In this guest post, Jonathan Tait, Head of Marketing at ecommerce platform provider Volo Commerce, explains the why savvy sellers are putting their eggs – and products – in more than one basket.
Multiply Channels and Revenues
Years ago, someone technical explained to me in layperson's terms how Google Grid search technology worked, and how it was so effective. 'Imagine,' she said, 'that you're looking for something you lost in your house. You could go into each room one by one looking for what you lost, until you found it. With Google Grid, you’re sending yourself into each room at the same time. It's way quicker.'
A very similar principle exists in online selling. If you have cool products on a great Magento or BigCommerce web store that’s beautifully designed, highly functional, and with great traffic, you'll probably do pretty well. But what if you could list the same physical products on other channels? You open up your inventory to new markets, some of them huge, with new customers to sell to. You multiply revenues by selling more stock more quickly in more places.
Increasing Productivity is the Key
So what’s the catch? Well, your manual processes are the catch. With every new channel you sell in you’ve an additional place where you need to deprecate stock, process orders and service customers. That’s tough to do on spreadsheets. The last thing you want to do is have to add a bunch of people to cope with the additional order volume. Then you’re treading water, only faster than you were before.
At Volo, our customers tell us that it’s the addition of a second channel that made them realise they need to look for technology and expertise to not only grow their revenues, but grow their productivity too. The more productively you can service your business, the more profitable your business becomes. This boils down to using software to automate the manual processes that bog you down. Our customers also find that our kind of technology saves them at least 2 full-time staff, manual staff they can redeploy to other more valuable areas of the business.
The Hidden Benefit of Multichannel
But going multichannel doesn't just multiply your revenues. There’s a rather big hidden benefit too. We call it 'resilience' and it's about reducing your risk and maximising your chances of success. If you sell on your website, and you also have a good business on Amazon and eBay as well, for example, you've got resilience. If you sell on just one channel, you don’t. You’re potentially one failure from disaster – be it a prolonged system downtime, or getting dumped off a channel for overselling – brought on by demanding customers voicing their anger digitally.
It’s better to have 3 channels doing about a third each of your business than one channel doing 70% or more. You’re more resilient, and you can better weather the storm if one your channels gets into trouble. That’s where we come in, providing you with a platform that allows you to centralise your multichannel operations, from receiving goods and listing them, through to delivering orders and re-ordering your best performing products. When you can smoothly add new channels to sell on, you can grow your sales, grow your profits, grow your resilience, and control your business in the face of risk and uncertainty.
Need a solid foundation for your business, both in technology and service? Talk to Volo Commerce for a free, no-obligation ecommerce consultation.