What Is Multi-Channel Retailing?

Multi-channel retailing is the practice of using multiple channels to sell your products. Multi-channel-retailing strategies force you to think outside the box, leaving the comfort of a website and exploring other channels that could drive potential customers to your brand.

There’s no question about it, consumers are using more avenues today to shop for the merchandise they want to buy. Many studies and research back that statement up.

  • 74 percent of American shoppers bought from big retailers.
  • 54 percent of American shoppers bought from an ecommerce marketplace.
  • 44 percent of American shoppers bought from web stores online.
  • 36 percent of American shoppers bought from a category specific retailer.

If you’re not using multi-channels to promote your products, you’re leaving a ton of money on the table. In fact, if you’re not using multiple channels in your marketing, it could lead to the downfall of your business, it’s vital to the success of your company.

Bazaar Voice did a great study on Amazon Prime that we want to share with you now.

In this study, they focused on Amazon Prime Day. Now, one would think that only Amazon sellers would benefit from a huge traffic boost. After all, the sale is for Amazon Prime members. To the surprise of many, that was not the case, they found that 76 percent of Prime Day shoppers plan to visit other channels before purchasing from Amazon. Why?

In short, Amazon shoppers wanted to compare prices and reviews on other sites. Who did they review?

  • Walmart – 46%
  • Consumer Electronic Websites – 45%
  • Target – 40%
  • Home Improvement Websites – 39%
  • Brand Websites – 39%

Advantages Of Using Multi-Channel Retailing

Using multi-channel retailing has a host of specific benefits. Let’s check them out and see how they can impact your retail store.

The Power Of Search Engines And Marketplaces

When it comes to search engines and marketplaces, they drive a lot of traffic every single day. When we say a lot, we mean it, millions of users every single day.

Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Google and Yahoo are all competing for ecommerce market share.

While many of these hold most of that market share, you can leverage all of these platforms for yourself. They already have millions of users on the platforms, you can immediately tap into that audience using Amazon, Ebay or by focusing on your SEO with Google or Yahoo.

Another thing we have to point out is the “trust” factor. Shoppers trust Amazon, Walmart and Ebay. Do you think trust is a big deal? Absolutely! More shoppers will buy from you if your brand has that trust factor and all of these brands have just that.

Let’s look at the full range of benefits using multi-channel retailing.

  • Has Established Audiences
  • High Level Of Trust
  • Instant High Authority Status
  • Access To Shoppers Ready To Buy
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Disdvantages Of Using Multi-Channel Retailing

Now, multi-channel retailing can have a few drawbacks too, let’s discuss these now.

One of the biggest mistakes we see with multi-channel retailing is selling on the wrong channels.

If you’re not using channels that have your target audience, you can spend a lot of money without seeing a positive ROI.

  • May Not Reach Your Target Audience
  • Can Spread You Thin Selling On 2 Or More Channels
  • Requires More Resources And Spending

What Types Of Sales Channels Are They?

When it comes to the specific channels you use to sell products, there’s a ton of options you can consider.

(1) Social Media

One of the most popular sales channels to use is social media. After all, some of the biggest brands in the world are social media giants.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat

(2) Your Web Properties

Just because we’re exploring other channels doesn’t mean you should abandon yours.

Your websites will play a big role in hitting your sales goals.

This also allows you to use email marketing, which is essential for building brand loyalty and nurturing your audience.

(3) Marketplaces

While we touched on a few of these giant marketplaces, there’s many you can leverage to get in front of an audience immediately.

Amazon is the biggest marketplace in the world and it hasn’t shown signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Ebay is another huge marketplace you can invest resources in to immediately reach your audience.

The big benefits for using a marketplace are just what many retailers need; it immediately puts you in front of a huge audience.

Inventory Management Systems

No matter which sales channels and platforms you’re going to be using, you better have a system and software in place for your inventory management.

Multi-channel inventory looks similar to this;

  • Orders
  • Inventory
  • Multi-Channel
  • Analytics
  • Forecasting
  • Purchase Orders
  • Orders

When you’re only operating on one channel, tracking inventory is not difficult. However, when that number increases to 3, 5 or 10, it can become difficult to keep order.

Now, if you have POS, we can help you easily track all of your sales data across multiple stores and channels. Our software allows us to connect with your tools so we can give you real-time POS data and EDI 852.

If you’re not correctly tracking your data, you can never improve it, so it’s essential to have the right tools and partners to stay efficiently lean in your company.

*Accelerated Analytics publishes resources like this to provide insights to different analytical metrics, data points and formulas. POS Analytics. Please be aware, this doesn’t mean that our product will this metric, data point or formula. To learn exactly what our reporting covers, please feel free to schedule a demo or give us a call. Thanks for understanding.