Benefits of Multi-Channel Sales
Traditional multi-channel sales used to mean that a retailer would sell their goods in several places including in their bricks and mortar store, through their website, through mail-order catalogues and perhaps through telephone sales. The advantage of multi-channel sales is that it can make it easier for your customers to purchase your products. For example, some elderly customers may not be online or comfortable purchasing online so other sales channels are necessary in order to reach them. Likewise, specific disabled customers may find it impossible to visit a physical store so an online presence is necessary to make your products available to them.
In today’s evolving business to consumer retail environment, many businesses have never even had a physical location and sell their products online only. So, what does multi-channel sales look like for these businesses? Like traditional multi-channel sales, it means making your products widely available to customers in your market, wherever they tend to do their shopping.
Sell on Your Website
A website is a great place to start. If you have a business and now want to start marketing and selling products online, your existing website is a good place to start. Today it is relatively easy and inexpensive to add an online catalogue and shopping cart to your website. Add a payment processor to receive online payments from your customer and you are in business.
Search Results – Get Found
An e-commerce enabled website alone does not guarantee sales. You also need to ensure that your business and products are found when a potential customer searches for something you sell. If you do not rank well in search results, sales will not happen. To generate traffic to your store, you may need to expend a significant amount of time and money (SEO, paid ads, etc.).
Conversions – Turn Visitors into Buyers
When a potential customer finds your online store, the next function of your store is to convert that visitor into a customer. With so many online options today, what can you do to make the customer want to buy from you? Here are a few items to consider:
- Easy to navigate.
- Great pricing
- Free shipping
- Fast order processing
- Easy checkout process
- Free returns
- Customer support line.
Online Marketplaces Enable Multi-Channel Sales
To complement online sales through your own website, many online businesses have greatly extended their reach by making their products available through a variety of online marketplaces. A key advantage of selling through online marketplaces is that shoppers can search for and purchase products from multiple unrelated vendors without ever leaving the one site. This is the modern-day online equivalent of the regional mega shopping centers. There are some very strong marketplace options available for merchants to consider.
Amazon is the world’s largest online marketplace generating an estimated $465+ billion in sales in 2021 ($1.25+ billion every day). One key advantage of selling through Amazon is the sheer volume of traffic that they generate. It is estimated that 90% of online shoppers price check products on Amazon. Many of your potential customers could be searching through Amazon right now for your products and if you are not there, your Amazon competitors will get the sales.
eBay is a well-established online marketplace that could provide a valuable outlet for your products. With an estimated 187 million global users, eBay offers a broad reach. Many people believe that eBay is for sales of used products, but approximately 80% of products sold on eBay are new products and 16% fall into the electronics/accessories market.
Shopify, with an estimated average of 2.1 million daily users, has continued to follow its mission to make it easier for merchants to reach more buyers while building strong customer relationships. They have simplified commerce for merchants allowing them to concentrate on what is key to their business and not worry about the e-commerce infrastructure.
Etsy is a growing online marketplace with 80+ million active buyers. Etsy does a good job of uniting buyers and sellers with their top categories including: homewares and furnishings; jewelry and accessories; craft supplies; apparel; paper and party supplies; personal care products.
Wayfair, with revenue of $13.5+ billion, has more than 27 million active users. The top product category is Furniture and Appliance where they rank 4th in the US behind Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart. Wayfair could be a great option if your products fall into Wayfair’s market sweet spot.
Walmart has grown their 3rd party sellers to more than 130,000 with a wide range of products in 30+ product categories. With an estimated 32+ million users, Walmart offers broad exposure for your product. One cautionary note is that your pricing must fall within Walmart’s Low Price Guarantee or risk delisting.
Kitpak Fulfillment’s robust system software will seamlessly integrate with all the above-mentioned online marketplaces, allowing Kitpak to be your single-source fulfillment partner no matter where you choose to sell your products.
1615 Inkster Blvd.
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2X 1R2