When you’re a multichannel retailer, it’s a powerful position to be in. From a competitive standpoint, you are engaged in a variety of platforms that allows you to stand your ground and address niche markets. You have a substantial advantage, reaching potential customers locally and internationally, both online and offline. However, getting to the point where a multichannel scenario works for your business is hard work. Developing these platforms and making them profitable takes time.
To be a multichannel retailer, you must focus on selling your inventory stock where your customers are located. You need to be where they are, have a sound understanding of their needs, and they shouldn’t have to look far to find you. Moreover, wherever the product is purchased, it’s important to create a seamless journey for your inventory stock from the warehouse to the hands of the customer.
Let’s have a closer look at ways your business can strive towards multichannel retailing and find success along the way.
Finding the channels that are right for you
Picking appropriate sales channels is one of the most important facets of multichannel retailing. You need to be positioned in channels that make sense to your customers. For instance, if you are selling healthcare equipment for rest homes, your primary customers are elderly and might not use the internet as prolifically as younger generations. Going into rest homes and providing demonstrations or having physical stores close by might be smarter channels. This doesn’t mean you need to avoid having an online presence. Along the way, you might find that your main customer is the caregiver or rest home coordinator and they prefer online capabilities.
Sometimes it’s easier to identify appropriate channels straight away and other times it involves trial and error. In addition, when you are entering a multichannel environment, you need to be prepared to evolve and scale as demand grows or changes. This doesn’t mean selling across as many channels as possible. Rather, it means selecting the most appropriate channels and expand steadily, not haphazardly.
Amalgamate your business processes
If you’re planning to sell across multiple channels, you need a system that brings all of the processes together. In order to provide a seamless customer journey, you need to integrate your inventory management software, your shipping and supply chain logistics, your eCommerce platform and any other vital tools that make your business run smoothly. Connect these systems and increase communication across these tools. You’ll have better visibility about what’s happening in your business. Plus, the real-time data from the multichannel integration will support data-driven business decisions.
Diversify your content
When listing products on multiple channels, you need to make sure you keep your content fresh for your audience. Simply copying and pasting product information across multiple channels can be mundane and turn away customers.
Know what your audience is craving. Each platform will have its own personality. Therefore, you need to cater your content to suit each channel’s audience. For instance, social media posts will not provide the same product info as an Amazon listing. The viewers will look for nitty-gritty details on Amazon, but Instagram is not the channel for nitty-gritty product data. Rather, you need to have captivating images and succinct, punchy content to win over your audience here. Be clever and diversify your content to gain success as a multichannel retailer.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.