When we consider the most effective strategies for optimising an eCommerce business for sales, channel coverage is one of the 10 levers of eCommerce growth. Often this train of thought is followed by a list of marketplaces relevant to your business. This might be the big hitters like Amazon or eBay, or the more specialised examples suitable for your product categories, such as B&Q or Decathlon – though these fast-growing ‘specialist’ marketplaces are quickly expanding into many other categories. What can sometimes be overlooked in the conversation around channel coverage is your own online store.
Although relying on your online store as a single revenue stream is ill-advised, disregarding your online store as part of your growth strategy is like ignoring the store window of a physical shop.
It’s important to fully understand the capabilities of your online store as well as the advantages and challenges of successfully managing an eCommerce shop.
Consistently communicating brand values across all channels in a multichannel sales structure isn’t always easy. Online marketplaces sometimes require us to adapt our messaging in order to thrive in that specific environment.
Your online store accommodates strong brand messaging without the limitations of third-party sellers. Depending on the platform you use to design and build your store, this channel can act as a source of brand truth – enhancing customer recognition and solidifying brand identity.
The financial cut taken by marketplaces is likely to far outweigh the cost of owning an online store. However, it is worth noting that the ROI statistics provided by your CMS are only part of the story. To get a firm grasp on the true value of your online store, we’d recommend using the TCO (total cost of ownership) or CPO (cost per order) to understand your profit margin. Visualsoft’s article TCS vs CPO expands on this.
Your online store is a direct channel to your customers. Integrating pop-up forms is a great way of gathering data to communicate with your customers via email flows, campaign emails, and SMS marketing. Your online store can also be integrated with feedback apps such as feefo, allowing satisfied customers to communicate positive testimonials to potential customers.
Site maintenance is the biggest ongoing factor to consider when managing an online store. If you have the resources this work can be redistributed to an internal or external web development team. If you need to manage the store yourself, we advise frequently and systematically checking user experience, mobile optimisation, and integration.
As with all sales channels, platforms, or marketplaces, your online store’s integration with your operational processes is fundamental to business success. When all your sales channels are properly integrated, stock levels and pricing updates will be automated across all revenue streams.
Interested in optimising your sales channel integration? Get in touch to find out more about Volo Commerce.