It is impossible to list your products anywhere and expect sales. The best and most sustainable way to achieve success is to choose a few highly-performing sales channels that enable the sale of your products. This tried-and-true strategy has been proven to increase sales, customer relationships and overall profits. It is not something to take lightly.
One of the most powerful tools available in ecommerce is the sales channel. They are essential for increasing sales volume and helping your brand stay competitive in a complex digital environment. You can leverage them to control every aspect of customer experience (buying, returns etc.) and reach end customers in a way that has a lasting impact.
However, establishing a multichannel strategy for sales is not an easy task. This is true even in an ecommerce environment. Today 21% of marketers claim that they don’t know how to create multichannel campaigns.
Let’s look closer at the many sales channels that are available today. We will also discuss why they are important, how you can get started and what to do to make it work.
Different sales channels
Modern businesses have many options to expand their brand. These platforms can be anything from traditional channels to more modern, sleeker options. Each channel serves a different purpose, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most watched channels:
Ecommerce. Ecommerce channels can be used for almost all online stores, including online fashion shops and smartphone retail websites. These channels are easy to access, especially when Shopify powers their back end.
Traditional marketplaces. Traditional channels include Etsy and Amazon. These channels are very easy to integrate, but can sometimes be quite restrictive with their requirements.
Modern marketplaces. With newer features, modern or trendy channels such as TikTok and Spotify capture their audience’s attention. These channels are great for cross-selling and upselling but content must always be updated to stay relevant.
Retail. Retail channels can be described as any physical shopfront. You can meet your customers face to face with your product, unlike digital channels. It will probably be more costly than other channels.
Wholesale. Handshake allows merchants to sell large quantities of their products through channels like this. This allows merchants to keep costs low while still moving a lot of inventory.
Resellers. Resellers are those who repackage, rebuild or affiliate with third-party products. Although it is an easy and inexpensive sales option, the legal guidelines around reselling can be complex.
White label. White label refers to sales channels that depend on printing your logo onto generic products. White label channels can be used for trendy products, such as fidget spinners. However, this channel is highly competitive.
Mobile apps. Mobile apps account for 10% of all retail sales in America. This is a great opportunity: It’s quick, easy, and flexible. However, building an app is not an easy task.
Direct-to-consume. Direct-to-consume. Fifty five percent of customers prefer to buy products directly from the brand, with no middleman. This channel allows you to get all of the sales profits, which increases your income quicker. Keep in mind, however, that you are responsible for all marketing and logistic costs.
B2B sales. B2B sales. If your company sells to other companies, you are part of the $1.8 trillion B2B channel. This strategy increases your chances of repeat customers. Be aware that a B2B channel has a longer sales cycle.
Partnerships. Partnerships. You can partner with individuals or companies to promote your products (think sponsorships or influencers). Although this channel can help you build social proof, it could also cost you some profits.
Keep in mind that not every sales channel is a good fit to your online business. Some might work better than others while others may not. Before you choose a platform, it is important to do extensive research.
Multiple sales channels: The case
In the beginning stages of their business, many new brands only focus on one channel. A multichannel sales strategy is necessary to scale a business. This increases the likelihood that a customer will interact with your brand.
Multiple sales channels have many benefits.
Multichannel sales can help companies retain 89% customers. This is nine of every ten buyers!
Brands that offer multiple sales channels are 23 times more likely to be satisfied. This improves customer experience and leads to repeat sales.
Your sales channels should be more integrated to increase customer spending. Multi-channel sales channels are more popular with customers, according to research.
Your brand can reach new heights with a multichannel strategy that is well-curated. Businesses can rise to the top of ecommerce by applying best practices and allowing for flexibility.
Your ecommerce store should be a central point of operation
A successful strategy will require you to diversify your ecommerce channels. It’s your website, not external channels, that should be the centre of it all.
Optimizing your online store is crucial to increasing sales, regardless of whether you sell through social media or through Amazon distributors.
Here are the reasons why ecommerce is so important in your sales channel strategy.
1. It’s easy to use
It’s clear that website stores are easy to use. In the next few years, more than 2.14 billion people will buy goods online. Many of these people are familiar with online checkout and online stores.
2. It’s easy to build Many online stores are affordable, easily manageable, and can be scaled up. Shopify allows individuals and businesses to drag-and drop elements into fields to be published. Your ecommerce website can be used to link people to other sales channels such as social media or apps.
3. Restrictions on control
External sales platforms (the ones that you don’t have) have very strict rules for selling or listing products. Your website and internal platforms have far fewer requirements. You can list and sell anything you want, add photos and comments, and rate products that match your needs.
4. Your brand should be expressed
Customers want personal experiences with businesses. More than 70% say so. Your brand voice should be a joy to listen to. Use different fonts, colors and styles to bring out your brand’s best qualities and values.
Fashion Nova’s example shows Fashion Nova’s fun personality while not compromising on other sales channels.
Modern marketplaces provide rich shopping experiences
It is important to follow trends while being flexible in order to maintain a winning channel strategy. While traditional sales channels are still important, modern options can help you stay ahead of your competition.
TikTok, one of these modern marketplaces, allows merchants to showcase their products to a large audience. Customers can either shop from individual TikToks, or buy from live feeds and creator collaborations.
Spotify is a great platform to sell music on your ecommerce site. Digital downloads, albums and physical records can be sold on band pages. This allows you to make sales even while you’re sleeping.
Instagram’s “shop by photo” function is a great way for brands to transform their photos into valuable content. Red Dress Boutique’s example shows some of its most popular apparel and clothing options.
Not all marketplaces are right for you. Before you invest in any channel that could benefit your brand, it is important to carefully evaluate the options and ask questions.
Which sales channel is right for you?
A sales channel strategy is not a one-size fits all approach. Ask yourself these questions as you narrow down your options on platforms and sites.
- Which are your most lucrative sales channels?
- Which stores are your target customers most likely to shop at?
- What number of sales channels are you able to manage?
- Does your business model limit certain sales channels?
Are you going to need to hire experts in subject-matter to manage these sales channels.
Slow and steady wins. Start small with a limited number of channels. Then, scale up your strategy as you go.
A flexible ecommerce strategy
The most important aspect of any sales channel strategy’s heart is its ecommerce store. Create individual sales channels to complement your central base camp.
Your customers owe you the ability to be flexible, agile, and adaptable. Your online store will be able to reach more customers with a winning channel strategy.