Traditional forms of multi-channel listings have historically included the promotion of products or services in catalogs, brick-and-mortar stores, and print media. Now, as e-commerce adoption rates are growing globally, online channels are ideal for brands seeking to list their products to reach new demographics and increase sales. However, merchants that offer their products using a single or small selection of channels will often only reach a small percentage of their potential market.
Selling across a multitude of channels online is an excellent method for increasing reach, exposing the brand to new customers, and with a combination of other tools like fast-shipping and easy returns can significantly boost sales. Still, managing the process can quickly become
time-intensive involving duplicating listings, product descriptions, images, and more. Because of this, multi-channel listing tools are becoming increasingly essential for brands seeking to take control and manage their digital presence more efficiently. They can also help companies gain exposure to larger audiences and provide the potential to convert customers that would otherwise not know about their products.
Multiple Channels are Key to Engaging with Customers
As long as presentation and consistency are maintained, selling across multiple channels can help brands earn more. According to Sellbrite, merchants selling on three or more channels will typically sell 156% more than single-channel sellers. An effective multi-channel strategy means that brands can use each channel to engage with customers more frequently and provide a unified, seamless experience. With the assistance of multi-channel selling tools, sellers can create a positive shopping experience for customers more easily, with inventory, order details, and data all stored in one central system helping to identify and refine deficiencies over time.
The Importance of Multi-channel Listing Tools
Most buyers will undertake complex customer journeys spanning multiple devices, sessions and websites before a final purchase is made. Ask yourself, is your brand present on the preferred shopping channels for your target customer? If so, is the brand experience consistency maintained across each touchpoint? A recent study by BRP Consulting has discovered that 87% of customer desire a consistent experience across all shopping channels. Sellers that list products across different channels with the support of tools can tailor their content to retain its consistency and focus on the product’s unique selling points, use cases, and pricing. Maintaining a consistent style with images, product descriptions, features, and policies will signify trust and accuracy to customers with every interaction.
Online shoppers will often develop a preference toward something that they are repeatedly exposed to, a process commonly known as the mere exposure effect. Listing tools help to create identical listings across all sales channels, enabling brands to ensure that the information consistency is retained, while also creating the opportunity to tweak content to suit the format and parameters best-fitting to each channel. Through automating the process, listing tools can also help to reduce the time spent crafting each listing and minimize mistakes, especially with tasks that require manual duplication that can be error prone. Many listing tools will also offer advanced capabilities to integrate with operations through features like assistance with shipping labels, and stock tracking and management with options to route orders to specific warehouses based on channel or stock levels.
Online sellers should also be aware that the consistency of the purchase experience across customer touchpoints is heavily connected with other aspects of operations like inventory management and fulfillment systems. If the systems implemented are unable to communicate quickly or effectively enough that will affect other parts of the customer journey.
Best Features to Seek in a Listing Tool
The selection of available tools to support e-commerce merchants’ listings management has grown exponentially in recent years, with a variety of features and prices to match budget and business requirements. What each business will need from a listing tool will vary, however, our team has outlined some of the essential features to look out for when establishing your multichannel selection of tools.
Functionality of integration
Scaling your online business can be challenging without the right support. With the number of customers shopping on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and OnBuy constantly growing, it’s crucial to consider whether your tools support a variety of channels. Merchants that opt to use software that is not compatible with the right channels will have more difficulties long-term and may even be forced to switch systems.
Order and fulfillment capabilities
When dealing with multiple marketplaces or territories, managing product inventory can become difficult. Overselling will often frustrate your customers, damage brand reputation, and is generally considered poor customer service. Buyer feedback is heavily influential for marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and both have strict guidelines that can penalize brands who do not adhere to their policies regarding overselling, often resulting in lower win rates on the Amazon Buy Box or lower listing ranking within eBay search.
As order demand and storage capacity requirements grow, products may have to be stored in multiple locations and use a variety of couriers to be delivered to customers. Consider searching for listing tools that offer options such as assistance with shipping labels, and stock tracking and management with options to route orders to specific warehouses based on channel or stock levels.
Having access to features like live editing, historic listing changes, and quick replacement options can greatly help with time management, especially when dealing with an extensive product catalog, or working with listings that may have a variety of color, size, or material options grouped under one listing. Such features can help to update product descriptions, correct errors, and tailor listings for full channel optimization.
ASIN support for Amazon listings
Merchants that are already selling on Amazon will be aware that each product is assigned an Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) so that it can be easily identified on the marketplace. For sellers that offer products with different variations or sell bundled items, it is essential to source a listing tool that allows listing products by ASIN. This will enable you to pull all the necessary information from the existing listings to create and edit new listings even quicker.
Take Your Listings to the Next Level
Although a multi-channel listing tool can help with increasing listing efficiency, it will not impact its ability to increase sales or convert customers. Always consider whether each of your listings is SEO optimized with correctly identified high-volume keywords sourced by a research tool and embedded in the title, description, and metadata. Feedback can be a great contributor to building customer trust and loyalty and should be incentivized through prompt customer service and fast shipping.
Ask yourself whether each listing is visually appealing. Images, videos and graphics are processed much faster and can trigger stronger emotional reactions with customers. Including a variety of visuals alongside each product will help customers gain a more in-depth understanding of each item. Competitive pricing and fast shipping can be some of the top motivators for purchasing, and whether your products provide sufficient value to the customer will affect conversion rates.
Integrate and Automate with Listing Tools
Selling on multiple channels can be beneficial for brands but expanding to new channels can hinder growth and create costs without a management system. Outdated listings, order delays, or unresolved custom queries will damage brand reputation and contribute to lower rankings. Using multi-channel listing tools will enable you to manage orders, payments, inventory, and customer support at a faster rate with greater accuracy, thereby allowing brand owners to focus on growing their business rather than the manual daily tasks. When selecting your tools, remember to consider how your plans and potential business growth will impact the day-to-day requirements and whether your systems are built to scale alongside your business.