This Is Why You Need To Adjust Your Ecommerce Channel Strategy Today
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So far, the standard e-commerce model has really focused on one channel at a time. E-commerce was all about advertising your products on Google and shipping them to customers. Now e-commerce means so much more. When applied to selling on social media, search engines, or marketplace platforms, the term “ecommerce” is the same, but the strategy is very, very different. Create a website for search engine optimization and sell, create a storefront on Etsy and sell, or generate a following on Instagram and sell. The old method focused on one channel; the new method is multichannel.
As more businesses succeed with a one-channel approach, they inevitably think about expansion and growth. Whether it’s planning well in advance or responding more spontaneously to customer demand, you need to be prepared.
The days of selling on a single website or platform are over
There’s only one platform a seller can offer, but a business spread across multiple channels has greater capacity for growth, less reliance on a single sales engine, and more opportunity to stand out. If you don’t, your competitors will, and soon they will oust you.
Running a multi-channel business comes with new challenges, but also with greater control of your business. In the past, committing to a single channel meant submitting to the ever-changing goals of the companies that ran it. Sellers have no influence over product policy changes, fees, international rules, algorithm updates and terms and conditions, so all your eggs in one basket will end up being broken when these changes affect your ability to sell. By selling through multiple channels, on the other hand, these changes have less of an impact.
Related: 5 things to know before starting an e-commerce business
A new set of challenges requires a new set of tools
A multi-channel solution brings new challenges to running a business, which means investing in a new toolkit to make it work at its best. Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are three different platforms with their own rules, optimization strategies, and programs, but for the person running their business through multiple of these channels, it’s still one business. As you move from single-channel to multi-channel, you’ll need to understand and organize the nuances of each.
Keep your business optimized for each channel through regular evaluation and doing your research. Even small details like notifications, confirmations, and storing customer information vary from platform to platform, so make sure you have a central system where possible. Your future marketing will depend on it.
Some sites may have rules regarding certain customer data or prohibit inviting customers through one channel to participate in an offer available through another. Stay up to date on the benefits and costs of each channel and be sure to take advantage of all the ways it can help your business.
Related: 7 things to consider before becoming a seller on Amazon
Each channel requires its own approach
Not all platforms are created equal, and each will require a targeted approach depending on who it reaches – and how. The content you run on Tiktok will likely be different than your Instagram stories or posts. The person searching on Google is in a different buying mindset than the one browsing Instagram. Some markets and channels are about deals and discounts, while others are about service and aesthetics.
To better balance the needs of each channel, use available e-commerce technologies to your advantage. As more businesses move toward multi-channel operations, technology will continue to respond with programs that deliver competitive advantage. At Ecwid, for example, we make it easy to sync and work your e-commerce store with Instagram, Facebook, Google, and Amazon, managing it all from a single dashboard. Investing in programs that streamline your business saves you a lot of headaches.
As new technologies continue to ease the transition to multi-channel business, the ever-steady trend of successful e-commerce remains centered around the customer experience. No matter the size of your business, continue to be responsive, fair, and transparent when it comes to customer service, no matter what platform or channel someone found you on. Don’t be intimidated by new channels to grow your business; embrace them as new ways to present your brand and continue to provide exceptional customer service. You will find that the path to e-commerce success is much wider than expected.
Related: Why You Should Bet on the Future of Ecommerce