Growing your customer base? Great news: Now’s the time to try multi-channel selling strategies.
Not only are loyal shoppers worth 10 times their first purchase amount, but companies also have a 60%–70% chance of selling to existing customers.
Combine this with the prediction that the U.S. multi-channel eCommerce market will reach $575 billion by 2023, and it’s easy to see why brands big and small are eager to branch out.
However, to grow your business through multi-channel selling, you’ll need a solid understanding of how it works and a well-organized strategy to execute.
To help you win new business and keep shoppers coming back, we’ll explore in this post the ins and outs of multi-channel selling and top strategies to use.
Table of Contents
What is multi-channel selling?
Multi-channel selling involves retailing goods on various channels simultaneously.
For example, a web store could expand into multi-channel selling by adding a store on social media and an online marketplace shop.
Selling from different channels is an attractive approach for both eCommerce and physical store owners interested in expanding their business at a relatively low cost.
A well-crafted multi-channel store can enjoy perks such as:
- Stronger branding
- More customers
- Exponential sales growth
Signs it’s time to start selling multi-channel
With so many opportunities to upgrade your eCommerce business, it can be difficult to know when to begin your multi-channel selling journey.
The answer depends on your business’s current state and your future goals.
To help you decide, we’ve listed a few ways to know when converting to multi-channel is the best move for your eCommerce business:
- Sales are high but have peaked — If, despite exceptional marketing campaigns and exciting product launches, your sales are the same, it could be time to try a new sales channel or two. New channels can reinvigorate stagnant revenue to kickstart growth.
- Your target customer has changed — Maybe you’ve decided to target new customer types, or your existing customers have gravitated toward different channels. In either case, trying a new store could recapture their attention.
- Marketplace changes have made your business vulnerable — It’s no secret marketplace selling has strict retail rules and requirements. Diversifying your business and adding a DTC website can bring greater stability so you can ride out the waves of change.
- You want to improve cash flow — When you sell on one channel, it’s easy for cash to dry up due to uncontrollable issues like slow payouts. Adding more stores will expand your revenue sources, upgrading your store’s liquidity.
- You have the time — If you recently wrapped up some time-consuming projects and can dedicate the energy, time, and resources to set up new shops, that’s the time to pursue the venture.
4 Multi-channel selling strategies to boost product sales
Now it’s time to craft a multifaceted, winning strategy. Let’s dive into the steps involved.
1) Prioritize a social commerce store
Social media goes beyond spreading the word about your eCommerce brand.
Setting up a shop on social media can reduce friction in the buying process, increase impulse purchases, and skyrocket conversions.
The best part is, social stores are still in the early stages of growth and popularity: Social commerce is expected to reach $506 billion by 2027, creating many opportunities for ambitious brands.
Some actions you can take to set up a successful social store include:
- Research your customer’s online social and buying behaviors to discover where they spend the most time online.
- Base your store(s) on your target customers’ favorite social channel(s).
- Market your store using a well-crafted social media and influencer marketing strategy.
- Ask popular influencers to front collections to increase engagement and reach.
- Share user-generated content in your store to increase trust in your brand.
2) Incentivize repeat visits and referrals
Securing loyal customers across your sales channels is a sure-fire way to trigger exponential growth.
So, build an ecosystem that keeps shoppers coming back and excited to tell their friends about your business.
Every touchpoint in your customer journey should encourage shoppers to engage with one of your sales portals.
This way, you’ll build a stronger brand and boost conversions across channels without marketing getting out of control.
For example, you could:
- Encourage new shoppers to buy and refer a friend on your website for a coupon code.
- Run marketplace promotions (in line with Terms of Service).
- Sell popular collections across channels to increase availability.
- Set up a rewards program.
3) Target businesses and consumers on the same channels
Many eCommerce brands split wholesale and retail customers into different channels.
However, the reality isn’t as linear. Shoppers regularly switch roles.
They may be a business buyer during the day at work and a retail shopper in their free time.
Knowing this, it pays to optimize customers’ screen time to garner both B2B and B2C orders.
This setup will make your multi-channel stores more productive and efficient.
4) Invest in omnichannel eCommerce
It’s becoming increasingly common for shoppers to begin their shopping journey on one platform and complete it on another.
As such, shoppers now expect consistent interactions with brands wherever they go.
An omnichannel eCommerce approach provides a unified experience across platforms and advertising channels.
Developing an omnichannel experience is essential for keeping shoppers engaged and persuading them to click “buy.”
When you convert to omnichannel, it solidifies your branding and helps you provide a personalized shopping experience while driving more sales and increasing your customer satisfaction and loyalty.
For instance, whether someone clicks on your social media post, blog post, or ad, it should all follow a consistent marketing pathway.
The same concept applies to your sales channels. When executed correctly, an omnichannel eCommerce strategy can pay dividends for years.
Omnichannel buyers have a 30% higher lifetime value than shoppers who shop on only one channel.
Considerations for building a successful multi-channel store
Know your audience
To ensure your multi-channel store accelerates sales, it’s vital to stay on the pulse of shifts in your target customers’ world.
Learn about their desires and struggles, then use these findings to direct messaging, products, online selling platform selection, and advertising.
For instance, say you run a supplement business and discover combating fatigue is a common issue among your audience.
You could launch products designed to alleviate tiredness, have medical experts address the topic in your marketing, and center your web copy around exhaustion and wellness.
Fulfill stock through an all-inclusive fulfillment provider
As your multi-channel eCommerce store grows, it’s important to maintain optimal inventory levels.
Some actions you can take include:
- Pool stock into a reliable, all-inclusive fulfillment service to keep your business lean and reduce costs.
- Leverage prep services to package, label, and fulfill goods according to your chosen platforms’ rules.
Tip: Streamline suppliers and negotiate inventory prices to accommodate the different fees your store will encounter.
Optimize your buyer experience across channels
Although you may have one platform that outperforms the rest, it’s important to give attention to all your eCommerce channels. A crucial aspect to focus on is refining your user experience.
Split test new layouts, messaging, and colors to find your optimal setup and regularly experiment with product offers.
Also, automate pricing changes with repricing software like Repricer, Seller Snap, and Alpha Repricer to keep your store competitive without increasing your workload.
Watch your inventory levels
Your stock levels can make or break your multi-channel eCommerce strategy.
So, consider how marketing and seasonality can impact sales velocity and inventory turnover rates.
Then, adjust your stock orders and emergency buffers accordingly.
Also, ensure you capture every sale by using inventory forecasting and management tools to predict inventory requirements and track stock utilization across platforms.
Some key features to look for in these tools include:
- Stock alerts
- AI-driven forecasting tools
- Issue notifications
- SKU barcoding capabilities
- Full supply chain visibility
- Stock monitoring
- PO creation
- Product categorization
- Order management
Push past growth blocks with multi-channel selling
Multi-channel eCommerce provides a lucrative opportunity for brands with ambitious growth goals and the determination to make them a reality.
Distributing your products across various channels can help you delight shoppers, solidify your brand, and catapult sales.
However, you’ll need the right approach to scale an eCommerce business successfully. So, investigate whether multi-channel is your brand’s next big break.
If you decide to move forward, integrate the right tools and services, set up stores with consistent branding, and refine your customer experience for stellar shopping.
By following these suggestions, it won’t be long before your multi-channel eCommerce business sees bumper profits and outpaces its competition.
Going multi-channel? Get the right fulfillment solutions for the journey.