And, of course, it is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we do business. The real secret, though, is that most businesses should be using e-commerce to improve their customer retention.
If you haven’t explored it, multichannel e-commerce may be anxiety-provoking. However, business owners can follow some simple practices that will lead them down the right path toward making e-commerce a core part of how they do business. If you’re looking to integrate multichannel e-commerce into your core business plan, or just trying to learn more about it before taking the leap, take note of our 3 ways to get started with multichannel e-commerce, below.
Way #1 to Get Started With Multichannel E-commerce: Establish a Third-Party Storefront
Large online retailers like Amazon.com, Ebay, Walmart, and Etsy welcome business owners (from solo entrepreneurs to leaders of international corporations) to sell products and services on their websites. For business owners who are new to e-commerce, there are numerous advantages to setting up shops on these platforms. The most obvious advantage is that these third-party websites are established in e-commerce and draw a lot of traffic. Also, these companies rely on business owners setting up storefronts on their websites as part of their core business models; they each have relatively easy ways to onboard businesses into their e-commerce structure.
Of course, setting up a storefront on any of these third-party websites is not free. Business owners who use third-party websites must pay these websites as part of doing business, whether it be subscription fees, referral fees, listing fees, closing fees, or the like.
Additionally, there is no guarantee that a business will make a profit from being on a third-party website. With an increasing number of businesses selling on third-party websites, some businesses prosper while others fail to gain traction. For business owners, it is worth evaluating the benefits and costs of having a storefront on a third-party website, as well as having a sound strategy for optimizing their ecommerce storefront.
Way #2 to Get Started With Multichannel E-commerce: Build Your Own Storefront
It is increasingly common for businesses to have their own website. However, business websites often serve as online billboards that advertise physical locations. Relatively few business websites have built-in ecommerce. For some, the prospect of managing online transactions on their own can seem daunting. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions for websites that business owners can take advantage of when creating ecommerce on their websites.
For example, business owners who have a WordPress website can easily integrate WooCommerce, an open-source e-commerce platform, into their website. Although WooCommerce (when using premium features) can cost more than other e-commerce platforms that integrate into templated websites (like Shopify and Wix), it is much more customizable.
Business owners can also take a more traditional approach to e-commerce by listing products and services on their own website (allowing for a shop cart feature) and redirecting final checkout to a third-party payment website (such as Paypal). Although Paypal is a trusted vendor, there are fees (transaction and flat) per cost of the transaction. Additionally, customers must also be comfortable with two different business vendors having access to their personal information when they use Paypal to pay a third-party business. Though there are costs to integrating e-commerce into custom websites, business owners build their online appeal by taking more control over their e-commerce.
Way #3 to Get Started With Multichannel E-commerce: Drive Leads With Social Media
Business owners should not overlook using social media for e-commerce. However, businesses should be strategic in choosing social media platforms: different social media platforms attract different consumer groups. For example, Snapchat is currently a great platform for engaging teens and young adults. If targeting middle-aged adults and seniors, business owners are better off creating an online presence on Facebook. When considering selling to other businesses, LinkedIn should be a top choice. These varied platforms also often require platform-specific means of advertising. Especially if business owners are invested in DIY advertising on these platforms to decrease costs, they need to be well-versed in how to create effective advertising on these platforms to generate interest, cultivate leads, and drive traffic to their e-commerce websites.
Or Give Our All-in-One Solution a Try
Do you need help in crafting a multichannel e-commerce strategy for your business? Do you lack the time or human resources to make multichannel e-commerce a reality for your business? Are you simply bewildered by all the requirements?
Contact us through the link below to talk about our all-in-one multichannel e-commerce solution.