Most e-commerce businesses start their journey from a single sales channel, which is often a social media platform or a blogging website with plugins to set up an e-commerce business (like WordPress). It’s a shame that most of these e-commerce businesses stick to using a single sales channel without exploring more possibilities that can potentially bring bigger revenues.
The idea of benefiting from a multichannel world isn’t alien to e-commerce. There’s even a notion of multichannel e-commerce, which is the practice of selling products using more than one platform online.
Multichannel e-commerce is developing rapidly, as consumer purchase behaviors change, letting the advanced technology dictate its rules.
BigCommerce, for example, reports that younger generations rarely shop at physical stores, giving preference to online shopping (31% of millennials and 9.6% of Gen Z, which is a dramatic change in numbers). It’s also reported that both Millennials and Gen Z representatives spend most of their money purchasing items from Instagram and Snapchat.
Here are the stats of online shopping behaviors across different generations:
As you can see, most respondents choose not one, but several sales channels for online shopping. Among the reasons for using multichannel e-commerce, they name speed, convenience, price, ease of return and free shipping.
Clearly, consumers greatly benefit from using multichannel online shopping, so why shouldn’t you? If you plan on growing your e-commerce business, the multichannel world of online shopping can bring you a lot of benefits too.
What are these benefits?
- Better sales due to the improved shopping experience. What a brand should always be concerned about is creating a positive customer Customers appreciate the brand’s flexibility. Providing them with as many options as possible will only bring you great reviews and better sales.
- Improved ratings due to the personalized customer experience. Different customers prefer different channels when shopping online. Some of them prefer to visit a website while others opt for downloading and using an app. Catering to the needs of your clients and making their shopping experience personalized is a trend in e-commerce, but sadly, only a few businesses can offer that. Make sure that you don’t miss out.
- Expanding your brand. Using a single sales channel is good and stable, but if you want to grow your brand, you need to take a risk. Using multichannel e-commerce will help you explore new markets, gain you new customers and expand your business to an international level.
As you can see, your business can greatly benefit from using multiple sales channels.
But how do you bring those benefits to your business?
Here are some of the best tips.
1 – Opt for Multichannel E-Commerce Platforms
If you want your e-commerce business to benefit from the multichannel world, you need to plan to go multichannel from the very beginning. For instance, many small e-commerce businesses who started on Etsy, later connect their shops to Instagram for more exposure and bigger sales.
But if you haven’t done it yet, it’s never late. If you run your e-commerce business mainly through your website, you can still use different multichannel e-commerce platforms to double your sales.
Here are the most popular multichannel e-commerce platforms:
- Shopify. This is a well-known e-commerce platform with a strong focus on adding new channels to help their users grow. Its multichannel world includes many options, among which are the feature of connecting to Amazon, eBay, WordPress, and Instagram. It also synchronizes to the Google merchant center, allowing the Shopify users to upgrade their Google listings.
- Magento. This is a customizable e-commerce platform with great multichannel For the convenience of its users, Magento has built an extension called M2E to help them integrate with eBay, Amazon, Etsy or Rakuten. It also allows users to easily manage orders, prices, goods in stock and inventory. M2E extension also provides customer support reports with valuable social data.
- WooCommerce. Famous for its multiple WordPress plugins, this platform is a mediator between your website and big online e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay.
Using multichannel e-commerce platforms will open new possibilities for your business, helping you create a multichannel world that will bring benefits to you and your customers.
2 – Have You Invested in an App Yet?
Exploring the multichannel world of e-commerce wouldn’t be complete without benefiting from mobile traffic and investing in an app. Sleeknote with the reference to Statista reports that smartphones accounted for 61% of retail site visits worldwide. The same source claims that only 30% of online retail visits come from desktops.
This trend is understandable. People are always on the go, checking their phones and browsing the Internet while they’re commuting. Although using a phone is more convenient for a consumer, this presents a bit of a challenge for e-commerce, as the purchase pattern is no longer straightforward. Besides, if you don’t have a mobile version of your website, you’ve already lost.
While creating a smartphone version of a website is a must today, an app would be a more convenient and more stable way to go through your products and purchase them. There are many benefits you can get from investing in an app, such as:
- Increasing customer engagement;
- Creating a personalized and direct channel;
- Increasing brand awareness;
- Improving customer support;
- Encouraging brand loyalty.
Your app should be well-integrated with your website. The founders of Flatfy, an international real estate company, say that developing an app and making it a full analog of the desktop website was their No.1 priority: “We did not just create an app with apartment listings. We made sure that all interactions and other important actions could be performed through this app.”
Having an app means giving your customers an opportunity to access your services at any time. You’ll be giving them one more option, expanding your multichannel world.
3 – Benefit from Comparison Shopping Engines
As an e-commerce business owner, you probably know everything about comparison shopping engines. They are an essential part of the multichannel world. There isn’t a single customer that doesn’t use comparison shopping engines to read reviews and share experiences.
In a multichannel world, reports GoDataFeed, 20% of all traffic that comes to e-commerce websites, comes from the comparison shopping engines like Bing, Google Shopping and Shopzilla. If you want to benefit from the multichannel world, staying connected to comparison shopping engines is a must. They give you valuable information, like:
- Customer reviews and experience;
- Competitor analysis;
- Market statistics and trends;
- Data on prices and discounts.
Tools like GoDataFeed and others keep you connected to all popular shopping engines, updating you about what’s going on in the multichannel world.
Exploring different multichannel possibilities is a must for an e-commerce business. Multichannel e-commerce can bring you a lot of benefits, including reaching out to bigger audiences, growing your brand and increasing your sales. Hopefully, these tips will help you get benefits from using the multichannel world and get people talking about your brand.
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About the Author
Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, he works as a real estate agent at https://flatfy.ro. He likes everything related to traveling and new countries.