Sunday, 14 February 2021

Marketing for ecommerce: the importance of multi-channel

Today, more and more consumers are making purchases by integrating different channels, both physical and digital. In fact, according to the research 2019of the Multichannel Observatory, 83% of Italians over 14 are made up of multichannel consumers. These are users who usually use the web to search for information, compare prices, find outlets, buy and share purchase reviews. Of them, 63% make purchases on ecommerce sites (eShopper), while the remaining 37% use the network to get information (Info Shopper).

Just looking at these data, it is clear the important role played by digital and multi-channel in the consumer purchase path (customer journey). The integration of multiple promotion and sales channels guarantees access to products and services from any device, at anytime and anywhere in the world. Precisely for this reason, ecommerce marketing, to be effective, cannot do without well-structured multichannel strategies.

Before going into this discussion, let's clarify some basic concepts.

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·         What is multichannel

The term multi-channel identifies marketing and communication strategies that integrate, in a logical and coordinated way, various channels for the promotion and sale of goods and services in all the places where potential customers buy. A channel is a means by which a message or product can be transmitted from a sender to a receiver.

Multichannel and Omni channel are often associated in a more or less direct way. Despite expressing similar concepts, these three terms are not interchangeable as they identify different modes of interaction and use. The multi-channel provides a person more channels to choose from, even at different times, to get in touch with a given product or content. The crosscanalità combines multiple channels and provides for the transition from one channel to another in order to obtain further information. Omni channel allows simultaneous and integrated use of all channels available at that given time and situation.

The main promotion and sales channels

The promotion and sales channels on which to develop multichannel marketing strategies are increasing more and more. Among the best known and most popular we find:

·         showcase sites and ecommerce platforms

·         social media and messaging apps (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram)

·         marketplace (Amazon, eBay, Etsy)

·         price comparators (Google Shopping, Nextag, Shopping.com, Kelkoo)

·         search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube)

·         email marketing

·         advertising platforms (Google Ads, Amazon Advertising, Facebook Business Manager)

·         online community

·         catalogs

·         traditional advertising channels (television, billboards, flyers, magazines)

The channels mentioned are just some of those currently available. Based on the type of business you lead and the objectives to be achieved, the various channels take on a different value from time to time. They also have different effectiveness in the various phases of the customer journey. Let's take some more in-depth examples by analyzing the first four promotion and sales channels mentioned.

Showcase sites and ecommerce platforms

These channels are crucial as they represent your online store. Fully customizable, showcase sites and ecommerce platforms offer (or should offer) customers tailored browsing and shopping experiences. The contents are designed ad hoc for the reference business and are useful for informing, involving and seducing users. Websites also allow you to generate leads that you can build relationships with through other channels, such as email marketing.

Social media and messaging apps

The image, extracted from Report Digital 2020by We Are Social, shows the number of active users worldwide on the various social platforms. Given the data, it is clear that many consumers spend some of their time online on these channels.

Precisely for this reason, social media and messaging apps are considered very effective for brand awareness strategies and for making potential customers discover new products and stores. Furthermore, if we consider sponsored content, social platforms are excellent for driving traffic to the site and thus increasing sales.

Marketplace

Large brokerage sites for the direct sale of goods and services, the marketplaces are divided according to the types of products sold. The three categories are:

vertical marketplaces, which sell a single product, of different brands, and are characterized by a well-targeted audience

horizontal marketplaces, which sell different goods united by a theme, a style or an intent, and which are frequented by a specific audience that already knows what they want

global marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, which offer an assorted catalog of products and are open to all sellers and buyers

Marketplaces, like search engines, have high commercial power and offer high flexibility to both sellers and consumers. The eShoppers who use these channels are often in the process of considering and deciding to purchase a product.

Thanks to internal algorithms, the search engines present on marketplaces make your products more easily found by potential buyers. Furthermore, their reliability is a very important lever in the consumer's purchasing choices. Precisely for this reason, if you sell online you should carefully consider the inclusion of these channels within your marketing strategy for ecommerce.

Price comparators

Price comparators also have a high importance for those who sell online. In fact, the price is a determining factor in the choice of purchasing a product and it is information that a consumer wants to receive immediately. Price comparators are created precisely to meet this need. Having your products appear in them can give a strong boost to your sales.

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Marketing for ecommerce: the advantages of multichannel

Adopting a multi-channel marketing strategy allows you to maximize the reach of your message to intercept the greatest number of potential customers, precisely in the places where they use the content.

Nowadays, using just one channel to communicate with your customers can be limiting. The same is true if you choose to open sales channels in a casual and arbitrary way. In fact, the channels to be used must always be chosen wisely, taking into account the consumption habits and customer journey of their target.


 

Only after understanding where to find your prospects and relevant touchpoints in their ideal buying journey will you be able to define an effective multi-channel sales strategy that uses only the sales channels that are truly useful for the purpose. The next step is the correct integration of the various tools, which will allow you to significantly increase the sales opportunities of your product / service by offering, at the same time, a fluid and pleasant shopping experience to all your users.

Ecommerce marketing: tips for an effective multichannel strategy

After understanding how important it is for an ecommerce to be present on multiple channels, we conclude our article with some useful tips to develop an effective and advantageous multi-channel strategy.

As anticipated, you must first identify the most suitable channels for your business. Then, study each channel's audience to understand what they're looking for and how they want to buy it. In this way you will know how to address each type of audience. Take advantage of the largest number of channels useful for your business by defining a marketing strategy for diversified and wide-ranging ecommerce. Finally, for each channel it determines one or more specific, achievable and measurable objectives. Don't forget, always analyze the results of your marketing activities.

Are you interested in starting a multi-channel marketing strategy? Contact us, we will be happy to help you.

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