The emergence and growth of eCommerce has created new marketing trends to circulate amongst retailers online. With the kind of healthy competition that exists between retailers online, effective marketing is a necessity if not a preference. These trends revolutionize the way companies market themselves. One such trend is that of “multichannel retailing”. A more interconnected form of marketing than ever before, this kind of retailing combines aspects of the internet such as social media with eCommerce in order to reach a larger consumer base.
Essentially, multichannel retailing is a marketing strategy which targets potential customers outside of one’s own company website with the help of classifieds and adverts on other existing websites. These websites or platforms are therefore other ‘channels’ that are used to communicate information about your product to potential customers.
Of course, like every other thing, this also comes with its own set of pros and cons. Multichannel retailing advantages and disadvantages range from aspects of customer service to that of profit maximization.
Pro: Better Data Collection and Analysis. Having a deep-set knowledge of a company’s customer base is a vital step in improving sales for the company or retailer. Interacting with customers on such personal platforms like social media helps retailers understand which type of customers respond well to their products. This allows them to not only target a particular audience but also to understand their shortcomings and prospects for increasing sales in the future.
Con: May cause decline in quality of customer service. With most resources focused on managing numerous channels and types of multichannel retailing, communication with customers may be compromised. Customer service may, therefore, be compromised overall.
Pro: Increased Sales. The more obvious of advantage of multichannel retailing is the kind of expansive marketing capability it grants to a retailer willing to invest in taking such a risk. With products being offered at different points on the internet, the number of sales is bound to increase, consequently increasing profit.
Con: Difficult to control multiple channels. Managing multiple channels at once effectively is another challenge multichannel retailers have to overcome. Controlling the overall stock that has been distributed within numerous channels is difficult as coordination between channels may not be of quality.
Pro: Specified Marketplaces. The use of multiple channels also means using channels appropriate for your product. For instance, if you are selling t-shirts, it is more effective to offer your product at a website built specifically for the sale of t-shirts rather than all sorts of attire.
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