Gearing up for growth: Expansion options for multichannel sales

As we talked about in our recent blog on single channel vs. multichannel buyers, almost three quarters of consumers today shop on more than one channel, and those that do  spend an average of 4% more on every shopping occasion in-store and 10% more online than single-channel customers.

On top of this, multichannel businesses see a customer retention rate of 89% compared to just 33% for single channel businesses.

Despite these impressive statistics, more than a quarter of businesses don’t have a multichannel strategy in place, which means they’re missing out on the opportunity to build a more loyal, higher-value customer base.

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Is it time your growth strategy included a multichannel approach? Here are some of your options for expansion into the multichannel sales sphere.

online-marketplaces

 

Online marketplaces

Selling through online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart or Lazada is usually most advantageous for businesses that sell products with mass appeal. In these environments, competition tends to be high, so it’s important to adopt a smart multichannel pricing strategy that allows you to maintain a competitive advantage while keeping a healthy profit margin.

Pros

  • Access to a huge network of consumers
  • Builds brand credibility
  • Ability to sell 24/7
  • Access to Amazon FBA if on Amazon

Cons

  • High degree of competition
  • Potential for lower profit margins
  • More difficult to establish a USP

Cost: Low

Effort: Low

Return: Potential for a significant increase in sales with the right sales strategy.

b2c

 

Retail eCommerce store

Having a dedicated retail eCommerce store, such as Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce, gives you complete control over your sales strategy and product catalog. Plus cutting out the middleman means you don’t have to share any of your profits. However, you also don’t have access to an already-established network of customers so the onus is to you to market your brand and build your audience.

Pros

  • Full control over your sales, marketing, and product strategy
  • Ability to sell 24/7
  • Less overhead than a physical store

Cons

  • You’re responsible for building a customer base
  • More difficult to establish credibility
  • Potential for increased admin time

Cost: Medium

Effort: Medium

Return: Potential for significant sales with the right marketing strategy.

b2b

 

B2B eCommerce

In the age of eCommerce, many retail businesses are turning to wholesaling via a B2B eCommerce platform as an additional revenue stream. Create a customizable storefront that lets you manage buyer specific prices, discounts and branding, and enable simple ordering and secure online payments with one-click payment options. B2B customers tend to be fewer in number than B2C, but customer relationships are also usually longer-lasting.

Pros

  • Potential for longer-lasting customer relationships
  • Potential for higher order volumes
  • Full control over your sales, marketing, and product strategy
  • Ability to sell 24/7

Cons

  • You’re responsible for building a customer base
  • Potential for lower profit margins when selling in bulk

Cost: Medium

Effort: Medium

Return: Potential for stable returns with a solid long-term customer base.

brick-mortar

 

Brick and mortar


The majority of customers still shop in brick-and-mortar stores in addition to shopping online. Having a physical store, whether on a permanent or semi-permanent basis through pop-ups, gives you the opportunity to connect with customers face-to-face and allows customers to see products in-person – but it’s also significantly more expensive than online selling.

Pros

  • Ability to physically showcase products
  • Ability to engage with customers in person
  • A great location can be hugely beneficial for sales
  • Helps build brand credibility

Cons

  • Significantly more expensive than online channels
  • Need for more resources e.g. staff & utilities
  • Restricted opening hours and location

Cost: High

Effort: High

Return: Potential for returns but risk is also higher. Success is reliant on a number of factors, like location, running costs, changing market, brand etc.

social-media

 

Social Media

Social media as a sales channel is a new and exciting way to consider selling your products. Social sites have now become more than just places to advertise! Features such as the Twitter Buy Button, Pinterest Buy Button, Facebook Shop and Instagram shoppable posts allow businesses to sell their product directly on the site—and buyers to purchase even while on mobile. 

Pros

  • Highly visual for maximum sales opportunities
  • Reach new and precise audiences thanks to targeting
  • Automation tools give a “set it and forget it” opportunity
  • Builds trust with your audience
  • Gives opportunity for direct interaction with customer base

Cons

  • Social media never sleeps - this is an always-on channel
  • Opens doors for customer feedback (both good and bad)
  • Requires understanding of new technologies/platforms

Cost: Medium

Effort: Medium

Return: When done correctly, ROI on social sales can be quite high. However, without proper knowledge and time investment, you could end up in the red.

Connecting the dots with multichannel data management

Connecting the dots with multichannel data management

As with any business venture, adopting an effective multichannel sales strategy relies on utilizing the right tools to enable smarter multichannel inventory management and a strong supply chain ecosystem.

An integrated cloud data management system like TradeGecko acts a Single Source of Truth (SSOT) for all your data, which is critical as your business expands to include more working parts. Streamlined operations enable a better customer experience and increased customer satisfaction, and also provide a solid platform for growth as you continue on your multichannel journey.

Find out more about how TradeGecko works for cloud-based multichannel inventory management.

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