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The Importance of Multichannel for E-Commerce Retailers in 2017

There’s no denying that selling your products on multiple channels should be a vital part of your e-commerce strategy in 2017. In fact, research shows that multichannel retailers generate, on average, THREE TIMES as many sales as retailers selling on just one channel.

On the surface, it seems like an obvious thing to do. Listing your products on as many different places as possible increases the chance of more people seeing your products. Which leads to more sales, right?

In reality, it’s a bit more complex than that. It’s true that listing on as many channels as possible is a great way of building your e-commerce brand. But there are a number of risks that all online retailers need to be aware of before taking their first steps to becoming a successful multichannel retailer.

A majority of e-commerce sellers use platforms like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce and BigCommerce to sell their products to the world. And why wouldn’t you? These platforms make it amazingly quick and simple to set up a stunning e-commerce channel, showcasing your carefully curated product range to the world.

Selling on your own e-commerce store is great. But the real money is in marketplaces – and the two most famous ones in the world are Amazon and eBay.

Consider this: 55% of online shoppers in 2017 begin their product searches on Amazon – no matter where they end up purchasing from. So can you really afford to not have any visibility on Amazon? Trust me, your competitors are already selling on marketplaces, and enjoying significant profits as a result!

 

The Challenges of Multichannel

 

If selling on multiple channels is important, it’s also vital to understand some of the barriers that stand in the way for retailers only selling on their own e-commerce platform. It all boils down to three main considerations: the risk of overselling; adhering to marketplace rules; and a lack of time.

 

  1. The Risk of Overselling

Let’s say you’re currently just selling on your e-commerce website. You have all the systems, processes and stock in place you need to meet customer demand, and business is going great. Suddenly you add a new sales channel, like Amazon and eBay – and overnight you’ve got a heap of extra sales that you need to get out the door.

Having too many sales is a very nice problem for e-commerce retailers to have! But think about the long terms effects of struggling to meet this new demand for your products. In today’s world, customers have higher expectations than ever before. They don’t just expect to receive their order quickly – they demand it.

Failing to meet the expectations of your customers results in a reduction in repeat business, and worse, negative online reviews that can act as a deterrent for potential new customers. Suddenly, not being able to fulfil your orders can have a dramatic, long-term effect on your future sales performance.

 

  1. Marketplace Rules

The second challenge retailers face is meeting the demands of the channels they’re selling on. Take Amazon, for example. There’s a reason why they’re the biggest marketplace platform in the Western world. They impose strict rules on merchants to ensure Amazon customers always receive the best possible service.

Selling products on Amazon that you aren’t able to fulfil due to lack of stock is a big no-no. This notion of overselling is something that any successful Amazon retailer knows about only too well. And something that you need to avoid at all costs if you’re hoping for lucrative future selling on marketplaces.

So just what is the concept of “overselling”? It’s actually startlingly simple, and comes down to basic maths.

Let’s say you sell t-shirts online, and you currently have 5 red t-shirts in stock at your warehouse. The same red shirt is available to buy from all of your sales channels – whether it’s your own e-commerce store, or on a marketplace like Amazon.

Now let’s imagine that someone purchases 3 of your red shirts from your e-commerce website. But on the same day, someone else purchases another 4. Suddenly you’ve got customer orders for 7 t-shirts, but only 5 in stock. This is going to lead to an unhappy customer, and a big black mark from Amazon. Not good.

 

  1. Time

The final issue e-commerce retailers experience when it comes to selling multichannel is time. Listing products to Amazon and eBay is a slow, fiddly and time-consuming process. Matching up all the right images with the correct barcode is traditionally an extremely manual process, incredibly susceptible to human error.

Then you have to upload product information, weights, dimensions, variants – everything else that your potential customers expect to see about the products they want to buy.

Do you really have time for all this when you’ve still got a daily flow of e-commerce orders to fulfil? Probably not.

 

Overcoming the challenges of selling multichannel

The good news is that if you’re currently only selling on your own e-commerce website and are ready to take your sales to the next level, help is at hand.

Multichannel solutions like Veeqo specifically to overcome the issues of multichannel retail. It allows you to manage all your orders in one place, and sync your inventory levels perfectly across all your channels – which means you’ll never oversell an item. Ever

The advanced listing tools, which allow you to push your products from Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce and BigCommerce straight up to Amazon and eBay in just a few clicks. Now you can become a multichannel retailer overnight!

Veeqo is also integrated with the world’s leading couriers – meaning you can ship your products anywhere in the world – and automatically handle your accounting thanks to bulletproof integrations with both QuickBooks and Xero.
Want to find out more? Head over to Veeqo and enable your online store to handle orders better.