5 Major Challenges of Multi-Channel Selling & Their Solutions
Selling on an online platform requires many efforts and a tip-top working strategy. The urge of the well-planned working strategy increases more when you sell on multiple platforms simultaneously. We have come across many multi-channel sellers who have been kept engrossed in managing their multiple accounts, sales and orders, inventory and restocking, returns and refunds and the list is long but yet not satisfied with the results.
We all know that multi-channel selling is advantageous for the sellers to make money from the online but talking practically when you sell online on different channels, there comes many hurdles distracting you from achieving the targeted ROI in the business.
We are listing 4 major multi-channel challenges those perplex the online sellers all the time. Along with the challenges we are giving the solutions to face them and become the strong seller who can efficiently manage their multi-channel and reach the top position in the online market.
1. Branding on every channel simultaneously
When you sell on a single platform like exclusively on Amazon, you can invest your every single minute on focussing the sales and orders, marketing and promoting the products of Amazon account which definitely result in higher sales but when you deal with multiple channels, managing all channels becomes difficult. You need to promote the products on every channel like eBay, Etsy, Walmart etc. along with Amazon so that every user can know about your products and items. Since every platform differs in their guidelines, the overall task of branding and promoting becomes cumbersome to manage at the same time. The set conditions for uploading product images, videos can be different from Etsy, Walmart and other places which can affect the display of the product and might repel the customers to buy them.
2. Overstocking & Overselling Inventory
Inventory management is the main challenge when you sell on multi-channels. Since every channel has its buyers, anyone can click on the products you are selling, so a proper inventory management is needed for every channel but it is quite tough. Sometimes sellers run through overstocking which make them pay to the warehouses or sometimes they run out of stock thus making the sales limited. Also, overselling can be seen when you could not manage all channel accounts. To know in detail about the Inventory management on different platforms, read our comprehensive blog on How to maintain Inventory and Stocks on different Platforms.
Another major issue that multi-channel sellers face is managing the shipping and returns. For different channels, the shipping and returns and refunds policies are different which add more hassles to the ecommerce owners. For instance, Amazon allows MFN, FBA or SWA for shipping and manages the orders on behalf of Amazon sellers when they opt for FBA but has a different policy for MFN. Similarly, every channel complies its sellers to follow its guidelines, this makes the sellers handle their shipping orders and more difficult when they have bulk orders from every platform simultaneously. To provide the timely shipping of the orders is tedious when you sell on multiple channels and marketplaces.
4. Returns & Refunds
Returns and refunds give the goosebumps to the sellers already and imagine when it is from every channel, then, it will shake the sellers totally and makes it difficult for handling. Having returns and refunds affect the seller’s loyalty and trust and also result in decreasing the sales rate. If it is not properly handled, it affects the brand reputation, future sales and might distract other customers too while they make the buying decisions from your store. Know: How returns and refunds take place on Amazon.
5. Customer Support & Experience
Ultimately, customers are king and whatever you are doing, that is for them only. Handling every customer and supporting them while they visit your store is crucial and if you fail in proper assistance the customers can immediately leave you. When you sell on different platforms like Amazon, Walmart, Shopify, Etsy, eBay etc. handling every customer becomes a tough job. A single negative comment, disappointing feedback or low star rating affects the seller’s reputation and might mislead other customers from making purchases.
How to overcome the challenges?
To ensure that you’re painting the right picture on all the channels you use to sell products, keep these 11 tips in mind:
- Make an individual catalogue of the products you are selling based on the set criteria of every channel.
- Save the product description in google sheet, DropBox folder and on your server storage.
- To be escaped from overselling, out of stock or overstocking, inventory forecasting should always be done.
- For efficient inventory management, working with inventory management software.
- To avoid shipping issues, hire the best shipping partner or channel shipment services as FBA on Amazon.
- Check all the fulfilment options and ensure the timely shipping and delivery.
- Comply every platform guidelines and work according to it to avoid any type of issue.
- Work with proper pricing and repricing strategy on every platform to retain and attract the customers.
- Listen to your customers and work according to their reviews and feedbacks.
- Amazon and Shopify has integrated with one another that allows the easy synchronisation of accounts. Similarly, synchronising all your accounts of every platform will make your task easier.
- Hiring the third party service provider will be a wise step who can manage all the sales from every channel and update you on the inventory restocking or clearing.
Multi-channel selling has brought a lot of opportunities for the retailer and many sellers are adopting this new trend but amid selling when they feel any issue, most of them could not handle it and deprive themselves of reaping the benefits of the multi-channel selling. Selling on every online platform requires many efforts and a tip-top working strategy. To be the best seller in ecommerce, you must be prepared for all the challenges in omnichannel selling and must have the plan B for your sale strategy. Scale every operation of the business and earn money from every platform.