What is Multichannel Marketing?
Multi-channel marketing consists of selling merchandise on multiple sales channels. The majority of merchants begin their journey into eCommerce selling from one channel, typically a website or individual marketplace. However, with consumers passing through many touchpoints and pathways to purchase, retailers need to expand their reach in order to grow sales!
Multi-channel Marketing is all about moving past single focused sales channels and venturing into marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, social media, etc. Merchants who embark on and implement diverse selling strategies will realize continued, long-term success by maximizing sales reach and effectiveness.
People are increasingly engaged in numerous devices and media platforms daily. Therefore, ecommerce Merchants are challenged to provide a seamless customer experience to keep up with consumers, across all channels.
Merchants can list their products on multiple channels to reach new audiences and boost sales. You are only reaching a small percentage of your market if selling solely on a single channel; multichannel strategies will help your brand tap into larger audiences, winning customers who normally wouldn’t otherwise find your brand.
Multichannel marketing and sales is a combination of various promotional, distribution, and sales channels guided by consumer preference. The goal of multichannel selling is to align your target market’s shopping habits to sell more, and more often.
Why Should Merchants Consider Multi-Channel Marketing, and what are the benefits?
Multi-channel selling advances your business’s opportunity to reach target audiences throughout the buyer’s journey, on multiple devices, and on the channels they prefer. According to a recent report. 86% of Global shoppers use at least 2 channels and 25% use 4 to 5 channels to make their purchases. It’s more important than ever before to understand consumers and how they interact across different platforms in order to effectively reach them with relevant content and achieve your ROI goals.
What are the best channels for Multichannel Marketing?
Here are the greatest marketing and sales channels every online store should leverage in order to reach full potential and maximum returns on their marketing plans.
Retail eCommerce Store
The first step to start up your multichannel initiatives is to launch an online store. Having a dedicated eCommerce site on a leading platform such as Magento, Shopify, or WooCommerce gives you complete control over your sales & marketing strategy as well as product catalog management.
Additionally, eliminating the middleman translates to increased profit margins!
Overall, running an eCommerce store allows you to take full control of every touchpoint of the buyer’s journey.
- Ability to sell 24/7
- Less overhead than a physical store
- Complete access to customers and customer data
- Full control over sales, marketing, and branding strategies
- Competition with not just local sellers but all online stores selling the same/similar products
- More difficult to establish credibility and generate sales
- Potential for increased development costs
- Costs of ongoing maintenance
B2B eCommerce Store
In the age of eCommerce, many retail businesses are turning to wholesaling via a B2B eCommerce platform as an additional revenue stream.
B2B eCommerce allows brands to further customize the experience for their wholesale buyers. Some of the key features of B2B eCommerce include the ability to manage buyer-specific prices and discounts and allow for simple ordering and secure online payments with one-click payment options.
Whether you currently cater to an audience of wholesale buyers or not, creating a B2B eCommerce site can enable you to forge an authentic connection with your clientele with relative ease.
- Custom price lists and discount
- B2B buying with the ease of B2C shopping
- Longer-lasting customer relationships (CLTV)
- Order volumes are not limited by your sales team’s capacity
- Lengthier sales cycles
- Increased number of stakeholders
Online marketplaces are third-party platforms that allow vendors to promote their products and enable consumers to purchase them.
Selling through online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Etsy is usually most lucrative 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.
Overall, online marketplaces provide the potential for a significant increase in sales at a minimal risk especially for companies looking to make the leap from single to multichannel operations. There are various multi-channel/marketplace selling software available in the market which enables you to easily list and sell your products on multiple sales channels, control and sync inventory, manage and fulfill orders, and generate multichannel reports from your online store.
- Ability to sell 24/7
- Adds credibility to brand
- Low cost of entering and operating
- Access to a huge network of pre-created consumers
- Access to additional services provided by marketplace company
- A high degree of competition
- Potential for lower profit margins
- More difficult differentiate your product and brand
Up until recently, social media was used strictly for marketing purposes.
By today’s standards, though, many social media platforms have become a viable sales channel, as well. Facebook Shops and Instagram Shopping allow businesses to sell their products directly to their social media followers who don’t even need to leave the app to make a purchase.
For companies that already have a large following on social media, the next logical step is to start using these platforms to generate increased sales.
- Highly visual for maximum sales opportunities
- Reach new and precise audiences thanks to targeting
- Gives opportunity for direct interaction with a customer base
- Optimization and maintenance of initiatives are time- and resource-consuming
- May not be a viable option for certain industries or niches