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How To Sell On Multiple Channels (2022 Guide)
Jan 27, 2022

How To Sell On Multiple Channels (2022 Guide)

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Estimated reading time: 14 minutes.

A2X multi channels

Have you ever stood in a store, about to buy a product, and then quickly checked online to see if it’s cheaper?

Yeah, you’re far from alone.

We live decidedly multichannel lives these days. As customers, we have choice.

It might be shopping through ecommerce sites, brick-and-mortar stores, social media, or market stalls. And we expect our favorite brands and products to be there waiting for us across a variety of mediums.

Plus, having all your (product) eggs spread across multiple baskets helps you run a resilient business.

So for sellers aware of the need to expand and diversify, but unsure where to start or how to maximize your business’ potential, we’ve got you.

In this guide to multichannel selling for ecommerce sellers, you’ll find:

Learn how to set up your ecommerce accounting foundations like a pro

Accounting for ecommerce sales presents a unique set of challenges. Discover the key concepts, software, terminoloy and knowledge you need to simplify your business.

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Ready to widen your horizons?

Let’s do it.

What Is Multichannel Selling?

“As consumers increasingly use new technologies and channels to guide their purchase decisions, consumer products companies have adapted omnichannel strategies to reach these customers directly…”

Multichannel selling involves retailing your products or product line on a variety of different platforms. These might be online or offline, your own site built using a tool like Shopify, or through facilitators like Amazon or eBay.

In a recent report, Stitch Labs found that retailers selling on just two different marketplaces could see sales jumps of 190% compared to those with a single channel.

SAP conducted a survey across different countries to find out how selling on multiple channels has impacted businesses.

Here are their key findings:

  • 86% of respondents agree that omnichannel activities have increased customer expectations of brands.
  • 86% agree that the benefits of investing in this kind of approach outweigh the challenges.
  • 74% say their company has increased sales.
  • 64% have seen an increase in customer loyalty and/or acquisition.
  • 62% believe they have a competitive advantage.
  • 57% believe they offer a better customer experience, although only 16% think they’re meeting all the customer experience needs of their multichannel business currently.

But where did the need for multichannel selling come from? And why has it suddenly exploded?

Let’s take a look at the state of play for ecommerce.

Check out this graph from Statista, detailing the growth from 2014-2021, and the projected scope up to 2024:

Statista graph about ecommerce sales

Source: Statista.

With increased demand and shoppers comes more sellers, more businesses, and more choice.

With rife competition, the costs of customer acquisition have skyrocketed. As a result, many marketers have turned their attention to customer retention strategies.

How can they keep existing customers, and meet their changing expectations?

Businesses have also looked inwards at how they can diversify their portfolio, strengthen their resilience and still get in front of more eyes. Relying on just one channel today could be a major vulnerability and single point of failure.

Here’s an unexpected example of how important diversification is: Amazon Prime Day. You might expect that Amazon sellers alone stand to benefit from this two-day promotional event?

In a study by BazaarVoice, 76% of Prime Day shoppers still planned to check other sites before making a purchase on Amazon.

It may be an inconvenient truth, but the verdict is in. Loyalty to any single channel is out.

Multichannel is the present and the future.

And remember, a multichannel business could be one with stores on Amazon, eBay, and Shopify. Or it could be an Etsy business that also sells on Instagram, and at markets.

Each business will require a different combination of best-suited channels.

6 Benefits of Selling On Multiple Channels

“Nearly 50% of consumers who engage with their favorite brands on ten or more channels will buy from them at least once a week. That number dips to 21% if they use four or fewer channels.”

So why might a business owner go to the trouble of managing more than one online store?

It’s a lot of work. But the results could be significant.

Here are just a few of the potential advantages that come with selling on multiple channels.

  1. Get new customers

It’s an obvious one, right?

But unless you’re starting a Shopify store or other self-hosted platform, joining an established channel could open your business up to millions of browsing shoppers.

Check out the table below comparing the platforms - Amazon gets 200 million+ unique visitors every month!

Naturally, there’s plenty of competition there too. But play your cards right, and you could see a good boost to sales volumes.

  1. Make more money

More customers, more sales - that should be the case.

Just note that different platforms may place their own limitations on your listings and pricing. Amazon and Walmart in particular require sellers to meet certain requirements when it comes to what they charge.

Fees are complex on most platforms, so it’s important to stay on top of every expense to ensure none of that extra income is lost along the way.

  1. Give customers more choice

Meet your customers where they are.

That could be online or offline - the tools exist for a reason. People can shop on Instagram, TikTok, and even Spotify these days, so figure out where your audience is and meet them there.

  1. Improve your credibility

The more authoritative, well-established places you show up, the more credible your business will appear.

It takes work, but you’ll earn trust and customer loyalty this way.

  1. Get a competitive advantage

By showing up in more places than your competitors, you can earn brand recognition and loyalty while they plow all their money into advertising on the same single platform.

  1. Reduce risk

Marketplace facilitators can suspend your account at any time.

They could do this for a valid reason, or one that they later find to be invalid. Either way, your business comes to an abrupt stand-still.

By diversifying, you give your business a lifeline (or two) elsewhere.

What Ecommerce Channels Are There?

First thing’s first - if you’re keen to go multichannel, don’t make the mistake of picking the wrong one/s.

Each ecommerce channel offers sellers and buyers something different. So choosing the right fit for your business is crucial to your success.

You’ve no doubt heard of mammoth platforms like Amazon and eBay, but what other options are out there?

Here’s a brief overview of some of the key platforms you could use for multichannel selling.

There are plenty more, but these have some of the largest followings and best reputations.

** This denotes that there is no existing traffic available to your site on this selling format. You’ll need to build this up from scratch.

** You do not need to sell on Amazon to use Amazon Multichannel Fulfilment. You just need an Amazon account.*

How To Sell On Multiple Channels

Multichannel selling relies on solid foundations which should be built on three things: the right platform for the products and audience, the right automation and integration tools, and a reliable accounting stack.

That last one is arguably the most important because without accurate money management, everything will collapse.

Below, we’ll explore the steps to setting up your multichannel business, and all the things you should consider along the way.

  1. Choosing the new platform/s

When deciding which additional channel you should sell on, consider the following:

  • Where can you find your target audience?
  • How much competition is there for your niche?
  • How much time and money will you need to invest to sell - is it financially viable?
  • Are the delivery options or requirements suitable and cost effective?
  • Are there sufficient tools compatible with this platform that will allow you to run a multichannel business?

Focus not on the biggest channels with the most customers, but instead on which should generate the most interest in your business and the biggest value for your customers.

  1. Integrating and automating your operations

Integrating and automating much of your multichannel business will give you the most accurate and reliable data, as well as the time to keep it all afloat.

You can add apps over time, but we strongly recommend starting with at least the first three of the list below, if not all of them right out of the gate.

  • Accounting

Your accounting is the foundation of your business. The stronger and more robust your foundation, the more you can build with confidence.

Aside from a program like Xero, QuickBooks, or Sage, you need a connector app to help interpret your transactional data for you too. And that’s A2X.

A2X Multi allows you to integrate more than one channel with your accounting software and keep your books neat and tidy with increased order volumes.

Each payout is broken down for you, laid out into the income and expense lines that you would otherwise need to calculate manually. That’s a nightmare for one channel, let alone multiple.

Bank deposits are matched with journal summaries for you so that reconciliation becomes a quick process of confirming the pairs on your screen. Easy!

Plus, as ecommerce businesses grow, they are required to organize their books via the accrual accounting method. A2X does this for you, so no accounting expertise is needed.

Find out more below and even start your free trial today.

  • Inventory

With more selling channels comes more inventory plates to juggle. Stock forecasting and management is crucial to happy, satisfied customers who get their orders on time.

Not using technology to help manage inventory for a growing, multichannel business is a huge disadvantage.

With inventory management apps (which are sometimes included in wider ERP software which we discuss below), you can automate much of this critical task which will be quicker and more accurate.

What’s not to love?

Here are some examples of inventory management apps:

Learn more about the importance of stock forecasting and management.

  • Operations

With lots of moving parts comes plenty of opportunities for mistakes, missed detail, and over or under resourcing.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software exists to remedy this problem.

It brings all the processes for running a business together into one, centralized system. This could include inventory, accounting, sales, marketing, HR, planning, and more.

NetSuite, Sage Intacct, and SAP Business One are just some examples.

  • Marketing and CRM

Tracking your marketing activities and how customers are responding to them will ensure every cent you spend generates revenue.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps you to engage with potential, existing, and returning customers, and keep them in your business ecosystem.

It helps businesses to streamline the customer journey online to improve experience and increase sales.

There are a multitude of apps out there to help you manage different aspects of your marketing, from emails to offers, automated recommendations to customers, and more.

Check out our guide to apps for Shopify for a few ideas.

Need more help choosing your tech?

We have an entire guide dedicated to developing a solid ecommerce tech stack. So for more detailed guidance on this, check it out.

And now, back to the steps.

  1. Monitoring and analyzing performance

After setting up your business foundations, you need the reinforcements to ensure growth and resilience.

Ecommerce sellers don’t meet their buyers in person. They can’t watch their interactions with products like in a high street store, or discuss their reservations or buying decisions with them. Metrics are how sellers can figure these things out.

You might have heard of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) before.

Here are some examples of the types of KPIs businesses might track:

  • Conversions. How many sales you are actually making from the people visiting your store.
  • Gross margin. This is how much money you made after all the costs of selling were taken into account.
  • Average Order Value (AOV). Who is spending the most money with you? Perhaps that’s where your marketing focus should be… (Just saying).
  • Cost per acquisition. This refers to how much it costs you to bring in a new customer. It’s easy to see why this matters - if your customers cost more than they spend with you, your business won’t last long.
  • Cart abandonment rate. People are interested in particular products but perhaps put off by something in the checkout process. This can help you identify obstacles in the path to purchase and ideally, remove as many of them as possible.

These are just the beginning, but hopefully, you can already see their value.

Using analytical tools to produce this information across your multiple channels will help you pinpoint areas to work on and cracks to fill before they threaten your entire business.

Many of the ERP software solutions and apps mentioned above will help you with this. You can also use sites like Google Analytics for more insights about your web pages and performance.

  1. Optimizing each platform

This step is just as crucial as all those above.

Every channel works differently and has its own algorithms, behavior trends - even aesthetics.

You need to adjust your approach to suit the channel and its audience, whilst still achieving a consistent brand approach across the board.

Tips for ensuring brand consistency when optimizing presence across multiple channels:

  • Create a brand style guide. Having some written rules about your brand’s personality and aesthetic will help you find room for customization whilst maintaining consistency.
  • Be as active on your channels as possible. The more you interact, the more you’ll learn about best practice and successful strategies, and the more that channel will favor your content and products.
  • Use AI and technology to adjust content for you. Your brand creative (the look and feel of the content you share) may work on multiple channels, but apps can make the subtle changes needed to achieve this for you. And remember, not only will people be looking at your business from multiple channels, but potentially, numerous device types too.

For example, here at A2X, we typically write guides with one or two lines to a paragraph so that mobile users have an easier time reading them.

With a solid brand promise and confident identity, your presence across multiple channels should be a seamless transition.

Accurate Accounting Holds It All Together

Don’t forget, without sophisticated money management, any other efforts to run a multichannel business will be futile.

And even with ERP software, you’ll likely find the gaps in accounting functions that A2X was designed specifically to fill.

So, try A2X Multi for free today and rest easy.


Get quick-fire answers to your burning questions about multichannel selling right here.

What is multi-channel selling?

Multichannel selling involves retailing products on more than one platform or medium. This might be online via marketplace facilitators, or via social media sites. It could also be offline, at markets or in a store.

What’s an example of multichannel selling?

An example of a multichannel business might be an Amazon seller with a thriving store who decides to branch out. They know their customers are in the Gen-Z age group, and they sell clothes, so they explore mediums like Depop, Instagram, and other popular fashion options to suit their audience and products.

What is omnichannel selling?

Omnichannel selling involves retailing products on multiple platforms which are all fully integrated. Customer experience is connected and seamless across all channels.

What multichannel platforms are there?

You have numerous options for selling channels. The major marketplace facilitators like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Walmart Marketplace have global reputations and established visitor numbers. Then there are self-hosted sites like Shopify, Squarespace, Woocommerce, WordPress, and others.

Most social media platforms have commerce functions too, so you truly can design a unique channel stack perfect for your audience and products.

How do I sell across multiple platforms?

After creating new accounts on other platforms, you’ll need apps and integration tools to bring all your operations together in one place. You’ll need to run your accounts, inventory, and customer management from a centralized base. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a great tool for doing exactly that.

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