What is Multi-channel Selling?
Back in the days when starting a business, having a physical store is one of the essentials to getting started. However today, having only physical stores for your business is not enough especially if you want to make it big. According to research by Havard Business Review, with 73% of multichannel buyers making up for the total population of online customers, e-Commerce businesses nowadays tend to have online stores on multiple platforms to cater to this growing demand. Whether businesses are selling on their own websites, social media, or e-Commerce marketplaces such as Lazada and Shopee—these are all what we know as multi-channel selling.
For e-Commerce customers, it is easy for them to switch in-between platforms in search of better deals and promotions; but as an e-Commerce business—things get tricky especially if you’re just starting out. Now, fear not as we’ve prepared a small guide to multi-channel selling and some common benefits
Guide to Multi-channel Selling
1. Understanding your customers
Yes, we get it—price is the number one factor that influences customers. But did you know that according to research, customers (especially Malaysians, surprising right?) are willing to pay more if you added in a little special touch to your chosen channel? For instance, providing your customers personalised recommendations or simply offering superior customer service could lead to booming sales for your e-Commerce business? Really, it’s just that simple. So be on the lookout for channels that can allow you to leverage off such opportunities that are ultimately beneficial for your business.
2. Research on each channel
Before you choose a channel for your e-Commerce business, remember to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself some questions like “which channels are my customers more active on?” “Do my customers prefer platform A or B?” If your answers are unsure, it’s time for you to find out before you make that big decision. Other things such as having to purchase additional plug-ins or existing partnerships with fulfilment service providers are also a big factors influencing your decision. Consider scalability and long-term profitability for your e-Commerce business as well when choosing the best channels for you.
3. Implementing the right system
This is probably the most important advice we can give you. Remember that the right systems and softwares are key to a successful mutli-channel strategy; so always, and I mean always look for a multi-channel system that provides seamless integration for both you and your customers. From things like access to real-time inventory levels and efficient order management, these systems should all be in sync across all channels to provide you the best possible multi-channel experience. Not only would this help you avoid stockouts, overselling or any other inventory-related problems, but more importantly—it ensures smooth operations and growth for your e-Commerce business. You can thank us later when your e-Commerce business is up and booming years down the line.
How Multi-channel fulfilment helps your e-Commerce business
1. Reduce costs from centralized inventories
When you are selling on multiple channels, chances are you may have inventories stored in warehouses owned by different fulfilment providers due to limited integrations with e-marketplaces. However, in the long-run, it might incur hefty costs for your e-Commerce business especially if you’ve entered into long-term contracts that do not allow pay per use storage. So, it is extremely important for you to partner up with a trusted and reliable multi-channel fulfilment provider to solve this. A reliable multi-channel fulfilment company should provide your e-Commerce business facilities where you can store all your inventories in warehouses that are fully operated by them. This helps you reduce any excess costs related to numerous warehousing or contracting fees, which will save you on expenses
2. Maximize efficiency
One of the main reasons why e-Commerce businesses partner up with fulfilment companies is because they provide equipment and facilities that can help them manage orders of any size—be it bulk or single orders. The level of efficiency and economies of scale is incredible and has the potential of granting your e-Commerce business a competitive edge over others.
3. Faster shipping times
If you are selling on multiple platforms and handling fulfilment in-house, there will be times where you’ll find yourself faced with too much to handle alone, especially with limited manpower. Now, remember that while you struggle to prepare and pack your orders, customers may not know and are eagerly waiting for their orders. So don’t let them down and partner with a multi-channel fulfilment provider instead. Regardless of seasonal sales fluctuations or single orders, they’ll help you pick and pack your products and ship them off to your customers without delay.
4. Increased sales and customer loyalty
This is the ultimate goal for any business; and the logic is simple: the more channels or platforms you establish your e-Commerce business on, the more you reach out to potential customers and generate sales. By selling on multiple channels, you’ll be able to engage with customers you might have never been able to reach out to compared to selling on just one channel. Also, being on multi-channels also increases your credibility and status which can help establish a loyal brand following for your e-Commerce business. You’ll also rest easy knowing that multi-channels allow different sources of revenue to flow into your e-Commerce business. Now, doesn’t that sound exciting?
All in all…
If you’re interested in multi-channel selling and fulfillment in Malaysia but don’t how where to start, consider partnering with us at iStore iSend. Aside from our attractive pay per use warehousing options, we pride ourselves in our integration with major e-marketplace platforms that will provide you a competitive edge as an e-Commerce business—by offering exclusive Brand Onboarding on multiple online channels. We are experts in providing you a gateway for efficient campaign management, customer service and also access to our in-house ODIN technology that can empower your e-Commerce business’s full potential.