Here Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Multichannel Retailing
Multichannel retailing is all about selling through different channels both online and offline. For a business with a goal of becoming competitive, engaging this approach in your marketing affairs is a must. The technology advancement has come along with new ways that customers can use to buy products or services. Through this, it has balanced the playground for both large and small business to compete fairly.
Unlike in olden days, your ability to take your offers to the customers is the determiner of your profitability levels. Your ownership of brick and mortar or its site is no longer an issue. While multichannel retailing is a good idea, it has both its ups and downs. Here is an analysis of the advantages and disadvantage of employing multichannel e-commerce retailing:
Advantages of Multichannel retailing
–Freedom to choose where to shop
Customers love variety. Not only freedom of selecting products and services they will buy but also where to purchase it. Focusing on multichannel means that customers have an opportunity to decide where to buy goods. Is it by visiting your physical store, online shopping, through Amazon and eBay, or is it by mobile ordering or social media? Giving your customers a chance to decide their means of accessing your products enhances your sales.
As you know, customers are humans and have different moods. So, if their mood does not enable them to shop through one channel, they have a choice to use the other. In the end, you have minimal chances of losing sales.
–Opportunity to reach customers you could not have attracted in a single channel
Using other marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay offers you an opportunity to reach out to customers who could not have found their way to your store. This saves you from marketing hustles in trying to reach new markets. Hence, each channel enhances your customer base which solidifies your sales and turnovers.
Also, additional customers mean new selling opportunities. If your products are of high quality, you have an opportunity of retaining a long-term relationship with customers you could not reach in your single channel.
– Enhanced customer experience
Customer experience is a crucial player in making a purchase decision. Different customers look for varying experience. For instance, there are those who can only buy a product once they have had a one on one interaction with it. Others, need to shop at their home and office through mobile phones and PCs. Hence, the multichannel retailing approach enables you to serve each customer cluster with their delicious experience dish. This way, they leave with a smile which assures you of recurring sales.
Disadvantages of multichannel retailing
Even with all the above pros, this approach has several downsides. Here they are:
– Lower your control
By enrolling other selling channels, you forfeit your ability to control your brand messages. Online marketplaces engage affiliate marketers whose overall goal is to earn commissions. So, while your goal might be to offer quality and reliability to your customers, the marketers may categorize you under the same category with competitors whose selling agenda is discount and mouth-watering offers. Hence, in the end, you lose on sales even if you are offering superb quality products than competitors as you cannot control how they market your brand.
– Increased order fulfillment costs
Even though you will earn new sales, adding more channels comes with new costs. For instance, selling online means hiring shipping providers. Also, focusing on telemarketing will call for an increase in telephone expenses. Furthermore, you have to hire experts and install software to harmonize all your revenue generation streams. This is sometimes a hard tackle, especially for a small business.