Multitasking is said to increase productivity. If you can finish off two tasks at the same time, you can do more to multiply your earnings. In the ecommerce spectrum, multitasking equals to selling on more than one marketplace or doing multichannel online retail. But, like multitasking has its pain points, so does multichannel retail. Yet, how do ecommerce service providers meet the needs of different brands selling on ‘n’ number of online marketplaces?
Here’s an interesting fact: ‘According to a PwC survey, only 19% of top retailers say they can fulfil multichannel demand while still remaining profitable.’
This is possibly the outcome of these channel management challenges:
- Real-time inventory updates
By selling through numerous online outlets it is difficult to keep track of inventory levels at each one. You have to check each ecommerce channel’s seller panel individually for every (client) brand of yours. It’s not possible to get real-time stock updates this way to manage your client’s businesses effectively. And, you could end up overstocking or understocking their products on the wrong marketplaces.
- Order mixups
Shopping online is the most common activity on the internet today. And, most online shoppers shop on at least 2 ecommerce platforms. So, the brands under your wing are highly likely to receive orders from different platforms. With orders coming at you from different directions, it is quite easy to mix up orders by sending them to the wrong online shoppers. This can be a big blow to your business as it may trigger mass product returns which could entail heavy shipping charges, penalties and bad reviews online for your clients.
- Penalties for not meeting SLAs
Another challenge of multichannel online retail is being unable to process orders on time. You have to visit each of your client’s marketplace panels to see what your orders are. To ensure there are no mix ups and the correct goods are being delivered, you must take your time while processing orders and double check later. All these steps may force you to breach SLAs with marketplaces and trigger penalties.
- Marketing effectiveness across channels
When providing marketing services to your client, it is difficult to tailor a strategy for each marketplace and execute it too. Here, the inconvenience of logging into several marketplace seller panels arises again. You must do this to build your promotion strategy, activate it and monitor it, which is simply a hassle.
- Payment reconciliation
Sorting payments from different channels is equally troublesome. There are different factors to consider before reconciling your client’s dues from a marketplace. These include successful deliveries, product returns, penalties, marketplace commissions and your own charges to your client. Now, multiply this process into the number of channels your client sells on.
- Data management
The most important resource of a business is its own performance data. This is useful to know where its pitfalls and profits lie. Customer behaviour is easier to analyze and also market trends. But, without combined data to compare, it becomes tough to make an inference on a brand’s ecommerce performance. To manage data from different marketplaces, you will need to create excel sheets and fill in the relevant data. Doing this manually is tedious work and can result in errors.
How to overcome the pains of channel management
In spite of the above pain points being in the picture- most brands do not want to stick exclusively to a single ecommerce platform. So, how do you push past the pain points to deliver good results for clients and still earn your keeps?
Well, the easiest way to manage multichannel online retail is by managing operations through an eCommerce multichannel selling platform. Such systems or platforms integrate seller accounts on different marketplaces. This helps you keep track of all the orders your client receives from various ecommerce platforms.
It records the number of orders received and the platforms they originate from along with the results of your marketing campaigns. This information is downloadable to update clients, compare outcomes and fine tune your client services. To help speed up order processing, these systems allow you to print out your shipping labels too from the same place.
In addition to this, the multichannel management software, for instance SelluSeller, helps you maintain centralized inventory for real time stock updates. It allows you to revise product prices from a single console at any time and manage product listings without errors.
So, what are you waiting for? Go on, give SelluSeller a try and end your multichannel management pain points today!