Multichannel sales go far beyond advertising and allow you to sell your products across multiple channels. All beginnings are difficult - and so is getting started with multichannel sales. But in the long run, having a strong presence in your market will pay off handsomely. The key is to find out where your target audience is and pick them up right there. A U.S. study, for example, produced the following results:
54% shopped at online marketplaces
74% from large retailers
In online stores 44% made their purchases
From category-specific online retailers 36% made their purchases
A suitable platform to turn your multichannel strategy into reality is Shopify. With this store system, you can build and manage your store. You'll also have access to more than 20 integration channels that will allow you to grow your business while optimizing your operations.
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Multichannel sales: What does it mean?
If a company offers several sales channels for a product or service, this is known as multichannel sales. A typical example is sales in brick-and-mortar stores and in an online store. In the course of digitization, more and more new sales channels are being opened up, including, among others, various platforms for online trade or social commerce in social networks. Whether online, mobile or stationary - each sales channel has its strengths and weaknesses, which can be offset or supplemented by other channels. This creates a strong sales network in which customers can choose the channel that suits their shopping habits. This in turn increases customer satisfaction and ensures stronger customer loyalty.
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7 Advantages of multichannel distribution
When you apply a multichannel strategy, you increase your reach and thus your chances of attracting potential new customers for your product or service. This allows you to tap into new sales markets and generate more revenue. But these are by no means all the advantages of multichannel sales. In the following, we will introduce you to some more:
The first major advantage is obvious: you can expand your sales activities with the help of a multichannel strategy. This means, for example, that if you run a small local store without an associated online store, you can only reach potential customers from your city.
If your customers can shop where it is most convenient for them, then customer satisfaction will simply increase. Incidentally, this also means that customer loyalty is improved in the long term.
Working with multiple sales channels also means that you have a much greater presence and can communicate information more quickly and widely to your customers. As a result, they build a stronger relationship with the company, which also promotes loyalty.
Conversely, you can also gather more information about your customers. The more you know about your customers' needs, the better you can optimize your sales strategy.
A multichannel strategy gives you the opportunity to create synergies between channels. For example, goods can be experienced and felt in a brick-and-mortar store, while an online store can ensure a fast and convenient shopping experience. One of our favorite brands is already successfully implementing this: Wildling presents its minimal shoes in its showroom in Berlin, for example, and customers can then purchase them in the web store.
With an online store, your business is open around the clock. Store hours no longer matter, as orders can be placed online at any time. So you are available 24/7.
The profitability of the entire company is more stable due to multichannel sales. If one channel can no longer be used, the other can absorb it. This was particularly evident at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic, when brick-and-mortar stores had to close, in some cases for extended periods, giving online retail an immense boost.
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The first steps of a multichannel strategy with Shopify
Are you now convinced and want to build a multichannel strategy for your business yourself? Then there are a few things you should think through first:
Clearly define the goals you want to achieve with your new multichannel strategy.
Know your target group as precisely as possible: define people, target groups and the customer journey.
Also, do research on the buying behavior and usage of the platforms you have chosen.
Set up the channels according to your wants and needs.
Once you have completed all these steps, you can be happy - but unfortunately you can't sit back and relax, because implementing a multichannel strategy is not a one-off task, but an ongoing process. You should always monitor your results and evaluate whether you are meeting the goals you have set. In addition, it is important for your success to always keep an eye on what is happening in the market and the needs of the target group.
Reading tip: Multichannel is not yet for you and you ask yourself the question online store or marketplace? - Learn in this article how to make the right decision.
Multichannel on Shopify: The technical steps
It all starts with having your business at the center. If you have a product feed as a base, you can create feeds for multiple sales channels. Your product feed is a document that contains all the information about the items you carry. It contains unique identifiers, titles, prices, images, and more. Usually, everything is stored in a text or tables. If your products are already stored in Shopify, you can export your product feed. To do that, follow these steps:
Open your administration page
Click on "Products" and "All Products
Decide on the products you want to include.
Choose the file you want to use
However, this method is not recommended for long-term solutions because there is no way to update files automatically. To ensure that your product is up-to-date, you need to manually reload files on a regular basis, which can be time-consuming. To ensure that your products are always updated, you can connect them to third-party applications. For example, you can use DataFeedWatch for this purpose. The connection with this software is established by adding your store and inserting the Shopify URL. This way you can be sure that sold-out products and other changes will be automatically updated in your store, and the data will be downloaded and sent to your sales channels on a daily basis, so they will always be up-to-date as well.
Besides this option to create a Shopify feed, there is another one: you can also use a direct API connection. This also sends current product data to all sales channels used on a regular basis. However, there is the disadvantage here that you can no longer optimize your feeds in advance. Instead, they are transmitted exactly as they are in the Shopify store.
Reading tip: Do you also want to finally get into e-commerce, but are not yet sure which type of store system is the right choice for you? Then click here to learn how online retailers can choose between on-premise and cloud-based e-commerce platforms.
Let's summarize: If you want to build a multichannel strategy with Shopify, there are some crucial factors to consider, and the extra work that this entails should not be underestimated. If you decide to offer your products or services on multiple channels, then you should always carefully consider whether you and your customers will gain any added value from it - and what kind. Because on the whole, a multi-channel strategy can bring a whole host of benefits and opportunities. Increased reach and happier customers are just two of them. So what are you waiting for? On to new (sales) paths!
You need help with finding the right strategy for your store?
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Frequently asked questions about Shopify Multichannel
What is a multichannel strategy?
In a multichannel strategy, goods are offered and sold via several sales channels. The more often you are present on different platforms, the higher the probability that potential customers will learn about your brand and products.
How does multichannel marketing work?
With multichannel marketing, you advertise your brand and products via different sales and communication channels. A distinction can be made between direct (e.g., through product catalogs) and indirect (e.g., through social media) communication.
What is an e-commerce solution for multichannel?
With Shopify, you can easily implement a multichannel strategy, as Shopify provides access to around 20 integrated channels.
What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing?
The biggest difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing is that in omnichannel marketing, all channels are connected and build on each other to ensure a seamless shopping experience for the customer. In multichannel marketing, each channel exists on its own and pursues its own goals.
What are the advantages of a multichannel strategy?
A multichannel strategy brings several benefits, including: Expanding distribution channels Improving customer satisfaction by allowing customers to choose where they shop Increased exposure and therefore better visibility of your brand and products You learn more about your customers' needs and can build your sales strategy around them Synergies between channels: customers can experience products in stores or showrooms and buy them conveniently via the online store Economic stability: If one sales channel cannot be used, you can fall back on another channel