What Is Multi-Channel Retailing and How to Build It?
The way we buy things has changed.
Buying used to be a very simple process. We’d go into a store, choose what we want then leave.
But nowadays, we’re seeing items being sold in a number of different ways.
With so many different ways for customers to shop, businesses are finding that it’s more important to find a way to stick out from the competition.
Running your businesses from a brick-and-mortar store isn’t enough nowadays. That’s why businesses are heading towards multi-channel retailing.
But what is multi-channel retailing and how can you build it?
We’ll take a closer look.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
What Is Multi-Channel Retailing?
Multi-channel retailing is a business strategy. It involves offering your products on a number of different sales channels.
These different channels include traditional channels such as physical stores and online stores. But they also include eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and third-party marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.
There has also been a rise in social media platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Pinterest.
Websites such as price comparison sites can also be considered a form of multi-channel retailing.
Take for example Sony. As a consumer, you can purchase Sony products from their website, from Amazon or eBay. But you can also purchase them from brick-and-mortar electronics stores.
This is a perfect example of having your products available on a number of different platforms.
What Are the Benefits?
Multi-channel retailing is seen as an improvement over traditional selling strategies. There are a number of advantages and benefits that multi-channel retailing allows.
By widening your scope you’re allowing more customers to have access to your products.
Even if you were to invest a lot of money in advertising and marketing your business, having only one way to buy from you can be limiting. There’s no guarantee that your output will match your input.
By spreading your business across a number of different platforms, there is more chance that your product will appear in a consumer’s search.
The more your product appears, the more likely it is that someone will purchase it. Therefore your revenue will increase.
More Trust In Your Product
If you are a smaller brand, there is less chance that people will interact and trust your product.
When customers see a new business or product for the first time, they are more hesitant to buy from it. However the more a customer sees your company, the more likely they are to believe that it is a genuine product.
Having a single sales platform is fine for returning, loyal customers. These people have already purchased your product and trust your brand.
However, to generate new leads you need to be able to attract new customers.
So with multi-channel retailing, you can offer your customers multiple ways to buy from you. This will increase their trust and in turn increase sales.
Collect Valuable Data
Multi-channel retailing is a great way to collect data on customer purchases.
You can see which items your customers seem to prefer and which ones they don’t.
It also allows you to see which method of marketing works best for your product. As you can compare the different strategies played out by the different platforms.
How to Build a Multi-Channel Retail Business
The main tip for starting a multi-channel retail business is picking the right sales channels.
You don’t want to go all-in and risk spreading yourself too thin. So pick a few channels to start with, see the results, then grow and work up from there.
It’s important to pick marketplaces that suit your business. If you’re selling something like electronics then perhaps Amazon and eBay would suit you. But if you’re selling hand-crafted jewelry then perhaps online retail stores such as Etsy is the way to go.
Multi-channel retailing is a great way to scale your business.
Having your product available on a multitude of channels allows more people to interact with your business and can help boost sales.
However, this method isn’t for every business. You will need to be able to grow healthily and be in a position where it is possible to scale up your business.
Are you looking for more business advice on everything from starting a new business to new business practices?
Then check out the FreshBooks resource hub.