The behavior of shoppers has changed significantly in recent years. In the decade between 2000 and 2010, direct e-commerce channels, including email marketing and affiliate marketing, went from driving 75% of sales to driving only 9% of sales, according to HubSpot. Barring a few niche exceptions, successful e-commerce businesses today are really good at multichannel selling, using all the sales avenues the Internet offers them to attract and retain customers.
Diversify Your Channels
Do you rely too much on search engine optimization or paid search? What about social marketing or Amazon and eBay? Even if the past performance of one of these channels was significantly better than that of the others, relying on one channel increases business risks. What’s more, it can mean you’re losing opportunities on other channels.
Your sales channels should not be limited by the software you use or even by your staff resources. For example, if tracking and making sense of sales, inventory, and purchase order data from multiple channels in one place is a problem, upgrade your inventory management app to one with multichannel support. Do the same for your sales and accounting app, if necessary.
Create a Portfolio of Channels
Until recently, this was something that only large online businesses with plenty of money to invest could afford to do. Now, however, because of the lower costs of setting up and managing an online business, and also because of the power of automation, even entrepreneurs with smaller budgets can build a portfolio of e-commerce channels through a process of specialization, diversification, and extension of their existing catalog.
Different channels can serve different purposes based on their margin value and whether they cater to new or existing customers. With a multichannel inventory management solution like DataQlick, managing inventory for a portfolio of channels doesn’t have to be time consuming.
What’s more, accurate forecasts and seamless integration with QuickBooks means that you spend less time calculating and more time making strategic decisions for your channels.
In the world of e-commerce, shoppers searching for the same product can begin their search in different places. Google is used by many, but it is not the default search platform for all shoppers. Some shoppers start on Amazon, others on eBay, while others go straight to price comparisons sites like Shopping.com or Shopzilla.
You have to get your products listed on as many of these as your can because many shoppers put convenience above price. Even if you offer the best price on a certain product, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll make the sale.
Automate Multichannel Inventory Management
For many businesses, the impediment to broadening their sales channels is a difficult inventory management process. This challenge can be resolved by adopting a mobile inventory management solution and sales forecasting app that was designed to work with multiple inventory channels. Older software or legacy programs just won’t do.
DataQlick is an inventory management system optimized for multichannel inventory management. Learn more about its multichannel features and how they can optimize inventory flow.