Operating a multichannel ecommerce business can be challenging. Monitoring your listings, tracking sales data, and managing inventory for every channel demands quite a bit of effort, and each of these elements comes with unique challenges and frustrating circumstances. Creating product listings and managing inventory can be especially troublesome tasks without the right tools.
Despite these challenges, multichannel selling continues to thrive and shows no sign of slowing down. In 2020, multichannel online retailers brought in over $350 billion in the US alone. This year, that number is projected to reach $575 billion.
We want to help you overcome the challenges to reap the benefits of running a multichannel ecommerce business. Below you’ll find how the right tools help you streamline your listing and inventory management processes, making it easier for you to experience all the perks of multichannel selling without the frustration.
4 Common Challenges for Product Listings (and How to Overcome Them)
Multichannel sellers gain an advantage compared to those who sell on a single channel because they can list their products on various marketplaces and online stores. Instead of selling products only on Amazon, these companies spread their products across Walmart, eBay, and other sites.
The advantages of this are apparent. A broader reach will increase revenue more quickly, but managing those listings can only be possible with the right tech tools. We’ll outline four common challenges and explain how multichannel listing software can ease the burdens.
Managing Competitive Pricing for Each Channel
A competitive pricing strategy is vital to a successful ecommerce brand. Prices constantly change, so the idea of “setting and forgetting” the prices of products won’t work. Instead, sellers must follow market trends and competitors’ pricing to inform required adjustments.
Managing the pricing for each channel takes time and effort, but a tool like StoreAutomator simplifies the process by empowering brands to
- Manage and control your prices on three levels: inventory, channel, and item.
- Override product prices depending on the marketplace you sell
- Automatically convert and update currency for international channels
- Create rule-based repricing strategies that adjust to the needs of the marketplace.
Having Consistent Descriptions
Each product on each channel requires detailed descriptions. Consistency across these channels has become incredibly important for consumers, with 90% of customers preferring a consistent experience. Sellers will succeed more with contemporary shoppers with consistent branding and descriptions in every channel.
The consistent challenge is that each marketplace demands certain pieces of data within its product listings. As a result, online retailers must juggle the two worlds: what the consumer wants and what the marketplace requires.
StoreAutomator’s platform makes this process easier by enabling brands to create product description templates that accommodate the needs of various marketplaces. In addition, users can easily customize their templates and edit the descriptions, ensuring that every product listing has all the correct information for each channel while maintaining consistency.
Many multichannel sellers use the same inventory for multiple product listings, making it difficult to keep stock aligned with each product if each channel uses the same SKU.
StoreAutomator allows users to create alternate or alias SKUs to create multiple listings of the same inventory. The feature also empowers unique marketing opportunities where they sell the same product differently. In addition, it’s easy to edit listings to change images, descriptions, or SKUs, providing various ways to sell products on the same or separate marketplaces.
Monitoring Marketing Feeds
Selling is one of many operations that happens across multiple channels for online sellers. Marketing does, too.
Recent research shows that 95% of marketers surveyed know the value of multichannel marketing, yet only 14% of those companies run coordinated marketing efforts across all their channels. Something blocks them from implementing what they know they need.
One roadblock could be the need for easy-to-use technology that gives insight into marketing efforts and actionable data. Running multiple campaigns across multiple channels means that data can easily get disconnected. StoreAutomator enables users to customize and manage their marketing feeds to access their marketing data in a user-friendly platform.
4 Common Challenges for Inventory Management (and How to Overcome Them)
Inventory management is hard enough with a single store. It involves staying aware of sourcing, storing, and shipping processes. Even brands that use Amazon FBA or outsource logistics still need to keep an eye on their inventory.
Bringing in multiple channels creates more opportunities for confusion and chaos with your inventory. Poorly managed inventory can lead to excessive spending as over-or understocking dips into the bottom line. Online businesses need to monitor their inventory appropriately, but a few challenges can get in the way.
Keeping Accurate Counts
Inventory management keeps track of a seller’s products through the supply chain. Multichannel selling leans itself to unique complexities because of the various ways customers can purchase a product. Keeping items stocked is much more complicated when receiving orders through multiple channels.
The only way to manage the counts across various channels is by staying organized. Sales data needs to reach the warehouse for each channel and have a clear plan for documenting what they see.
Many multichannel sellers use order management tools like Extensiv to help keep their inventory organized. The platform brings all products, fulfillment centers, and sales channels into a single space, making it easy for teams to get the necessary insights across all channels. In addition, with advanced product tracking and inventory control automation that adjusts in real-time, sellers can always have an exact inventory count.
Time poses another challenge to inventory management, especially for growing companies. Smaller organizations may make large orders every so often and sell until it looks slim. Then they count by hand or do ad-hoc inventory checks. More successful operations can’t work like that. They need systems and resources that monitor stock levels and ensure nothing sells out or sticks around in the warehouse.
The extra efforts in that area can distract them from their primary goals and priorities. Most online business leaders want to avoid working in logistics. An OMS can free up the burden these sellers carry as it automates many of the tasks someone would have to otherwise do by hand.
Returns are one of the most frustrating parts of any ecommerce brand. Not only do you get the false hope of making a sale, but you are also stuck with bringing the product back into your inventory, refunding customers, and adjusting your stock count after the loss.
Doing this manually (which can take a toll on a business) is easy to avoid with an IMS. In addition, Extensiv simplifies the process for their users, automatically issuing refunds and adjusting the data accordingly with each return.
Keeping Inventory In-Motion
Inventory management is a balancing act between over and understocking. You never want to sell out of products because that means losing out on potential sales, but at the same time, you never want to overstock your products and waste money on the excess.
Clear, insightful data can help online businesses accomplish this balancing act. As you track inventory over time, patterns will emerge, making it easier for your team to predict what will happen and order accordingly. Extensiv’s detailed analytics help companies stay on top of each product’s performance, making it easy for them to make informed decisions confidently.
Integrating Platforms to Maximize Success
Listing products and managing inventory can become a hassle for any ecommerce brand. Both tasks are necessary for success but take up the company’s time, energy, and resources.
Tech solutions like StoreAutomator and Extensiv help companies streamline these processes and others with powerful customization, automation, and data collection. StoreAutomator multichannel listing software easily integrates with Extensiv and various other platforms to support you to succeed in the modern ecommerce market.