Regardless of what type of online business strategy you have, most ecommerce brands actively look for new opportunities to scale their operations at one point or another. And why not? There are countless opportunities available for online brands to expand within local or international marketplaces while remaining profitable and increasing their brand awareness.
However, for many online business owners, the excitement of adopting a multichannel selling strategy is met with equal levels of hesitation regarding the process. Many may wonder, “how can I effectively manage all my product listings across so many different channels?”
At StoreAutomator, we've been helping brands establish their multichannel brand presence for over a decade now and know firsthand just how difficult it is for many to execute an optimal ecommerce strategy without the right tools and solutions. Years of working with brands in multiple market segments, onboarding thousands of skus with complex requirements, and navigating various marketplaces with diverse infrastructures has given us a unique insight into how to build an effective multichannel listing management strategy.
Below, we’ll outline a four-step guide to use when establishing your multichannel listings to increase your chances for success while growing your business.
Build Accurate Listings
When pursuing a multichannel listing and fulfillment strategy, it is absolutely essential that you work to build accurate listings across all channels. While this may seem like a straightforward process, the more channels you occupy, the easier it is to lose control over the quality of your listings.
Since every marketplace or ecommerce website has its own format for building and monitoring listings, you’ll want to ensure that you have a clearly documented process for bringing new product listings online. Most importantly, however, you’ll want to ensure that when listing the same product across multiple channels or marketplaces, there is no deviance between product details, UPC data, product sizing, shipping dimensions, or other relevant information.
Another extension of your listing accuracy across multiple channels is pricing. This can be a tricky one to get right, especially if you’re listing products in various countries and selling in their applicable currencies. This is also true when working with certain vendors who have specific expectations when working with online resellers.
Maintain Brand Consistency
Maintaining a consistent selling approach across multiple platforms and marketplaces builds trust and reliability in your brand.
Another critical part of effective multichannel listing management is establishing brand consistency. Before you begin establishing your brand across multiple marketplaces and ecommerce platforms, building a blueprint of how your products will be marketed and fulfilled is essential.
It’s important to note that successfully scaling your brand means much more than just listing your products in as many places as you can sell them. To make your multichannel approach a successful one, your overall brand experience needs to feel identical whether customers decide to buy your products directly from you on your website or within an online marketplace.
A practical way of creating consistency across channels is by keeping your sales and marketing teams and strategies in close alignment. Wherever possible, your product listings, brand messaging, advertisements, and pricing strategy should feel similar, if not identical, from one channel to the next. Consistency in product titles, listing details, colors, or sizing variants helps build more trust from customers trying to avoid purchasing goods from unauthorized sellers. Mirroring your listing builds across channels also makes it easier to plan and execute marketing campaigns for your products while gauging the individual effectiveness of each marketplace or platform you’re selling on.
Ensure High Standards During Order Fulfillment
Aside from the importance of creating accurate and consistent listings across all of your channels, another point of consideration is the standards set in place for order fulfillment processes. This can be a challenge for any business to execute well, as much of the success or failure can involve multiple parties. However, ensuring high standards during your order fulfillment process will have long-lasting impressions on how well each of your channels performs, as product reviews and seller ratings can play a significant impact on your revenue streams.
One way to ensure your order fulfillment standards are up to par is by investing in scalable inventory management solutions that help you monitor, track, and control your product levels across multiple channels. This helps to minimize inaccurate product listings and avoid costly long-term out-of-stock issues.
It’s also essential to have a well-documented process for managing incoming order streams across multiple sales outlets. Whether you’re handling fulfillment directly or working with a 3PL service to manage all pre- and post-fulfillment processes, any efforts to streamline your order-to-cash flows when implementing a multichannel strategy will significantly benefit your customers and the organization.
Focus on Business Automation
Accuracy, consistency, and quality control make up the foundation of effective multichannel listing management. However, as organizations begin to scale along with the number of products they require to market, managing these three necessary components can be challenging for many business owners. To minimize many of the time-disrupting elements associated with multichannel listing management, it’s essential that businesses shift their focus from manual and repetitive processes to utilizing the right tools and solutions to help automate these processes.
When it comes to automating and streamlining your multichannel listing management processes, solutions like StoreAutomator give you the flexibility and visibility you need to optimize all of your ecommerce listings all in one place. StoreAutomator removes the need to log into multiple listing platforms and manage your product listings independently. Rather, using syndicated product data connectors, intelligent order routing technology, automated repricing tools, and deep analytics reporting, businesses can manage all of their multichannel selling needs under one easy-to-use banner.
Utilizing multichannel business automation tools and technology allows organizations to successfully scale their operations without worrying about increased manual output or employee bandwidth constraints. This allows businesses to focus more on what’s important, their product quality, and the customers they serve.
Effective multichannel listing management means much more than selling your products in as many places as you can. To see a real ROI of your efforts, effective multichannel strategies strike a balance between accuracy, consistency, quality control, and adequate levels of business automation. By following this four-step recipe for success, you’ll be sure to execute a multichannel listing management strategy that brings real results.