If you’ve been selling products via a retail store for any length of time, you’ve probably heard sales and marketing experts recommend diversifying your sales strategy with a multichannel approach. This term — “multichannel sales strategy” — simply refers to selling your products in other places besides a brick-and-mortar storefront or ecommerce website. When you sell across multiple channels — online, offline, and anywhere in between — you’re offering multiple touch points for customers to interact with your brand.
In addition to having your own physical and ecommerce store, there are several types of online marketplaces and sales platforms where you can sell your products to people who otherwise might not find you.
But not every channel is a good fit for every business; for instance, to provide a streamlined customer experience, many of these marketplaces will prioritize their own branding. That can be difficult if your strategy relies heavily on having a recognizable brand. And many online sales channels take out fees for product listings and/or sales commissions.
But the benefits of featuring your products on these websites can certainly outweigh any downsides, especially if your goal is to sell a high volume of products or cater to a niche audience. These product marketplaces (such as eBay, Etsy, and Amazon) are designed to make the process easy for the sellers and buyers alike with minimal technical knowledge required and built-in marketing to a large database of existing customers.
And while there are a variety of options for merchants to choose from, not every marketplace or channel is right for everyone. But here’s how you can narrow your focus to the right channels for you and your retail business.