We hear the phrase multi-channel selling so often that we can be forgiven for thinking it has just one meaning. Of course it does, kind of, but only in a very general sense.
Namely, it refers to selling products on more than one sales channel.
But there are lots of ways to do this. In fact, multi-channel selling can be any mix of your own website, online shop, marketplace, brick-and-mortar store, social media, and more. It can even include how people shop with their devices.
This is a lot to consider, for sure. Still, there are some fairly popular ways of going multichannel for sellers starting out from one sales channel.
Across Marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, and Etsy
Online marketplaces are the primary type of multichannel ecommerce. Sellers simply set up a vendor account and then the marketplace handles the processing of the sales.
So it’s not uncommon for those starting out on eBay or Amazon to decide they want to expand to another marketplace like Etsy, or vice versa.
Online Marketplace and a Hosted Selling Platform
For example, an eBay seller may want to expand their sales by opening a shop on a selling platform like Shopify or BigCommerce. For a monthly fee they can create and build their own online store and host it on the platform web servers.
Brick-and-Mortar Store and Your Own Ecommerce Site
Likewise, many sellers offer their products at trade shows or in local markets but might not have a physical store. No matter. When combined with a well-managed ecommerce website, they can still benefit from multi-channel selling.
One thing is certain. Whatever the sales channel mix, the end result is an increased exposure to potential customers and expanded brand awareness.
In the long run, knowing and being where their customers are provides multichannel sellers with an added advantage in competing with bigger retailers.
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