Multichannel Selling: The Right Move Forward or Too Many Things at the Same Time?(Part 1)

Tag: retail

Multichannel Selling: The Right Move Forward or Too Many Things at the Same Time?(Part 1)

Multichannel Selling: The Right Move Forward or Too Many Things at the Same Time?(Part 1)

The more places your company and products exist online, the easier it is for someone to find you and buy from you. That sounds amazing, but it camouflages the sheer amount of work it takes to keep your channels running and profitable.

There’s a whole lot to discover for e-commerce and multichannel retail, and we want to look at where it can all go right or terribly wrong. So, we’ll review the triforce of multichannel efforts, some core concerns, and a few specific areas you must get right to understand if it’s all worth it for your specific company.

What Is E-commerce Multichannel Retail?

Multichannel sales have changed significantly since the term was first brought into the popular domain. It now covers more than just making products available to customers generally online and in-store. That early focus was often for brick-and-mortar stores expanding into the growing world of digital, which came with its own set of unique challenges as stores turned from large-scale shipping to locations to fulfillment direct to the consumer when a product is sold online.

The E-commerce space introduces further complexity — which, thankfully, software can now manage for most brands — of understanding demand and orders across a variety of online locations. Now, your multichannel efforts tend to consist of providing products on your website, through marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, on social channels such as Facebook and Twitter, and whatever comes next.

That next is often a result of search, such as how you can now order some products through virtual assistants. While they’re locked in closed gardens (buying only from Amazon, iTunes or the soon-to-be TV App, etc.), every such digital revolution we’ve seen has eventually opened up to include a variety of third-party sources.

So, your new multichannel e-commerce selling efforts are designed to distribute your products across as many apps, marketplaces, shopping and search engines, social, and other digital channels focused on letting customers browse and buy how they prefer.

Good news: Software can do much of this heavy lifting thanks to data standards, APIs, and integrations, so you’re not coding things yourself or having to update product availability for each channel manually. Payment is one area where you’ve got some genuinely savvy options.

Bad news: New channels are always emerging, and consumer trends often flow to new channels, so you’re always going to have a mix of staples and an ever-changing roster of newbies that require effort and thought to do well. For instance, Facebook’s own study shows young people are paying less attention to it now, especially when it comes to videos and video ads.

Tough news: The challenge is never going to go away, and channels will likely continue to grow. So, to capture your audience and then build loyalty, you’re going to need to be visible and buyable on the channels they use.

About the author

Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.

Physical Store vs Online Store


Physical Store vs Online Store

One fine morning, you wake up and you stumble upon a business idea that you instantaneously believe in and you think it will work great in the marketplace. You start working on your business plan and then you stop at a critical juncture, you start evaluating the feasibility and costs of starting a physical store vis a vis an online store.

Let’s look at the scenarios and help you take a wise decision.

When you decide to open a physical store, there are costs that need to be borne in terms of infrastructure, furniture, labor, etc.…. Furthermore, you must invest in the security of the store, the maintenance of the store, etc.… The costs involved in setting up and operating a physical store to sell your products are very high to begin with, not to mention you would have to indulge in some outdoor marketing to attract customers to your store. If you think you don’t need to do marketing, then your store better be in a good location to cash in on the automatic visibility. But, a good location comes at a cost.

Sometimes, the rent of the store will be abysmally high, due to locational advantages. Oh, last but not the least, there are regulatory clearances from the civic body & government that needs to be sought, before you start operating a physical store. In many countries, receiving regulatory clearances is not easy as sometimes, the process is cumbersome and tedious.

Therefore, purely from a short to medium term, it certainly doesn’t make sense to open a Physical Store, because it will take a while before you realize your return on investment. Hence, what’s the other option? Online, right!

It is 2017, the peak of the e-commerce revolution, the possibilities are immense. You don’t need to worry about location, physical security and outdoor marketing, to start shop. Sure, these elements exist in the online space as well but it is easier to deal with. To start up in the online space, you don’t particularly need any regulatory clearances. You would just need a few computers and a good internet connection.

However, you must ensure that you have adequate stock to service your orders. It is imperative to have a good supply chain and logistics system in place, because if the first 100 costumers, like your products, chances are that your orders will increase in a very short span of time, aided by digital marketing.

Having said that, the most important factor is the experience you provide to customers, when they land on your online store. The UX/UI (User Experience/User Interface) of your website needs to be top notch. Right from the homepage to the payment gateway, the amount of time that a customer will spend on your online, he should be blown away by the experience. The UX/UI will be your single most important driving factor for your online store, initially.

Contact us and we will be able to guide you on setting up a viable online business, apart from providing a seamless payment experience for your online store. Sign up for a free demo to understand the value of our payments solutions.