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9 Reasons to Become a Multi-Channel Business in 2019

Image of Nicole Blanckenberg
Nicole Blanckenberg

If you’ve been mulling over the idea of increasing your sales reach, then this post is for you!

In a May 2018 study, Adeptmind found that just under half of American online shoppers start their product search on Amazon - and they’re not the only ones. According to Comscore, a UPS study revealed that 99% of Mexican, 98% Asian, 96% Canadian and 96% European online shoppers had made at least one purchase on a specific marketplace. Here are some more stats from CPC Strategy:

ConsumerBehavior_Infographics

The bottom line is that if you have an eCommerce store, adding marketplaces to your selling streams will have a host of benefits. As will a singular marketplace seller who decides to create their own online store or include a variety of national and international marketplaces. So what are those benefits?  

Here are 9 reasons to become a multi-channel business in 2019!

1. You Have the Ability to Meet Customers Where They Are

Whether on Google or individual marketplaces, expanding your channels means meeting your customers where they’re browsing. This not only makes things more convenient for your shoppers by giving them access to your products wherever they prefer to shop, but allows you to reach new international and local customers who are actively searching for what you’re selling. Here are some of the top marketplaces shoppers are spending their time on:

  • Amazon - with about 300 million active shoppers in 10 countries
  • Alibaba - with about 517 million active shoppers in 190 countries
  • Tmall - with about 500 million active shoppers in China, Hong Kong and the US
  • Jd.com - with about 226 million active shoppers in China and the US
  • eBay - with about 177 million active shoppers in 30 countries
  • Etsy - with about 29 million active shoppers worldwide
  • ASOS - with about 24 million monthly visitors globally
  • TradeMe - with about 4.4 million active shoppers in New Zealand, Australia and India
  • Google Shopping, technically a comparison shopping feed, generated $19.6 billion last BFCM and is therefore definitely worth a mention.

Bonus Content: Step-by-Step Guide: How to Sell in Europe with Amazon

2. With Multi-Channel Selling, You Can Streamline Your Business Efficiency

It may seem like an unlikely benefit given the perceived extra management selling on multiple channels may bring, but adding channels can actually mean enhanced productivity. Tools like StoreAutomator’s multi-channel management dashboard will help you streamline your listings, content, pricing and feed management across all your channels. In short, adding channels opens you up to different management and fulfillment options that you can then adapt to cover all your sales channels.

3. You Can Target Highly Niche Segments

Each sales channel you add will give you access to their unique set of shoppers and winning categories. How? By using data collected from each channel, their different niche shopper segments and a variety of in and out platform marketing channels. For example, you may find that Amazon shoppers spend more time on desktop than mobile, while certain female segments are buying up tons of shoes on eBay.

ebay shopper demographics

[Image Source: Small Business Trends]

Or you can look at what kinds of niches each marketplace brings. For example, Etsy attracts shoppers looking for crafty/handmade/boutique products. Your generic shoe may not sell there, but your handmade brooches will. With this general target market information for each platform, you can find specific products for specific niches in each channel to target for maximum success.

5. Be Able to Provide a Better Customer Experience

The previous four points we have mentioned all lead to a bigger advantage: better customer experience. By streamlining your operation, finding channels where your potential shoppers are and meeting them there, and targeting niches with very specific products, you create an overall better customer experience for potential customers and shoppers alike. Other ways you can improve customer experience across your multi-channel eCommerce business is by:

  • Staying constant with product quality, fulfillment, branding and customer service across all channels
  • Making sure you’re available to deal with queries from each of your selling channels
  • Making sure your product listings and other content are correctly optimized for the channel your customers view them on  

6. You Have Access to More Data

When you add a channel to your selling portfolio you don’t just have access to that channel’s stats; you are able to collect much more data on your end. Why is collecting more data such a significant benefit? Because the more data you have, the bigger your understanding of your customers and potential shoppers will be. This, in turn, means a more streamlined marketing strategy, data-backed product planning and better channel management - all helping you to convert more sales. Here are two data point examples that selling on more than one channel gains you and how you can use them:

Conversions

Knowing which products are selling in which channels can help with choosing products to scale your business.

Site/Listing Behavior

Knowing the behavior of each shopper when they visit your site, or marketplace listing can point to UX problems you can fix. For example, let’s say you a marketplace listing is converting, but your similar product listing on your site isn’t. This can point to traffic streams that you aren’t targeting properly or that you may have landing page (UX) issues that need addressing.

7. You Are Able To Test New Markets With Minimal Risk

By adding a channel based on a specific location, you can test new markets with minimum risk. Let’s say you want to open up your eCommerce business internationally. Before (or instead of) investing in infrastructure like warehouses and stock or big advertising campaigns to push into a new market, you can test that market with a strategically placed product.

This can be as simple as taking your best, more popular product and inputting it into the marketplace search. If you see that other sellers are getting a good number of sales, there could be space for what you’re selling. If no one seems to be selling your type of product, there may be an untapped market. By loading one product onto a specifically located marketplace, you can test your product to a whole new audience with minimum expense.  

8. Better Customer Perception

Sure, being in more places while ensuring your customer service is awesome within each channel will boost your brand perception. But that’s not the only factor! By adding your products to a marketplace already perceived by shoppers as trustworthy, you take your brand’s trust factor up a notch. For example, a 2018 Salsify study found that over 50% of American online shoppers view Amazon product information as being the most useful.

what platforms online shoppers trust the most

[Image Source: eMarketer]

 

In the eCommerce game, nothing is more valuable than trust - because trust means sales and building loyalty.

9. Increased Sales While Ensuring You Always Have a Plan B

Last but not least, the more channels you have the greater your chances of sales. Why? Because every channel brings increased reach, more convenience, better customer engagement and increased customer information. In short, everything we have listed in this post works together to help you grow your revenue. It also means you are diversifying your sales streams, so if one channel isn’t doing well you have other sales coming in. As the old saying goes: never keep all your eggs in one basket.

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There you have it, 9 compelling reasons to become a multi-channel seller in 2019! Have questions? Our eCommerce experts are waiting to answer any questions you have about how to make multi-channel selling simple and easy, Contact us here.


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