March 8, 2019
The Advantages and Challenges That Come With Multi-Channel Selling
Why you should be selling on more than just one sales channel
- Exposure to more customers
- The quality of the selling channels
- Improving Brand awareness
- The risk of overselling
- Time consuming
- Improving product details
Exposure to more customers
The amount of people that chose to shop online over in-store is at a record high. This is expected to rise continuously over the next few years. In a study done by empathybroker.com it was discovered that an estimated 51% of UK consumers said they preferred shopping online rather than in-store. If you’re just selling your products on one platform you’re therefore missing out on exposing your products to potentially millions of consumers.
Improving Brand awareness
The more platforms you post your products on, the more exposure they will generate. This can have a great effect on any personalised or brand specific products you are trying to sell. The more people who see the products, the more people seeing your brand name. Although the benefits of this aren’t limited to these type of products, if you’re trying to sell more common products you can still increase your online profile with more exposure. The increase in exposure and sales will bring an increase in product reviews, This will enable other customers to see how good a product really is. It will also allow sellers to review and fix any criticism that comes of their products.
Which platform is best for you?
Amazon is often seen as the clear front runner when it comes to this. After all it is the largest online marketplace with the most users. Therefore there is not much need to try and sell it to you. Furthermore, websites like eBay, are often seen as only good for selling old, unwanted products. This is untrue as actually, over 80% of the products listed on eBay are new listings. Another misunderstanding about eBay is the idea all products have to auctioned off. This can make potential sellers worry they could lose out on profits. However, eBay actually offers a ‘Buy It Now’ feature which allows products to be sold and listed for a fixed price.
We have a whole separate blog on Amazon’s battle for market control with eBay- read it here
Another popular website is Etsy, a site that has a few more restrictions on what sellers can list. However the unique products that get sold on Etsy have resulted in the website developing a loyal customer base which often make repeated purchases from the site. Both eBay and Etsy, while not as big as Amazon still have millions of users who use their sites as their main source of online shopping. If you’re only on one of these sites you should highly consider expanding to the others and potentially even more.
These selling channels are so popular, it only makes sense to sell your products online. The hard part is trying to determine which platform is the right one for you. You could just use whichever one is the most popular, right? After all Amazon has over 310 million active user accounts, so why not just sell on there?
Well, the truth is that just because a website is the most popular doesn’t necessarily guarantee you’ll get the maximum number of sales for your products. Each product will appeal to a different market. It can be difficult to judge which market will prefer which online platform, especially as consumers tend to change which platforms they use with each purchase.
Expanding to Multi-Channel selling
This is where Multi-Channel selling comes in. Having your products listed on more than one platform is the easiest way to ensure your products are viewed by more potential customers. This gives a higher chance of your products selling. Once you have began Multi-Channel selling you can start getting a much better idea of which products sell best on different platforms. However, this opens up a whole other can of worms.
The Challenges That Come With Multi-Channel Selling
The risk of overselling
Unfortunately, Multi-Channel selling brings a new set of challenges that have to be dealt with. For example, now you’ve got your products listed on several websites, how do you ensure you don’t oversell? You could try and divide your stock between each of your sales channels. But why risk limiting potential sales this way? You should aim to have the entirety of your available stock listed across as many of your sales channels as possible. In terms of profits, the best way to do this would be to update your stock across each platform after each sale.
Keeping track of your stock is vital for anyone trying to sell online. This can prove to be very time consuming and can prove very difficult to keep on top of. All it takes is a few orders coming through before you can update your stock and suddenly you can find yourself unable to fulfil an order.
This could potentially end with you receiving a bad review. Another disadvantage of having to dedicate so much time to one aspect of your business is time management. If you are constantly having to monitor your stock levels then you’re going to struggle to find time to improve other aspects of your business. This could result in stunting any potential growth and potentially harming your product’s sales rates.
Improving product details
Overselling isn’t the only issue that can arise from having to manually manage your stock this way. Keeping on top of product details across each channel can prove very time consuming. Having to change the description or price of an item seems like a simple task. Yet doing it 3 or 4 times can become tedious and lead to simple mistakes being made. Which could potentially harm your product’s sales, after all, how often do you buy a product with a misspelled name?
Managing all these issues can leave you feeling like your entire day is spent vigorously managing your stock. There are solutions available to help you deal with these issues and make managing your stock much easier. OnePatch is the Multi-Channel sales tool that could enable you to make changes to your stock, inventory and orders across each of your sales channels easily and quickly.
This will allow you to make these changes just once and the OnePatch system will automatically send the update across your other channels. With your Ecommerce store management being taken care of, you’ll find yourself with more time to manage the other aspects of your business, with the ease of mind knowing OnePatch is taking care of your stock levels.
Not only does OnePatch help manage your stock, but it will also enable you to view all your various orders distribution processes. This allows you to keep on top of ensuring your customers receive their purchases as quickly as possible.
On top of this you have the onepatch dashywishyboard that makes selling online amazing because you can see how well you are doing on each platform and see what your best Skus are. As a result you can access a detailed analysis of the many various components that ensure the success in Ecommerce.