What is the Multi-Channel Retailing Buzz All About?
In this fast-paced world where businesses are thriving on skyrocketing economic demands through E-commerce platforms that have global viability and when big challenges for sellers are tough to fight against, Mastering a competitive, innovative, pocket-friendly and steady supply-chain management life-cycle is a rewarding vantage point to co-exist among other players while emulating their success strategies.
Traditional concepts like brick-and-mortar retailing, door-to-door retailing or catalogue retailing and retail networking are passé and often defunct due to cost constraints, security issues and accessibility impediments.
Simply put, Multi-channel retailing is a selling strategy, the pertinent ‘mantra’ that maps customer requirements to product availability using lucrative channels such as Facebook and Instagram marketplaces, payment- integrated online web stores, digital marketplaces with integrated shopping carts and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSE).
Single Interfaces Power Multi-Channel Retailing
Multi-Channel Retailing has adopted a top-to-bottom integrated-solution strategy that is executed through single interface platforms, that act as centralised units to handle online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. One such prominent platforms heading the E-commerce arena is TrueGether, that allows sellers to seamlessly integrate their online inventory with that of primary E-marketplaces namely, Amazon and eBay. By letting sellers organize products, customize their desired pricing list, alter discount rates, feature off-season prices and seasonal prices, showcase offers and promotional schemes, facilitate secure credit card and other modes of payment and also track and respond to orders, these interfaces keep the back-end database synchronized with that of Amazon and eBay using unique token field references to each listed product leading to seamless functional harmony in the modern digital marketplace.
The mapping of a customer’s query to the available product/service suggestions can happen through a simple SEO based mechanism or through search caching, where based on recent searches conducted by a user online, the product listing is strategically placed to capture user’s instant attention and interest.
The TrueGether advantage lies in the fact that the product listing featured on Amazon and eBay is rendered as a search result with the guarantee of the lowest price offering at the TrueGether marketplace.
Many such sales strategies have been espoused by E-commerce platforms today.
Multi-Channel Retailing -A Sellers’ Paradise
Retailing has evolved beyond branding and advertising on E-commerce company websites. Cross-channel interaction, synergies and integration is instrumental in creating product awareness, propelling sales volume, generating better revenue and leveraging sales value for the business and achieving collective business goals.
A gamut of advantages entails MCR, provided certain checkpoints are kept a tab on. Firstly, single-point management of inventory, sales operations, sales promotion, research, performance reporting, operations and fulfilment reduces complexities and permeates unswerving business growth to sellers registered on the Multi channel retailing platform.
A number of software tools such as UIs and APIs have been launched to help retailers bridge technology gaps for operational success while integrating inventory listings and making parallel and relative price updates with reference to Amazon and eBay. These serve as facilitators for warehouse management, progress monitoring, packaging, barcode management and logistics integration (pick-up, transportation, delivery and returns) that aid in inventory risk management/mitigation and enforce compliance with company standards.
The governance of product pricing to ensure that the best available product rates are offered to customers without any overheads or hidden charges is done centrally by these platforms, which leads to increased sales volume and expanded market potential to sellers.
Creating the most cost-effective plan to meet demand is often simplified by automating the processes using an advanced cloud-native supply chain planning solution. Secure payment processes are eased by integrating with PayPal, Amazon Payments and CCAvenue.
Many MCR platforms have systematic marketing and sales schema that help monitor individual product performances or collective standings in the current market. Also, the seller’s social media presence is leveraged in the growing network of trusted buyers through synchronised operations with ratings-and reviews influenced E-commerce spaces, transaction feedback of customers, social endorsements and iterative advertisement feeds leading to better customer retention, greater referrals, higher social media shares, higher testimonials and better network expansion possibilities.
Inventory balancing, demand projections and joint-ordering help avoid excessive cost from sub-optimized logistics, expensive fill-in orders while also avoiding the risk of losing sales, while replenishing SKUs in a supplier line leading to better economies of scale.
The main focus is on Unified Demand & Supply, a scheme that impacts internal and external lead times and their variability. Adjusting for special order considerations by re-optimising inventory plans is an inherent part of MCS processes.
A hybrid approach of pure play and conventional retailing is what Multi-Channel Retailing is all about. ‘Bricks-and-clicks’ is the integration of e-fulfilment with multiple alternative distribution channels covering the 6 P’s of retailing mix quite comprehensively namely, products, promotion efforts, personnel, presentation, place and price with extra emphasis on protection of sellers and consumers online.
Buyer is the Boss-Always
A competent advantage of Multi-Channel retailing is of course the creation of an unparalleled customer experience starting from the buying environment, product choices, economic price advantage, shopping cart experience, payment to delivery and post-sales services, which has been prioritised by most marketplaces under the Multi-Channel retailing umbrella, resulting in accelerated customer subscriptions, sign-ups and engagement that pave the way to capturing the customer’s interest with location, currency, pricing and language customisation coming handy.
Speaking of consumer protection, E-wallets and secured online payment gateways back-up secure payments and point-of-sale automation without the need for human intervention and cut the ensuing costs to the business considerably. It also provides emancipation from the risks of defrauding done by cyber criminals.
To put things into perspective, Multi-Channel retailing platforms hold good for consumers who need access to quality products available globally with a cost-effective spin around the order-fulfilment processes in a dynamic market with automated and well-guarded systems backing up each process, ensuring that loopholes are mitigated while complying with international selling standards.
From the consumer’s viewpoint, Multi-Channel Inventory management platform guarantee secure purchasing of products and services with the promise of complete satisfaction with legal backing and hassle-free fulfilment in a real-time marketplace where they would have the liberty to buy what their hearts desire just a mouse-click away.
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