can to get you the maximum number of customers you can possibly gain!