It's the new year, everyone's eaten all the pies and taking down the decorations. So, what's next? Well, January is a great time to revisit the idea of multi-channel ecommerce. For online retailers, whose focus used to be developing and maintaining one ecommerce store, the shift has moved.While working on search engine positions with search engine optimisation (SEO) campaigns is a great way to generate traffic, there are many other avenues or 'channels' that online retailers should make the most of. These include direct traffic, pay-per-click (PPC), online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon and Play, as well as driving traffic through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.But what should you consider when taking on multi-channel ecommerce? Here are 5 tips to get you started...1. Make sure you have a consistent brand across all of your channelsThe shopping experience for your customers should be as seamless as possible, so for example making sure the same voice is used throughout any content, product descriptions, email campaigns etc.2. Avoid confusing customers with varying processesBuying from your company no matter the channel should be as clear as possible, so keeping legalities such as your terms and conditions universal will save confusion. Making sure customer enquiries are dealt with in the same manner across all channels. Offering the same delivery options.3. Remember everyone has different shopping habitsTo make the most out of your multi-channel ecommerce, and to reach the widest audience sell your products everywhere. Many people have their favourite sites to buy from so if they don't see your product there the liklihood is that they will buy from one of your competitors.4. Aim for repeat businessAttracting customers in the first instance is key, however once you've earn a sale turn that one sale into 2, 3, or 10. Repeat business is the most profitable kind of business so try not to put all your efforts into gaining new customers. By making sure you have great customer service, not only will you receive positive feedback, you'll get a customer for life, and they may recommend you to others looking for your products.5. Keep on top of your stock levels and inventory managementBy increasing the number of sales channels it's increasingly important to make sure your stock levels are accurate across the board. If a channel says that the item is in stock, but in the mean time the item has been sold on another channel you can quite easily end up with unhappy customers and negative feedback.If you're already utilising multi-channel ecommerce then January is a great time to look for ways to improve how you manage your operation. If you have any further tips please do post them below.
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