How Multichannel Sales Can Help Your Retail Business Prosper
Multichannel selling means making your products available for customers to purchase in more than one outlet; be it online or offline.
As consumer behavior evolves and changes with time, multi channel selling is more important now than ever. Retailers cannot just focus their efforts solely on online or offline sales; both are essential for profit maximization and survival in the industry.
Not only is it important for retailers to have a presence, they also need experience across multiple channels to give the opportunity to customers to shop from anywhere and at any time.
Why Multichannel Sales Are Important
As mentioned above, consumer trends show that they’re increasingly using multiple channels throughout their purchasing patterns. However, those aren’t the sole numbers that are going up; multichannel selling can even assist you to increase the total value in your company’s balance sheet. Retailers that have a diverse marketplace for selling their products generate more revenue than those with only one .
The success in multichannel selling lies in being where your customers are. Majority of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase — be the source for that research. Offer well-written product descriptions with a lot of detailed specifications. Show pictures of your products in use, from multiple angles, including zoom functionality, so customers can see the little details of your product. Get more customer reviews then publish them throughout your website.
Instead of pushing customers where you would like them to be, meet them where they already are. More importantly, anticipate their needs during each stage of the buying journey, and help them meet those needs.
How to Start Multichannel Selling
Consider the channels you want to embrace. Below is a simple list to help get you started:
- Offline Sales Channels
- Physical stores
- Pop-up shops
- In-person selling events (markets, fairs, festivals, etc.)
- Distributors/other retail stores that sell your product (i.e. wholesale)
- Print catalogs
- Online Sales Channels
- Your website
- Social media
- Third-party marketplaces like Amazon, Daraz
- Comparison-shopping sites
- Coupon sites
After you’ve narrowed down what channels to explore, you’ll need to set a method and specific goals for each channel. Strategy helps to define your goals with which you’ll be able to measure success. Goals function as the target towards which you’re working, and you can change those goals as new trends emerge and evolve with time.
Understand Your Customers
Not all consumer groups are similar. It’s important to not only identify your target market, but to also understand their needs, the way you ask them, and the way your brand and products serve them. From there, you’ll be able to anticipate which channels your customers are using at different stages of their purchase process, as well as which market segments are divided on specific channels.
Conducting some research can help shed some light on your target customers, including their wants and preferences. From there, you can make informed decisions on which channels to work on and what approach works best for your target audience.
Multichannel selling isn’t always about generating revenue and coming up with new ideas to attract customers. It’s also about creating a uniform experience on all of these channels. Every channel should display consistent branding, offer an identical buying experience, and have cohesive customer service.
But what does it mean to deliver a consistent and positive experience? One way to approach is by treating your customers as you wish to be treated by the brands you support. Remember that they’re people, too, and when they’re treated intrinsically , you’ve got a better chance at capturing a loyal customer base across multiple channels.
Make Your Brand Stand Out
There are ways to differentiate your brand. Having a powerful brand identity gives consumers something to relate to. And when consumers have shared values with brands, consumers are more likely to create a relationship with you.
Implement The Proper Tools
Expanding into multichannel selling means you’ve got plenty more inventory to monitor, sales to track, and data to analyze. Implement a point-of-sale system, inventory management, accounting, and other software which will not only suit your business needs now, but also your future needs. The more you automate, the longer you’ll spend on growing your business.
Hire and Train The Right Team
With more selling channels also comes the need for more manpower. This comes in two main forms: In-house staff and outsourced contractors. Retailers entering into multichannel selling for the first time might look into hiring a tax professional to calculate sales taxes and other charges for every channel, as well as legal staff to understand any new legalities that come up with adding selling channels. Internally, retailers ought to have the correct team in sight to satisfy the requirements of a growing and changing customer base. Warehouse and inventory management becomes more essential as retailers track sales for more than just their physical or online store.
Perhaps the simplest piece of advice for the retailer looking to get started with multichannel selling is to approach it one channel at a time. Don’t be scared of failure — every new channel is simply another opportunity to find out more about your business and therefore the market.