If you’re an ecommerce business selling solely on Amazon it’s time to move to a multichannel mindset.
Doing so can bring a huge number of benefits, including meeting your customers on their preferred channels and, in doing so, building a resilient, future-proof business.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll explore why a multichannel sales strategy is the way forward and which channels you should be looking to explore as you expand your reach. We’ll also look at why moving to a multichannel sales strategy is a good choice and discover how to develop a strategy that’s both successful and profitable.
What is a multichannel sales strategy?
Rather than relying on a single sales channel — in this case, Amazon — pivoting to a multichannel sales strategy involves expanding into other sales channels.
This helps you embrace a Total Commerce mindset, where you can offer your potential customers the chance to shop on their preferred channel rather than expect them to come to you. While some may enjoy the marketplace experience, others value the convenience of shopping via social media. By placing your products on multiple channels, you increase your chances of making those sales.
When you’re looking to take your business multichannel, there are four main selling channels to consider:
- Direct to consumer (DTC)
- Social commerce and social interactions
- Business to business (B2B)
Let’s take a closer look at each of those.
Around 90% of customers start their search for a specific product on a marketplace, and it’s easy to reach a broad range of customers, both nationally and globally. In addition to Amazon, other marketplaces include eBay and Etsy. There are also specialist marketplaces that cater to one specific type of product, say furniture or artisan crafts. If your only channel is Amazon, you’re missing out on opportunities to connect directly with customers, collect their data, and drive the customer experience your way.
Direct to consumer (DTC)
Selling through your own website or app is an excellent way to control the customer journey, increase legitimacy and showcase additional products that may turn consumers from one-off purchasers into loyal customers. A branded site can also offer brand visibility through search engine optimization efforts. DTC sales can be a great complement to selling through marketplaces, but using this channel alone can make it more challenging to break into other countries or markets as you can’t take advantage of the global reach of a marketplace.
Social commerce and social interactions
If you want to meet customers where they spend most of their time, selling through social media channels is a must. Here, you can also collaborate with influencers to help market your products differently, in a more organic way, to your target audience. Promoting user-generated content and interacting with customers on social channels are also effective techniques to increase your brand’s reach. Social media evolves fast, though, and it can be a challenge to try and keep up with the platforms your customers prefer and the ever-changing algorithms that your content may rely on.
Business to business (B2B)
B2B ecommerce is growing, so this is definitely an area you’ll want to add to your selling strategy. By selling to other businesses, you can shift large quantities of stock at a lower marketing value. Given the supply chain challenges of recent years, offering stock in high quantities to local businesses can help them maintain a reliable supply to their customers. If you’re selling to other businesses through marketplaces though, be aware the fees can be high.
Why take your Amazon business multichannel?
There are advantages and disadvantages you need to consider with any selling channel. But by pivoting to a multichannel strategy, you can make the most of all individual channels rather than relying on just one.
A multichannel strategy helps ensure your products are available wherever your customers are. We know that customers favor convenience above almost anything else — in fact, recent research by Linnworks found that 76% of consumers say convenience is their key priority when choosing who to shop with. This means it’s essential to establish a presence on multiple selling channels and marketplaces—which you can only achieve with an effective multichannel strategy.
If you’re only selling through one channel, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of business. For example, the social commerce market is expected to grow to $1948.5 billion by 2026. 82% of customers enjoy making purchases through social channels, especially if they can complete this within the same channel rather than be directed to your website. As the most popular social shopping channel, Facebook leads the pack. They’re followed by Instagram and YouTube. If you already have a Facebook page, it’s extremely easy to set up a Facebook Shop, which also extends your reach over to Instagram. Here you can choose if you’d prefer for customers to complete their purchase within the app or through your website.
Selling through social channels also allows you to use the data and insights collected here to retarget your customers with future offers or new product releases. You can also take advantage of trends such as livestream shopping, a feature that is expected to grow significantly in popularity.
With so much potential across a range of sales channels, sticking to just one channel severely limits the potential for your brand to expand. The next question to answer is, now you’re keen to explore additional channels, how do you develop and launch a successful, multichannel sales strategy?
How to build a multichannel sales strategy
Rather than waiting for your sales to increase before you try to figure out how to keep up with demand—start by developing a robust sales strategy that’s based on automation. This can help drive efficiency, forward plan stock levels, and help maintain a good reputation for delivery and service.
Start with automation
Without a high level of oversight, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by trying to manage all of your backend processes. Automation can help synchronize your sales and stock. Instead of relying on manually processing orders which can allow human error to creep in, using automation keeps you in full control of the entire selling process while still scaling your business.
An automated system can also help you maintain control of:
- Managing your listings across multiple channels
- Creating individualized copy for specific demographics
- Grouping listings
- Automating workflows
- Communicating with customers
- Managing inventory levels
- Predicting supply and demand
Incorporate additional marketplaces
If you’re already selling on Amazon, it makes sense to expand into other online marketplaces too. As this sector is growing at twice the rate of other ecommerce sectors, establishing a presence across a range of marketplaces can be a good first step.
When deciding which marketplaces to target, a hybrid approach can be useful. Combine larger marketplaces like Amazon and eBay with more niche platforms that cater to a specific target market. Specialist marketplaces can also be a lucrative area to explore, such as ASOS for clothing.
Add more channels
Once you’ve started to use an automation system, such as Linnworks, and expanded to start covering marketplaces other than Amazon, it’s time to start adding more channels. It makes sense to start with the channels that your target market engages with most to maximize your growth potential.
Take your Amazon business multichannel with Linnworks
With Linnworks, you can seamlessly manage your Amazon business while incorporating other key sales channels. Using Linnworks ecommerce inventory management software helps you to offer a convenient shopping experience for your customers, wherever they want to shop.
By directly integrating with several different Amazon shipping options, including FBA, it’s easier than ever to manage your listings, inventory, and orders. It’s also possible to track business metrics that will help you measure your performance and set targets for the future.
Multichannel sales might sound complex at first, but by choosing to use a centralized platform to manage your ecommerce sales, you’ll find it easier than ever before to run a profitable business that meets your customers on their terms.
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