As an eCommerce seller your goal is to sell a product, get paid, and ship that product. It’s pretty simple – you want to turn inventory and make a profit. How and where do you do that? Are you limiting your sales by sticking to one or two marketplaces? Do you diversify? Where do you sell? More importantly – where do you NOT sell? Marketplaces are everywhere, both online and off. With so many choices, why would you make the decision to not be in as many places as the consumers are?
This post will look at the importance of selling online and offline as an eCommerce merchant and the consumer shopping habits that drive those varied purchasing decisions.
How consumers shop
Today’s shoppers are savvy. They love a good bargain and know how to compare both prices and products. Consumers are in the habit of looking at your product in one place and buying it at another. They may check your website to see if the price is lower or look for a discount code, but will inevitably follow the listing with the better price or faster shipping time.
If you can’t offer enough purchase options for consumers, you’re not going to capture their attention. Consumers want a diversified selection and will take the time to make a purchase that is best suited for their needs – within the product itself and the services offered by the seller.
Why you need to diversify your sales
Consumers can purchase products from a ton of online marketplaces, websites, and a company’s brick and mortar store, so it’s imperative for sellers to have their products in as many of these places as possible.
Say for example your product listings are shutdown due to a policy violation or suspension on Amazon. Are they listed on enough other sites to sustain your business in the meantime? Or worse, what about a removal of a product from a site? Where will you sell your product when Amazon tells you it’s been removed/banned/or they moves it to the basement in search? This is the kind of unexpected twist that can hurt your bottom line if you’re not diversifying your sales enough.
Sell offline and online efficiently with eCommerce tools
It’s difficult to manage inventory in a brick and mortar store, let alone across multiple online and offline channels. There’s an endless list of things you need to do to make your eCommerce business successful, but ensuring you have the proper tools to get your products in front of as many people as possible is high on the list.
Third party tools are the best place to look for help in moving to an efficient multi-stream sales situation. A POS will allow you to have a brick and mortar store, complete with inventory that you can cross sell on-site. Channel Management tools let you get your products out to all of those different marketplaces with a single write-up and click.
A warehouse management system helps you keep track of all your inventory from every sales channel. A WMS integrates with all your favorite marketplaces too, so the additional sales are endless. SkuVault, for example, can help you manage which quantities go where and will push your inventory to multiple venues, grab the sales, update the inventory, and send corrected inventory numbers out. With quality control capabilities you can rest easy knowing correct products are pulled from the shelf, put in the correct box, and shipped to the correct person, every time.
With the combined efforts of eCommerce software tools and knowledge of consumer spending trends, your business is primed to sell more strategically across all online and offline sale platforms.