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The trick to multiplying your sales with multichannel selling

how to create a multichannel selling strategy

These days, it’s not enough to be selling on one channel.

As buyers hop from channel to channel, it’s nearly a prerequisite for your brand to adopt a multichannel retail strategy to stay competitive. After all, think about the last time you shopped. Chances are you didn’t simply waltz into a store and pick up the first t-shirt that you saw.

No, you probably sifted through multiple racks. Then went home and fired up your computer to see what other deals were available online. Or perhaps you were scrolling through Instagram, only to be stopped in your tracks by an ad for a stylish brand that you’ve never even heard of before.

Your customers today are inundated by ads and products everywhere they turn. Your brand must meet them where they shop, while remaining strategic about where you sell.

In this guide, you'll find:

What is multichannel selling?

Multichannel selling is when you list your products on more than one sales channel at a time. A multichannel selling approach lets you tap into the existing customer bases of other platforms and online selling sites, growing your reach and sales.

A strong multichannel strategy doesn’t simply rely on a spray-and-pray approach. Rather, it leverages a select mix of channels, based on who’s shopping on each channel, customer expectations or assumptions, and the overall competitive landscape.

For this reason, multichannel retailing requires a deep understanding of your target buyers and thorough investigation into the channels you’re looking to test.

Where should you sell?

With all that in mind, here are several main types of sales channels worth considering.

Your online store

An eCommerce website legitimizes your brand by offering real estate that’s entirely controlled by you. Your site should be mobile-friendly, fast-loading, and carefully branded. It should act as a space where customers can learn all about your brand, browse your latest products, and complete a purchase with ease.

It's also a hub that lets you collect customer contact information, promote special events or deals, and build loyalty—several things that are much more difficult to do on a third-party platform.

Online marketplaces

Online marketplaces include many of the sites that we’re all familiar with. They’re often one of the first places people look when researching products or are looking for alternatives to higher-end (read: pricey) brands. Selling on these channels gives you instant access to a large audience of shoppers, so long as you abide by each channel’s regulations and are able to differentiate your products from the competition.

beauty products listed across Amazon and Facebook

Here are several of today’s most popular marketplaces, though the list goes far beyond these.

  • Amazon - With roughly 310 million customers worldwide—nearly a third of whom are loyal Prime members—Amazon remains the largest online retailer in the U.S. This also means that it’s one of the most competitive channels to sell on, so it’s important to learn the ins and outs of selling on Amazon before jumping in. (Read also: Amazon seller fees you need to know about.)

  • Walmart Marketplace - The retail behemoth allows third-party sellers to list their items alongside Walmart-exclusive merchandise, just like you would on Amazon or eBay. currently flaunts 120 million monthly visitors, and manages a relatively strict application process for new sellers.

  • eBay - eBay boasts over 138 million active buyers worldwide and more than 18 million active sellers, including big names like Adidas and Bose. Selling on eBay is a particularly good option if you offer niche products like vintage items or collectibles, and it helps that the cost to sell on eBay is not as steep as others.

  • Google - Google is not just a search engine; it's also a key player in your multichannel sales approach. Google Shopping accounts for 36% of product discovery online, with 1.2 billion monthly searches on the platform. You can get started by learning more about how to sell on Google.

  • Etsy - Etsy currently has more than 95 million active buyers and 7.7 million active sellers. Now a household name, Etsy continues to be a go-to sales channel for merchants who excel in the DIY space (read: how to sell on Etsy). However, there are other Etsy alternatives worth entertaining, especially if Etsy fees start to rack up.

  • Wish - Wish’s mobile-first marketplaces boast more than 100 million monthly active users across more than 60 countries. Wish is also a discovery-based platform where over 70% of transactions take place without a search, VP of Product Mauricio Monico told Wix. Not to mention, the platform has a special appeal to small- and mid-sized sellers who are looking to reach value-conscious shoppers. Learn more about how to sell on Wish.

Social media

Platforms like Instagram, Facebook (see our guide on how to sell on Facebook Marketplace), and TikTok are growing in popularity—not only as social platforms, but also as sales channels in their own right.

Think: Instagram Shopping, which enables customers to purchase products without ever leaving the app (see our guide on how to sell on Instagram). These social commerce features are a powerful complement to existing selling capabilities, such as being able tag products in your Instagram posts and drive people to your site.

The beauty of social media is that you’re engaging customers on the channels they visit every day. While some users may not be looking to make a purchase right away, participating on these channels can keep your brand top of mind.

Search engines

Search engines offer a plethora of organic and paid opportunities—such as Bing Shopping, Google Shopping, and Google Ads—to draw attention to your products.

Unlike traditional SEO strategies, the latter two are managed through the Google Merchant Center, where you can upload your product feeds and select which Google properties (including selling on YouTube, Gmail and Google-owned apps) to feature your products on. If you're a Wix user, you can create a GMC account directly from your site’s dashboard, then use the built-in Google Merchant Solutions connector to sync listings with the products in your online store.

Participating in these programs will allow you to showcase your products more prominently as shoppable posts. Search engines will then drive users to your site to complete a purchase, supporting each stage of the buyer journey.

Physical (aka brick-and-mortar) stores

Physical retail is far from dead. More accurately, it’s changing.

Nowadays, many DTC brands are adopting clicks-to-bricks approaches, using physical stores as showrooms if not fully stocked stores. As you list your products to multiple online channels, it’s worth considering how to better integrate any store locations with online experiences, moving towards a true omnichannel retail experience.

Rather than treating each channel as separate avenues, think about how they all play together, and how your customers are likely moving fluidly from one to the other.

Top benefits of a multichannel retail strategy

While increased sales opportunities is the most obvious benefit of multichannel retail, it is far from the only one. Other benefits include:

  • New customers. Every shopper is different. Some prefer to go straight to the source, while others may search for the best price across multiple channels. Adding more ways for people to buy from you only makes sense to reach the maximum amount of potential customers.

  • A competitive advantage. If you’re not on a sales channel that your competitor is on, you obviously lose out on a sale, but worst of all, you run the risk of the competition completely dominating the mind share of your target audience. This means, you automatically lose out on even the potential of a sale in the future, as customers will never think of buying from you when in product-search mode.

  • ‘Free’ marketing. Joining an online marketplace gives you the advantage of that marketplace’s marketing efforts and technology. For example, the attention driven by Amazon’s Prime Day gets your brand in front of millions of potential buyers who may buy from you that day and even in the future through your own website.

  • Increased brand recognition. The more places you are, the more people come to recognize your brand. This in turn builds trust and increases the likelihood of a future sale.

  • Reduced risk. Many eCommerce merchants tend to over-rely on one particular sales channel, especially if they’ve seen pronounced results from it. But the eCommerce industry is dogged by many carpet-pulls, leaving merchants in the lurch when a channel changes drastically due to internal or external forces. A multichannel approach helps mitigate channel risk.

Top challenges of multichannel selling

But for all of its advantages, multichannel selling still comes with its own challenges. Those include:

  • Deciding where to sell. It’s all too easy to stretch yourself thin across too many channels at once. To avoid becoming overwhelmed or wasting your time on channels that don’t attract the right audience, you’ll need to be intentional about where you sell.

  • Maintaining consistency. The more channels you add, the more complicated it gets to keep your product details (e.g., prices, titles, descriptions, pictures, branding) in order. You must establish one source of truth for your product data and a system for implementing any changes across every channel.

  • Remaining compliant. Each third-party marketplace has its own way of doing things. Be it the way it categorizes its products or how it evaluates seller performance, each has its own requirements for merchants on its platform. You therefore need to familiarize yourself with marketplace regulations, alongside any policy changes (no matter how suddenly they crop up) to retain your selling privileges.

  • Multichannel fulfillment. Beyond catering to various shipping expectations, you’ll need to consider which fulfillment method makes most sense in terms of speed, cost, and competitiveness. For example, nearly 90% of Amazon sellers use Amazon FBA—at least in part— for fulfillment because it gives them a competitive edge (read: the coveted “Prime” status).

  • Inventory management. Poor inventory management can lead to out-of-stock items or overselling—two things that can damage customer trust in your brand. To avoid inaccuracies, especially as orders stream in for the same product on multiple channels, you’ll need to develop an inventory management system that’s able to keep up with orders and inventory movement 24/7.

6 survival tips for multichannel sellers

In short, multichannel retailing is a proven way to boost sales, but it takes the right strategy to avoid inefficiencies and costly errors. The below tips can help you to get started the right way.

01. Evaluate your channels carefully

Avoid falling victim to “shiny object” syndrome and blindly selling on channels just because they’re popular. This spray-and-pray approach often leads to massive disappointment and causes many sellers to prematurely rule out channels as failed platforms.

Instead, do your research and focus on the channels that make the most sense for your business. Look at important factors, such as:

  • Target buyers

  • Top-selling products

  • Average price points

  • Seller services and/or features

  • Reviews from other sellers

  • Fees and commissions

  • Taxonomies

  • Ranking algorithms

  • Listing policies

  • Pricing policies

  • Payment options

  • Customer service policies

  • Returns policies

While there will always be a learning curve, it’s well worth it to take the time upfront in researching and learning how each platform operates.

product listings across eBay, Amazon, and Instagram

02. Automate repetitive tasks

When you’ve got products listed in multiple places, it quickly becomes impractical to manage each channel by hand. From creating your listings to updating available quantities—there are many tedious tasks that can be done faster and more accurately with automation.

Wix’s multichannel features, for instance, include listing, inventory, pricing, and order management tools. You can save yourself from hours of manual data entry by importing your Wix catalog to new channels. Or, you can manage shipping policies and promotions on a channel-by-channel basis. Moreover, as sales start coming in, you can rest assured that channels will be updated with the right inventory counts automatically.

Save your energy for more strategic tasks; leave the redundant ones for Wix to manage.

03. Optimize for mobile shoppers

Mobile commerce (aka mCommerce) is projected to account for nearly 42% of all eCommerce traffic by 2024. But this reality is already palpable on channels like social media or Wish, where most users are entering from their mobile devices.

For this reason, it benefits you to audit the mobile experience of your eCommerce site, ensuring that any mobile visitors can seamlessly navigate your store. From Wix, simply go to your Editor and toggle the icon in the upper-left corner to see (and customize) your mobile storefront. All in all, you’ll want to make sure that the mobile experience:

  • Is fast-loading

  • Includes text, images, and buttons sized appropriately for small screens

  • Has a clean, easy-to-use navigation menu

  • Offers mobile payment options like Apple Pay and PayPal

  • Is free of clutter on every page

04. Make sure that your product details are consistent

Inconsistent pricing, outdated information or pictures, and expired offers can sideline a sale—or worse, turn customers away from your brand completely.

To prevent this, establish a central database for storing and updating your product data. For example, you can use Wix to create your product listings. From there, you can choose to sync your listings to other sales channels, and customize certain details by platform.

You’ll want to ensure that everyone on your team knows to check this database for the most up-to-date product information. Your database should also be synced with your in-store POS systems so that everyone from your eCommerce team to your in-person sales team is kept up to speed.

05. Practice price parity

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to make sure that your pricing is consistent across channels. It’s not uncommon for marketplaces to “ding” your account if it finds that your product can be bought at a much lower price elsewhere on the internet.

That said, you can always reserve certain products for certain channels, and tailor your pricing that way. In other words, you could sell your latest or premium products via your online store, while reserving overstock items or last year’s models for marketplaces like eBay. This gives you more flexibility in terms of pricing.

06. Protect your brand identity

When you sell on a third-party platform, you inherently lose some control over how you brand and display your products. However, there are still steps you can take to drive brand awareness while playing by each channel’s rules.

For starters, create detailed product descriptions that demonstrate your brand’s personality, quality standards, values, and other differentiators. Avoid copying and pasting the same description to each channel, and tailor your copy to each unique audience.

Another idea: provide strong, memorable product images. Make sure any product labels are easy to read. Take photos of your product at every angle, as well as lifestyle photos that illustrate the intended use and mood you’re looking to create.

Perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to provide the best customer experience possible. Often the best way to build connections on any channel is by showing that you care and will follow through on your promises (e.g., ship times, product quality, etc.). So, you’ll want to be extra mindful of responding to user queries quickly and thoroughly, no matter which channel they come in from. Handle complaints and/or return requests sensitively too, understanding that even negative first impressions can be turned into positive experiences.

Embrace multichannel retail with Wix

A successful multichannel retailing strategy can bear lots of fruit for your business. Just make sure to do your research, choose your channels wisely, and automate what you can.

Wix Store owners can seamlessly manage multiple channels from their Wix dashboard including selling on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and more. Simplify and streamline the process so that all you need to worry about is making more sales. Get started with Wix for eCommerce today.

Bogar Alonso headshot

Bogar Alonso

Head of Outbound Marketing, Wix eCommerce

Bogar leads thought leadership and outbound marketing for Wix eCommerce. He has an extremely soft spot for all things eCommerce, retail, tech, content, and marketing.

Allison Lee headshot

Allison Lee

Editor, Wix eCommerce

Allison is the editor for the Wix eCommerce blog, with several years of experience reporting on eCommerce news, strategies, and founder stories.

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