Did you know that 95% of mid-sized UK sellers are now selling on marketplaces?
Whatever you’re planning to achieve in the next year in your ecommerce business, sufficient channel coverage should be one of them. Although you might be on one channel already, there are many others where you could be placing your efforts. The idea is to diversify and add complexity to your business, but starting up on another channel doesn’t come without its challenges. Below are some top tips on how to move onto that all-important second channel.
Tip #1 Do your research
You can’t just decide overnight which channel you want to try out. Businesses that are successful on many channels or marketplaces know how to optimise their listings on marketplaces, what its policies are, its rules, how categories are structured etc. Do you know how the site’s search capability work? How is information from search enquiries presented back to the buyer? From this, you can then work out how to structure your data based on how the channel works.
Tip #2 Build your Brand and adding resilience
Starting on a new channel is the perfect opportunity to build your brand. Some marketplaces allow you to re market to repeat customers. You can send them a promotion or deal once they’ve bought from you so they’ll go back to your website to shop again.
Another way of building up your brand on marketplaces and ultimately making a name for your business is giving great customer service. You need to have all your customer communications into one place so it’s easier to manage. Why not answer FAQs with pre-written, automated messages, which can save time and effort.
As a business owner, you’ll know that adding resilience is essential for success. In the event of there being a major problem on one channel, it’s best that your products are spread across multiple marketplaces to lessen the risk.
Tip #3 Managing more stock
You shouldn’t have a separate inventory for each channel you are on. The best way to overcome this is by using a single inventory pool where all your stock updates are pushed out automatically (the Volo system allows you to do this). You will then be able to sell your items on different channels and make sure your stock and orders are replaced.
Tip #4 Data is king
Your business will perform better when you have organised data, it’s as simple as that. An organised approach is the way forward so use rules to restructure all the product information you have. For instance, you don’t want to have to individually deal with each bit of product information on several, very different marketplaces.
What Volo customers say
Volo has helped customers grow their business sustainably, and many have said that channel coverage is an important part of growing their revenues. Below are just some of the things they have to say….
“We’ve always relied on a smart system to automatically link up orders with stock, across different online marketplaces. Because we’ve always relied on automation, we often wonder who would have a stock system that’s not automated. It’s not something I want to contemplate, but if we didn’t have Volo I’d have to add 30-40% to my staff of 12, so 4 or 5 people.”
The Green Spark Plug Company
“It’s hard to single out one thing about the platform because it does so much. We can list many thousands of items easily and quickly, which is really important in our business with there being so many variations. I really like the fact that we can centrally control the stock, automate our purchase orders to suppliers, deal with customer service queries in one place, that kind of thing.”
The Big Printer Company
“The Volo system allows us to run cross-platform and cross-border. Without it there’s no way we could manage all these instances of our product set, a lot of which are drop ship. We couldn’t do it. We get a lot of learning and direction from working with the Volo team. They really help us as a small business. It seems like every time we talk we get another idea for how we can improve our business processes.”