Online Retailers Should Strongly Consider Multi-Channel Marketing

One of the main reasons why many online retailers embrace multi-channel marketing is that it gives them a larger customer base.

Multi-channel marketing concept image containing an upward arrow labeled new customers

If you concentrate your online selling on just one selling platform, you should seriously consider branching out to other online selling channels.  One of the main benefits is that it will increase the number of potential customers for your products.

Multi-Channel Marketing allows you to pick the best selling platform for each item you are selling.

Logos for Etsy, EBay, and Fulfillment by Amazon   

Certain products sell better on EBay while others sell better on Amazon.  Many times an item will sell for a higher price on Amazon versus EBay, and other times it is the other way around.  If you are selling handmade products, vintage goods, or crafting supplies, Etsy might be the best selling platform to use.  If you’re selling a used item, EBay is probably your best bet.

Selling on multiple selling channels decreases your vulnerability from having all your income coming from a single source. 

Image of Cody Hawk YouTube movie labeled Why So Many People Are Getting Kicked Off Amazon FBA

 

: Image of Dave Koziel YouTube movie that explains why he got kicked off EBay

 

Many online sells prefer multi-channel marketing because it diversifies their customer base.  EBay and Amazon have been known to ban sellers from their selling platforms for all kinds of reasons.  It’s not common, but it can, and does happen.  If it does, your online business can be closed down overnight, with little or no recourse.   In the end, it’s their selling platform.  They set the rules, and they decide who can sell and who cannot sell on their E-commerce site.

Another problem with selling on only one online selling platform is that it makes you very vulnerable to a site like EBay or Amazon suddenly making changes in their selling fees, shipping requirements, or the rules for selling on their site.  Always keep in mind that these E-commerce sites will always do what’s best for their business.  Keeping their sellers happy is important.  However, their profits and their customer’s interests will always come before yours.

Many online sellers sell goods on their own E-commerce site to cut their selling costs to earn higher profits.

An image of a scissors cutting cost illustrating lowering selling costs by selling items on your own E-commerce site  

Many professional sellers also sell items on their own E-commerce website.  When they do this, they can pocket the seller’s fees that EBay and Amazon charge for selling on their sites.  Another benefit is that they have more latitude on how their products are displayed.  They can also establish their own policies for selling, shipping and handling, and their own return policies without incurring negative ratings or being forced down in the search rankings.

Multi-channel marketing requires special tools to manage selling on multiple selling platforms.

One very popular multiple-channel selling tool is Sellbrite.

Reviews of this program are almost universally positive.  This software offers affordable flat-rate plans for integrating your online selling on EBay, Amazon, and Etsy.  Sellbrite also integrates with two of the most popular E-commerce store platforms, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.  Sellbrite offers a fourteen-day free trial so you can check out all their features.

Image of the Sellbrite homepage with a header “Sell More Than Ever Before” and a button labeled “Try It for Free”

 

You can easily import all of your existing listings to create your product catalog in Sellbrite.

With Sellbrite, you can import your existing listings from any connected sales channel such as EBay, Amazon or Etsy with a single mouse click.  This allows you to build your product catalog quickly.  Variations of your product catalog can then be rapidly created by creating duplicates of existing products and doing editing as needed.  Products can then be organized into product categories to make it easier to do product searches in the future.

Computer screen showing Sellbrite importing listings from a connected selling channel such as EBay or Amazon

 

Sellbrite allows you to view and manage all of your listings for multiple channels in their Easy Listing Manager. 

A Screenshot showing a seller’s Amazon product catalog on Sellbrite’s listing manager  

With this tool, you select a selling channel by pressing on the EBay icon, the Amazon icon, the Etsy icon or your E-commerce store icon on the left.

Area on Sellbrite for Connecting to a Sales Channel with logos of Amazon, EBay, Shopify, BigComerce, Etsy and Magento

Once you’ve selected a specific selling channel, you can create, edit, revise, list and relist listings individually or in bulk.  Channel-specific presets for things like shipping, pricing and return policies can be created to help streamline listing creation.  If you are an EBay seller, Sellbrite provides a template editor for creation of EBay listings.  In this editor, you can copy and paste custom listing HTML code to create a custom listing template.

Sellbrite offers a multichannel inventory management tool that tracks inventory across all of your online selling channels.

: A Screenshot showing Sellbrite’s inventory management tool

With Sellbrite’s inventory management tool you can set rules for every selling channel.  You can also set alerts when inventory is getting scarce or going over a preset limit.  Sellbrite updates inventory across all of your selling channels every fifteen minutes, 24/7.

Image from Sellbrite of the box where you set inventory rules for each selling channel

Sellbrite has tools for managing and fulfilling orders from all of your selling channels.

Sellbrite integrates with ShipStation, a favorite of many online sellers.  ShipStation works with all of the major shipping carriers including USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL.  If you use more than one carrier, ShipStation will always tell you which option is the least expensive.  When you subscribe to ShipStation, you get a free USPS postage account with super discounted USPS rates.  With ShipStation, you can also save up to 60% on shipping insurance costs.

An image of ShipStation’s homepage with title “Get Ship Done”

In the Orders tool section of Sellbrite, you can select new orders from all of your Sellbrite sales channel and batch print invoices and packing slips using your integrated subscription to ShipStation.

: Image from Sellbrite of the box where you order batch printing of your shipping labels

Inventory levels, tracking information and the order status are updated after you print your shipping labels.  Sellbrite automatically notifies the sales channel and the customer that you shipped the product.  In addition, they are provided with the shipping date, the carrier and the tracking information.

Image from Sellbrite of the box displaying shipping date, tracking number and carrier

One of Sellbrite’s most valuable features is its ability to generate a wide variety of reports and graphs from all of your selling channels.

With Sellbrite’s reports, you can monitor your overall selling performance, the performance of your selling channels and even more detailed reports about the selling performance of particular products on one or all of your selling channels.  You can also generate inventory reports.  If desired, data from your reports can be exported to your favorite spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.

A Screenshot showing a line graft of sales by time period  

Another tool for selling on multiple selling channels is Vendio.  

An image of Vendio’s home page with a title “Reach For New Heights” and a button labeled “Start Your Free Trial” 

Vendio is another multichannel selling tool for selling products on EBay, Amazon, and Facebook.  You can use Vendio to view your selling activity for all your selling channels on one dashboard.  Vendio also supplies templates for creating a cloud-based E-commerce store.

Please note that I have not personally used this program.   As a result, I am not going to give it a recommendation either way.   Reviews of Vendio range from it is awesome too that it sucks.  Vendio does offer a fifteen-day free trial.

The following is a more in-depth description of Vendio’s tools for selling on EBay and Amazon.

How Vendio supports EBay sellers:

Vendio provides many of the selling tools in EBay Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro.  In addition, they provide 200 professionally designed listing templates.  With this tool, you can also create a scrolling gallery of related items you sell in your EBay store on your EBay listings.  The following is a list of the features Vendio offers EBay sellers:

  • Inventory or date-based scheduled launches (no eBay scheduling fee)
  • Reusable eBay launch, policy and shipping profiles
  • Reusable profiles and automation for eBay second chance offers
  • Multiple eBay user ID support
  • Automatic eBay re-launch when an item sells with Buy-It-Now
  • eBay multi-variation creation
  • No transaction fees
  • Live listing reviser
  • Automated emails to bidders and buyers to view your other items and join your mailing list
  • Scrolling gallery to display your other items for sale
  • Shared inventory with Amazon
  • Over 200 professionally designed listing templates

 

How Vendio can be used to sell on Amazon:

The tools provided in Vendio also facilitate selling on Amazon.  The following are some of the features Vendio offers to Amazon sellers:

  • Amazon Seller Central (Professional Merchant) support
  • MWS Support (Amazon Marketplace Web Service)
  • ASIN support for finding the ASIN numbers that Amazon uses to create and manage their retail catalog.
  • Bulk match your products to the Amazon catalog using ASIN, UPC, ISBN, EAN, or title
  • Catalog support for product variations
  • Import existing Amazon products into Vendio
  • Amazon FBA Support
  • Shared inventory with EBay and your Vendio store
  • Amazon sales, profit, costs and tax reports with merchant-enabled automation and adjustments

In summary, there are strong reasons why online marketers should strongly consider multi-channel marketing.

Multi-channel marketing offers online sellers a larger customer base, more diverse choices for selling items online and more security than having just one online source of income.  Sellbrite currently appears to be the best multi-channel selling tool for creating, editing and managing listings, tracking and managing inventory, shipping and managing email communication.

 

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