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Have you mastered the multi-channel path?

Are you maximising your sales opportunities?  Growth in online retail is fast outpacing bricks and mortar sales growth but the online space is becoming more crowded and successful online retailers need to expand their reach.  It is getting harder and harder for customers to find individual online stores.  The secret is to find a range of other avenues to drive traffic to your store.  One successful strategy is multi-channelling.

That old saying ‘Don’t put all your eggs into one basket’ has never been truer when it comes to embracing the path of multi-channel retailing. With people continually accessing information and making purchasing decisions through various channels, becoming a multi-channel retailer has never been more crucial for the success of your business.

The purpose of multi-channel retailing is to provide a marketing strategy that offers the consumer a number of ways to buy products and an effective multi-channel campaign should ideally cover purchases via the store, website, email marketing, telephone ordering, marketplaces and shopping comparison shopping feeds (just to give you some examples!).

Let’s face it, the simple fact is, consumers are looking to interact with retailers because they like to shop and are always on the hunt for the best bargain – why not offer them every avenue possible to receive information about your products and ultimately get your brand out there and noticed?

Some interesting statistics to consider:
1.     Did you know that 49% of Australian online consumers have researched goods in a physical store then made the decision to purchase them from an online store? [Telstra’s - How you can join the Omni Channel Shopper Report, Aug 2012].

2.     Search remains the most common starting point for those engaging in mobile shopping.  Research in the Nielsen/PayPal mobile study 2012 indicates that online 66% of shoppers are using mobile devices to start their online shopping experience.  This research also found that 29% were using apps, 24% were using facebook and 19% were using online ads.  Given the cost of customer acquisition using google ads you might want to reconsider your strategy.  Have you tried www.googleshopping.com yet?

3.     The NAB has released research showing that retail spending via the internet grew 26% to hit $12.3 billion in the year ending October 2012 [NAB Retail Sales Index, 2012]. Australian online retailers in particular have a short term advantage when it comes to taking on multi-channel retailing as there is so little competition in almost all categories within Australia, in comparison to other international regions. Becoming an innovator in the retail industry is what can ultimately set you apart for the competition so it is vital that more and more companies review their online strategies and look to implement new and innovative marketing strategies where possible.
Neto eCommerce Solutions is investing heavily in developing its multi-channel offering and we have recently launched our eBay List and Send module, www.neto.com.au/v/automate-ebay.
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