In this week's blog, eCommerce software provider Expandly explains the importance of going multi-channel to protect your eCommerce brand, increase your sales and scale your business.

Did you know that it takes between 6-8 touchpoints to generate a sale? That's 6-8 interactions with your brand on OnBuy, across the Internet, on social media, and even during real-life conversations before an online shopper feels confident enough to buy from you.

So, you can imagine what happens when you sell on only one channel.

Customers go elsewhere to find out more about you and your products, but instead of being greeted by your consistently strong brand image and product selection, they're greeted by nothing. Or, even worse, your competition.

The solution is multi-channel selling, and through this guide, we're going to introduce you to the concept, explain the importance, and get you started with a multi-channel selling strategy of your own.

Back to basics: what is multi-channel selling

Back To Basics: What Is Multi-Channel Selling

Multi-channel selling is the process of selling your products on multiple sales channels, either online or in-store. For example, selling your products on OnBuy, Amazon and your own website using Shopify.

You might have heard it called multi-channel listing, omnichannel selling, or simply diversifying your sales channels. Whatever the term, it's an important sales strategy for small businesses and big brands alike.

The importance of multi-channel selling

The Importance Of Multi-Channel Selling

Running an online business is work-intensive - why would you add more tasks to your to-do list by selling on more sales channels?

When implemented correctly, a multi-channel selling strategy increases your profits significantly more than it increases your time commitment (we'll get onto that later). You can invest these profits into further business growth (or holidays, we're not judging!) which generate more recognition and profits. Rinse and repeat.

How does multi-channel selling generate more profits than single-channel selling?

1. Customers

Just over half of shoppers start their online shopping expedition on Amazon, meaning that nearly half of online shoppers start elsewhere, including OnBuy, Google, eBay and Etsy. Selling on more than one sales channel increases the number of customers you can reach - that's basic maths.

But what multi-channel selling also achieves is customer diversification. Each sales channel will attract a slightly different breed of online shopper, and by experimenting with them all, you can discover a fanbase you never knew you had.

2. Branding

Becoming popular in online retail is all about getting your brand seen and heard. Take the direct-to-consumer brand Caspar for example - you likely know who they are and what they sell, despite them having zero presence on your high street.

The more sales channels that your name appears on, the more people come to recognise and trust your name - something that's important to 71% of online shoppers.

3. Competition

Then we have your competition. Chances are, your competitors are already multi-channel selling; if they're not, then it's even more reason for you do so.

Being everywhere your competitors are and where they're not puts you in a better position to meet and convert customers before they do. And the more times your name and products are featured and mentioned online, the more you'll be talked about and featured on Google and social media - increasing your organic traffic too.

Where to take your OnBuy account multi-channel

Where To Take Your OnBuy Account Multi-Channel

Before we start looking at how to take your OnBuy account multi-channel, let's first look at where you can take your eCommerce business multi-channel.

OnBuy

First and foremost, if you're not yet selling on OnBuy, then now's the time to sign up. The UK-founded online marketplace attracts more than eight million buyers, yet with only 3,000 sellers, it's an easy platform to compete on and profit from.

Your Own Website

Next, you might want to think about setting up your own eCommerce website for customers looking for the story behind the brand. Using platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento, you can easily build a professional-looking website full of useful product and brand content.

Online Marketplaces

Finally, you have the other online marketplaces, including Amazon, eBay, Wish and Etsy. Each come with their own dedicated shoppers, unique product selections, and marketing tools.

How to take your OnBuy account multi-channel

How To Take Your OnBuy Account Multi-Channel

So, you know what multi-channel selling is, you know where you want to expand - now you need to know how to do it.

There are two options for taking your OnBuy account multi-channel, each with their own benefits and considerations. These are:

1. Manually

Manually commencing a multi-channel eCommerce strategy involves signing up to additional sales channels and managing them all yourself in-house. This includes duplicating listings, logging into each channel to process orders, updating stock levels and arranging shipping for items purchased.

This can be incredibly time consuming and difficult to confidently manage, but it's good for those that want to take things slowly and keep their sales channels completely separate.

2. Multi-Channel eCommerce Software

Alternatively, you can get a little hand by signing up to additional sales channels and integrating them with your OnBuy account, shipping carriers and account software using multi-channel eCommerce software.

This software provides you with an all-in-one dashboard to manage your multiple sales channels as one - pushing listings, stock levels and order updates to all channels simultaneously while printing shipping labels and updating your accounting software at the same time.

If you're a small online retailer, then integrating your OnBuy account with Shopify and Amazon may give you the confidence and time you need for growing your business alone. If you're an enterprise brand, then using multi-channel eCommerce software to connect your OnBuy account with your WMS and ERP system could give you the confidence to take your brand direct to consumer.

Multi-channel selling - final thoughts

Multi-Channel Selling - Final Thoughts

Whichever sales channels and method you choose for taking your eCommerce brand multi-channel, six things are always important:

  • Clear, accurate and error-free listings
  • Accurate stock levels
  • Quick order processing
  • Fast shipping and tracking
  • Happy customers
  • Happy profits

That might mean choosing eCommerce software that comes with inventory management functionality, using a 3PL to maintain shipping speeds, or even expanding one channel at a time to be sure that you can cope. As long as you do it right, multi-channel selling can take up less of your time and make up more of your profits. Happy selling!

About Expandly

Expandly multi-channel management software integrates your online sales channels with your shipping carriers and accounting software to make life easier. Bulk list products, process orders, auto-sync inventory, print shipping labels, and update Xero - all from one simple platform.