Ecommerce Growth

eCommerce Multichannel Selling: Expert Advice From Business Leaders

eCommerce multichannel selling is both an opportunity and a risk—tap into tested advice eCommerce leaders share here to take your next steps!

eCommerce Multichannel Selling: Expert Advice From Business Leaders

Shoppers are no longer limited to mainstream shopping channels. The proliferation of social media sites, online marketplaces, and website builders broadened market options. Whether you’re scrolling through TikTok videos or reading Facebook posts, you’ll come across a product listing.

As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you must adapt.

Multichannel selling lets you target your ideal buyer persona through every platform they use, thus increasing your chances of conversion.

The right approach could scale your brand exponentially.

However, you can’t just dive into multichannel selling.

You need a custom strategy that zeroes in on your target market; otherwise, you’ll drive up your ad spend fruitlessly.

What Is a Multichannel Sales Strategy in eCommerce?

At a basic level, multichannel sales is a marketing approach where you sell on different platforms.

The goal is to boost conversions by expanding your reach, targeting a broader audience, and streamlining the buying process.

Overall, you’re making it easier for consumers to support your brand.

eCommerce brands typically execute their multichannel sales strategies across the following platforms:

how to come up with a multichannel sales strategy in eCommerce

1. Social Media Sites

Regardless of the product or service you offer, you need a social media account. There are 4.5 billion social media users worldwide—you’ll have trouble building a customer base if you overlook these platforms. 

We suggest starting with mainstream options (e.g., Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Facebook). Just focus on sharing content first. Once your audience grows, you can incorporate more advanced social media marketing strategies, like building your CS bot, adjusting ad placements, and working with influencers. 

2. eCommerce Websites

Join mainstream eCommerce platforms like eBay, Amazon, and Wish. They have millions of regular site visitors—you’ll get decent listing views if you hop on current trends and incorporate SEO keywords into your ads.

Just don’t expect astronomical conversion rates in saturated, competitive markets.

Tip: Feel free to drop platforms that yield negligible returns. Just make sure to manage your spending before switching eCommerce platforms; re-uploading dozens of listings could end up costing a lot.

3. Niche Marketplaces

Explore niche-specific marketplaces within your industry.

They won’t have as many users as mainstream platforms, but you’ll encounter more qualified prospects and buyers.

Their entire user base is already interested in your line of business, after all. 

Let’s say you sell fishing gear. Although you’ll get more ad views and clicks on social media sites, more users on niche marketplaces will understand your unique selling points (USPs). You’re basically targeting a filtered audience.

Eric Mills, Owner of Lightning Card Collection, advises that engaging with niche marketplace users will also grow your audience fast.

He says, “Strive to build a community within your industry. Join niche marketplaces with designated forums, engage with users there, provide helpful advice when needed, and drop subtle CTAs directing them to your group. It could be a group chat, Discord channel, subreddit, or whatever your audience often uses.”

4. Site Builders

You can use AI site builders to launch an eCommerce store within hours.

They have simple drag-and-drop editors, so you don’t need prior coding, web development, or graphic designing experience. Just upload your assets, and you’re good to go.

That said, please note that building an eCommerce store and website doesn’t automatically translate to sales. You still have to bring in paying customers. We suggest increasing your visibility and site visitors through engaging landing pages—ensure you grab the reader’s attention throughout.

Should You Adopt A Multichannel Sales Strategy?

Although multichannel selling puts your products in front of more consumers, it also has several drawbacks.

Higher page views and clickthrough rates don’t always lead to sales. You’ll just spike your overhead and daily spending if you sign up for random eCommerce platforms.

Study the advantages and challenges of multichannel selling to increase your chances of success. Maximize the upsides while managing potential risks.

Advantages of Multichannel Sales

Here are the advantages and benefits of adopting a multichannel eCommerce sales strategy:

1. Diversified Revenue Streams

Multichannel selling gives you additional income streams. You’ll start generating incoming funds across every online platform that has your eCommerce store or product listings. It’s an efficient approach to increase potential revenues. Just ensure you manage your ad spend and overhead on platforms that aren’t getting much sales yet.

multichannel eCommerce strategy can result in diverse revenue streams

2. Broader Audience and Reach

Creating multiple eCommerce stores broadens your reach. Creating a larger, stronger digital footprint increases the likelihood of qualified prospects seeing your campaigns. Of course, converting them is another matter altogether. Don’t lose track of your conversion and engagement rates as your brand visibility and click-through rates improve.

3. Better Accessibility for Shoppers

Make it easier for buyers to buy your products. You’ll turn away qualified prospects at the end of the sales funnel if you limit them to specific payment, shipping, or purchasing options. In the worst case, your shopping cart abandonment rates might increase.

4. In-Depth, First-hand Customer Insights

Cross-platform marketing lets you collect broader data sets. Compare how your prospects behave across different sites, what trends generally prevail, and when to publish ads for maximum visibility. You can use this data to fine-tune your ads and target your ideal buyer persona.

Jerry Han, CMO at PrizeRebel, advises entrepreneurs to use incentives when collecting data from consumers. He says, “Even the most well-crafted satisfaction surveys won’t yield accurate results if your respondents don’t cooperate. The best approach is to incentivize these surveys with micro-rewards. You can give discount codes, free shipping promos, or cashback offers to individuals who complete your questionnaire properly.”

Do read: 26 eCommerce Sales Strategies That Actually Work (Updated2024)

Challenges of Multichannel Sales

Here are the most common challenges and risks that eCommerce shops face when executing their multichannel sales strategy: 

1. Marketing and Branding Differences

Consistency is the key to a successful branding strategy. You should convey the same message on social media, niche marketplaces, and your business website, among other platforms. Focus on repeating elements that’ll stick with consumers. For instance, if you run a sustainable brand, ensure all your online shops have the logos and certifications necessary for eco-friendly products. 

However, Michael Power, CMO at DTF Transfers, warns that marketers should know when to run and stop ad campaigns. He says, “Recycling campaigns too often can cause ad fatigue. Although prospects might start associating you with specific elements, they’ll also get sick of seeing the same ads. Manage your content properly to maintain engagement rates.”

2. Confusing Order Management Systems

You’ll quickly lose track of orders if you approach multichannel selling without a proper management strategy. Some might get lost during the fulfilment process. And even if you resolve the ones you overlook, the affected customers will lose interest in your brand.

So, before scaling operations, revamp your order management system. You should have a custom platform that sorts orders, compiles customer requests, and organizes your deliverables. If you also attend meetings often, get an appointment-scheduling software tool. 

You can minimize senseless back-and-forth confirmation emails between your business partners if you let them select their preferred meeting dates and times.

3. Inconsistent Customer Experience

Multichannel selling makes quality assurance (QA) checks harder. Depending on your business’s size, you might have to manage dozens of product listings, sales orders, client portal software tools, and customer queries across multiple platforms. You’ll end up neglecting some areas if you don’t have a proper strategy. 

multichannel selling can make consistent customer experience a challenge

Fernando Lopez, Marketing Director at Circuit, tells entrepreneurs to prioritize QA checks over business expansion.

He says, “Only scale your operations if you’re confident you can uphold the same level of quality service. Aim for a consistently positive customer experience across all eCommerce platforms. You can offload some QA responsibilities to freelancers or part-timers so that you’re not juggling too many tasks.”

4. Harder-to-Execute Business Models

Multichannel selling requires a complex business model. Managing multiple online platforms while maintaining quality customer service isn’t something most solopreneurs can do.

You’ll likely have to build and train a small team already. Although employee recruitment could lead to business expansion, overstaffing will quickly drain your resources.

How Do You Execute a Multichannel Marketing Strategy?

Your eCommerce multichannel sales strategy is only as good as its feasibility. Thorough market research allows you to gather accurate, reliable data, but effective execution drives results. Follow these tips to ensure you roll out your strategy properly.

1. Define and Focus On Your Ideal Buyer Persona

It’s a common mistake for eCommerce entrepreneurs to drive up their ad spend the first time they do multichannel selling. Several factors affect this issue, but in most cases, their target audience is too big.

Remember: visibility is just one of the KPIs you need to hit. They won’t mean anything unless you’re converting a good portion of your viewers into paying customers.

To minimize the advertising cost of a sale, reduce your audience. Customize your ads to target individuals who match your ideal buyer persona‘s surfing habits, hobbies, interests, and demographics. Otherwise, you’ll keep overspending on ad spend.

2. Set Limits on Your Working Expenses

You have to understand that multichannel selling will drive up your overhead. You’ll be uploading multiple product listings, joining more eCommerce platforms, running several campaigns, and launching new websites—all these tasks cost money. If you’re unprepared, your business could run dry quickly.

Linda Shaffer, Chief People Operations Officer at Checkr, advises business owners to leave some leeway when setting budget limits. She says, “Not all of your ads will yield results, and your business should have enough funds to ride out these failed campaigns. Expect your ad spend to spike while A/B testing. Don’t worry—you should cover your losses once you determine which platforms generate the most sales.”

3. Recalculate Your Target ROI Accordingly

Adjust the other sections of your balance sheet, including your ROI, as your working capital increases. You have to earn back all your additional expenses. See if you can maintain (or grow) your profit margins while scaling operations and signing up for new eCommerce platforms.

Tip: Streamline the accounting process by automating specific areas. For instance, you can use invoicing software tools instead of manually sending, computing, and recording every sales order. You’ll find this helpful as your incoming and outgoing funds increase.

4. Edit Your Marketing and Ad Campaigns

for effective multichannel selling eCommerce businesses need to edit their marketing strategies

Edit your marketing assets before publishing them. Ensure you remove typos, offensive visuals, non-inclusive language, and copyright-protected elements since more people will see your content. There’s no room for error—even seemingly minor oversights could cause legal issues.

Jesse Galanis, Content Marketer at Furm says, “Let’s take your product names as an example. You should double-check if another company has already trademarked them, in which case you can no longer use them commercially. Do a quick check on trademark databases''.

5. Determine Your New KPIs and Goals

You’ll have to redefine your KPIs since you’re following a multichannel sales strategy. Again, online platforms have varying trends. Carelessly recycling the exact metrics across all your ads might leave you with a disappointing, inaccurate outcome. Instead, assign different metrics for each platform.

Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President at altLINE Sobanco, advises eCommerce shops to study each platform’s algorithm when setting KPIs. He says, “The idea of a successful campaign varies based on algorithms. For instance, 1,000+ views on a new TikTok account might not seem much, but 1,000+ likes on a new Instagram page’s post is fast progress.”

Related reading:

How to go Omnichannel on a Budget (Strategies + Case Studies)

15 stories: Brands that managed channel conflict like champs

Marketing Lessons from 10 Great DTC Brands

Marry Multichannel Selling Strategy with Amazing UX

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to eCommerce—what works for others might not yield the same results for you.

Having said that, a multichannel selling strategy isn’t enough to maximize conversions. 

You also need UX that resolves the woes of the 98% who jump off without buying. 

And this is the problem Convertcart solves. 

We've helped 500+ eCommerce stores (in the US) improve user experience—and 2X their conversions. 

How we can help you: 

Our conversion experts can audit your site—identify UX issues, and suggest changes to improve conversions. 

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