Multichannel selling is becoming increasingly more common in the retail landscape to the point where in a few years it will be the norm. If you’re unsure what multichannel means, put simply, it involves selling goods across different stores. These stores can be physical brick and mortar stores, or online stores such as Amazon, Ebay or an ecommerce website.
Retail has seen a massive shift in recent years, selling via one channel is no longer the most effective option and retailers need to adapt or be thrown along the way side. We have already seen this with stores like House of Fraser and Toys R Us that did not have a significant online presence and therefore lost out on market share. In the changing retail landscape, traditional brick and mortar stores need to combine with an ecommerce website where they can also sell products, which may then appear on marketplaces such as Ebay and Amazon.
With such an obvious shift in consumers preferring to shop online, businesses could be forgiven for thinking that simply selling via one online channel is sufficient. However, some still prefer the experience of a brick and mortar store. Therefore, it is crucial to sell across multiple channels to maximise potential sales and ensure you maintain and increase your market share.
Selling across multiple channels brings with it new challenges for retailers. It is crucial to manage stock effectively in order to be successful at multichannel selling. In this blog I’m going to look at why it is important to manage stock across multiple channels and how to do it.
Why manage across multiple channels?
Manually checking stock levels and updating them over multiple channels is costly in both time and manpower and therefore highly inefficient, it also increases the risk of errors which may lead to stock levels being updated inaccurately. Having a system in place that can automatically update all your channels so that stock levels remain accurate will save time, resources and money, which will then increase the overall efficiency of the business.
Without having accurate stock levels businesses risk over stocking and items that are held for too long without being sold are at risk of being damaged, increasing costs of a business. Overstocking may also mean a business has to spend more on storage space to hold the additional stock. When stock is managed effectively across multiple sites, goods are ordered in appropriate quantities meaning they aren’t kept in storage for extended periods of time, reducing the risk of shrinkage and minimising storage costs.
Ensuring stock levels are accurate and producing sales reports across all your channels allows for greater reporting within the business. This allows businesses to analyse which products are selling well and which aren’t and make adjustments accordingly. With stock control software you can also see which channels are most profitable and adjust your marketing accordingly. Sales might be high on your marketplace but low on your actual website, which may mean you need to increase your SEO ranking or advertise online more to drive traffic to your website.
Improved Company Reputation
Selling across multiple channels puts your business at risk of over selling products. If your stock is not properly managed and inventory levels aren’t accurate, a customer may try to buy a product via one channel only to find that it has sold out. This will then leave your customer dissatisfied which increases the risk of them leaving a negative review about your company. Company reviews, particularly for ecommerce businesses are crucial in a buyer’s decision-making process, therefore if you have lots of negative reviews on your website or marketplace this can have an adverse effect on sales. As well as this, your company will likely garner a bad reputation from consistently overselling and under-delivering.
The solution to managing your stock effectively across multiple channels is to use stock control software the benefits of which are outlined below:
- Integrates with all of your channels so that stock information updates across all channels.
- Reduces time spent updating stock levels manually or uploading each individual stock item across each channel.
- Reduces labour costs for business
- Reduces risk of error when updating stock levels.
- Allows users to collect data on consumer buying habits. Plan stock more carefully and buy in more of what the customer wants and less of what they do not.
- Stop over selling of products. Overselling of products can really damage your reputation as a business and prevent repeat business, affecting sales.
Khaos Control Cloud is an all in one stock control software with all the necessary functionality to run your business effectively. Khaos Control Cloud integrates with multiple ecommerce platforms as standard, and with the latest edition of its 3rd party API it can integrate with many more. Its comprehensive stock control functions mean your stock levels will always be accurate, and the built in CRM feature means you can build and maintain those crucial relationships with your customers that help build a business.
Don’t keep wasting time with spreadsheets or systems that require you to purchase additional software or packages, pick a system that will work for you. Book your demo of Khaos Control Cloud today.