E-commerce is a fast-moving and rapidly growing industry. In recent years, sales in this sector have increased continuously, and consumers have been buying more online, and not just since Corona.
To react to changed consumer behaviour and optimize their strategy, it is becoming increasingly important for online retailers to sell via a single sales channel and expand the range to include several sales channels. Such a strategy is also known as multichannel. But what exactly is behind it, and why should online retailers think about doing multichannel commerce?
Changed Consumer Behaviour
Consumer behavior has changed dramatically in recent years; today, online retailers have to be permanently present and reachable on as many channels as possible. The times in which consumers started their search exclusively on Google and Co are long gone; they often search directly on significant marketplaces like Amazon.
Online retailers who are not represented on these platforms will lose potential customers to their competitors in many scenarios. Consumers today have very different online shopping expectations than they did a few years ago; you could almost say they are spoiled. Long loading times in an online shop, limited payment options or slow shipping of goods are hardly accepted today.
Consumers want everything, now and now. It would be best if you always kept these aspects in mind when optimizing your strategy. There are other factors to consider when it comes to multichannel sales.
What Is Necessary To Operate Multi Channel Successfully?
A healthy thought-out multichannel strategy is a prerequisite for successful sales. Such a strategy includes SEO, SEA, or social media measures to reach as many potential customers as possible through different channels. In this way, new customers can be acquired, and sales can be increased in the long term.
Furthermore, any losses on one channel can be attenuated in this way by having other channels compensate for these losses. First of all, you should think about which platforms and marketplaces you want to be represented on. The respective target group or international availability can serve as a guide here. Depending on the orientation of the respective online shop and the product range, different factors must be considered.
Manage and control all sales channels centrally
Online retailers who pursue a multichannel strategy can benefit from numerous advantages. For example, you can not only sell via your online shop but also at the same time on the significant marketplaces eBay, Amazon and Co. In this way, different target groups can be targeted, and the potential buyers can be significantly increased. Anyone who only operates an online shop today is wasting great potential. To remain competitive in the long term, it is essential to target new sales markets and expand your reach.
Many online retailers shy away from a multichannel strategy because they fear having to look after and maintain each sales channel separately. With the right software, however, this is not necessary. All different sales channels can be managed centrally. So-called ERP software programs (ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Management) are particularly suitable for the central management of all sales channels. Together with a CRM system for managing customer data, this makes it easy to organize multi channel sales.
The Advantages At A Glance
Retailers who opt for a multichannel strategy can benefit from numerous advantages:
- more sales opportunities through different platforms and online shops
- targeted marketing tailored to the respective target group
- more effectiveness through central administration of all channels
- the offer is permanently available to potential customers
- the brand can be perceived more intensely, and more customers can be reached through the more significant presence
- Customers can access more information, which increases satisfaction
- Synergy effects increase overall profitability
The advantages are, therefore, diverse, but also the demands on professional integration. Marketing and sales management are also required, and sound technical knowledge to implement truly sustainable and well-thought-out multichannel strategies. By integrating different sales channels, consumers can be picked up at different contact points and made aware of products. However, multichannel should not be viewed solely as a pure connection between different sales channels; instead, it is about using interactions between the individual channels and mutually strengthening them.
With a healthy thought-out multichannel strategy, different target groups can be reached via several sales channels, which opens up completely new possibilities for online retailers. In today’s fast-paced world, in particular, it is essential to use the broadest possible spectrum of sales channels without forgetting your focus.
It can be assumed that the pressure of competition between online retailers will continue to increase in the future. The selection and number of different sales channels have a decisive influence on long-term success. It is also essential to always remain flexible. If it is found that a particular sales channel is doing worse than hoped, nothing speaks against parting with it.
You should also be open to new marketplaces and sales platforms and check them for their suitability for your strategy.