Online retail has been around since 1995. Over the years, it has grown into a $4.2 trillion industry worldwide. It’s now the primary means of getting products to customers.
However, online retailers are being forced by the pandemic to get more creative, when it comes to making themselves visible and selling their products. In this setting, online retailers are embracing multichannel selling as a prime strategy to outperform the competition. Let’s learn how.
The ecommerce growth funnel is a must-have tool in an online retailer’s toolkit. It breaks down multichannel growth into 4 simple steps.
Choosing the right online sales channels
Online sales channels can be broadly classified into ecommerce platforms, shopping carts, and affiliate sites. To help you choose the right online sales channels for your business, we’ve curated some key attributes across the 3 broad classifications.
We’ve explained these attributes in detail in our webinar.
Setting up the multichannel sales engine
You can set up your multichannel sales engine in 3 simple steps.
Step 1 – Identify retail needs
Here are some basic questions to answer that can help you identify your retail needs: What are the product types you sell? Where do you sell? What order fulfilment methods do you use? Based on the answers, pick a suitable Inventory Management Software like Zoho Inventory, that can be tailored to meet your retail needs.
Step 2 – Integrate online channels and fulfilment networks
Your order management platform has to work with your channels and shippers, and should centralize your inventory.
Step 3 – Integrate IMS with a BI & analytics platform
By integrating your IMS with a BI & analytics platform, you’ll be able to analyze your raw data, extract granular insights, and make better business decisions. Here’s an example using Zoho Inventory and Zoho Analytics.
Performing end-to-end channel analysis
With the integration in place, end-to-end channel analysis can be done in two ways. Firstly, analyze channels individually, and secondly, analyze KPIs across channels to understand the collective impact on your business. One such analysis is presented here:
Above is a mission-control dashboard for your multichannel retail business. KPIs such as sales, number of sales orders, maximum sales by channel, and more, are stationed right on top of the dashboard in the form of widgets.
A detailed analysis of sales across channels enables retailers to understand the behavior of these channels with respect to each other. We have metrics such as sales by channel, overall distribution of sales, sales by regions, and others, analyzed and presented here. An overall analysis of sales by category, sales by brand, and top 10 composite items by value, gives retailers a holistic view of their business.
We’ve explained some interesting insights from this dashboard in our webinar. Watch now!
Creating focal points for sustainability and expansion
To create focal points for sustainability and expansion, identify your business critical KPIs and set up your analytics system to analyze these metrics to extract business-specific insights. The key to unlocking this lies in choosing the right analytics platform. Irrespective of the business size, nature of the business, and products sold, the analytics platform should enable you to discover metrics and build your own analysis ecosystem.
Here’s an example of a retailer who has analyzed the new versus recurring customers across sales channels using an analytics platform. This could be a critical metric for your business, as well.
It’s famously said that it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than acquire a new one. Going by that rule, you can use Shopify to further nurture more business, as it has the highest number of recurring customers. However, there are more dimensions to this decision, which we’ve explained in our webinar.
Here’s a quick to-do list, if you’re planning to accelerate your multichannel online retail business:
Have a business process layout to map your purchases and sales workflows.
Build a database of your suppliers with supply lead-time details.
Centralize your multichannel inventory with an inventory management system.
Adopt a BI & analytics platform and visually analyze your multichannel data for better business decisions.
Ensure your analytics platform has built-in intelligence that enables you to foresee what’s coming.
Sign up for a free Zoho Analytics account today, extract powerful insights, and grow your online retail business.