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What is Multichannel Retailing?

What is Multichannel Retailing?

Maximize Festive Season Sales With Fynd Platform

Learn from the masters and cracks the code to festive season sales success with Fynd Platform's Festive Readiness Guide

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Gone are the days for single-channel retailers, in today’s era it’s important to make your business stand out from the others. The customers wish to possess the ability to shop whenever they want, from wherever they want, and however they want, single-channel retailers have failed to cater to these consumer needs leading to the emergence of multichannel and omnichannel retail.

What is Multichannel retail?

Multichannel Retailing is the practice of engaging customers through multiple options to interact and purchase with your brand. The brand remains a centerpiece in this retail model, while other channels act as independent silos.

It may include selling through traditional outlets such as brick-and-mortar stores, catalogs, mails, and telephones or nontraditional electronic and mobile outlets like websites, emails, apps, social networks, and E-marketplaces.

Thus, marketing, sales, communication, and shopping experiences are different for different channels. For example,  a brand ‘X’ is selling its fashion products via its Brick and Mortar store, Facebook page, Instagram Business Account, Amazon store, eCommerce website, etc.

at the same time, but with different shopping experiences. The multichannel approach is a way to reach a lot of customers by targeting those channels that give the maximum return on investment.

Benefits of Multichannel

Multichannel retailing is an evolving concept. More and more companies are expected to adopt the multichannel approach of retailing to be able to serve their customers better and drive more profits. Multichannel retailing offers the following benefits:

1. Increased Revenue:

Even after you invest a lot of money in advertising and marketing and establish brand awareness, if your customers have only one channel to interact with you, it may not necessarily increase your revenue.

But by spreading your business across multiple channels, you could pop up more often into a prospective customer’s view and therefore receive more attention. This will give them the time needed to browse through your store, compare prices, and do their research, which is necessary for them to buy from you eventually. Improved revenue is by far, the most prominent advantage that multichannel retailing displays.

2. Increased Visibility and Reach to Customers:

Most customers hesitate to buy from any business they randomly come across. If they get to interact with your business just one time and through a single channel, then the possibility that they’ll come back to your business or search for it, is impossibly low.

A single sales channel would force all your customers to buy from you using just that channel. This approach is okay for the customer who have purchased from you and trust your brand, but it may not attract new customers who are looking around for similar brands.

Thus Thus,the  multi-channel retailing approach, offers your customers multiple ways to interact with your business and select the most comfortable and convenient channel. To put this in simple words, multi channel means more customers and more sales.

3. Improved Analytics and Insights on Consumer Behavior:

Multi-channel retailing allows you to collect vast amount of data on customer purchases compared to a single channel. By analyzing this data,  you can gather insights about which sales channels your customers prefer and which ones they don’t, so that you can concentrate your efforts towards those specific parts of your business to work on and promote your business.

You do not need to compare different channels’ overall performance instead you can compare how different products perform on different channels and understand which product should be promoted on which channel.

4. Enhanced Brand Image:

Nowadays, customers tend to purchase from the brands that are easily and readily accessible from anywhere at anytime. 24/7 availability of your brand and support services to the customers will enhance their trust and loyalty towards the brand, creating a positive image and brand retention in their minds.

Example of Multichannel

If a brand decides to strategically distribute its products to customers via multiple channels, such as directly through brick-and-mortar stores, an online marketplace like Amazon, or through an independent website, it has adopted the multi-channel approach to retailing.

For example, there is a Brand X that has its own brick-and-mortar store. The brand also takes orders via telephone and social media channels. It also sells on various e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, etc. Thus the Brand X follows a multichannel approach and is present and accessible via multiple sales channels that are independent from each other.

Latest Trends in Multichannel Commerce

Earlier the brands use to rely upon their own website or offline stores to sell products. However, today they have innumerable sales channels and marketplace where they can sell their products and increase sales revenue.

As per a report by ReadyCloud 66% of online customers rely on more than one channel for purchases. In a recent study, 71% of customers who use smartphones for research in-store say that it's become an important part of the shopping experience. Smartphones have become the new personal shopping assistant for people to decide the best purchase in-store.

A report by IDC indicates that multichannel shoppers spend more money when shopping, including:

  • 30% higher (LTV) lifetime value than single-channel shoppers.
  • Up to 10% loyal customer profitability.
  • 15-35% higher value transaction.

These insights indicate that, it has become necessary to adopt multichannel or omnichannel approach towards retailing, to be successful in reaching the right audience.

Maximize Festive Season Sales With Fynd Platform

Learn from the masters and cracks the code to festive season sales success with Fynd Platform's Festive Readiness Guide

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What is multiple channel retailing?

Multichannel retailing is a technique of selling products and services across multiple sales channels using various marketplace platforms. Platforms can be online and offline, with multiple channels such as a physical store, an internet store, a smartphone store, a mobile app store, and so on. 

Multichannel retailing is a way businesses reach customers at their chosen time and place. The final purchase may occur through any channel, but the combined effect of the many channels assists in the purchasing selection process in many ways.

The multichannel retailing strategy is highly profitable, but businesses implementing it should consider these two factors:

1. Overcome the complexities of handling inventories across multiple sales channels

2. Get the most out of their investment. If a channel is not performing up to the mark, business owners should pivot their strategies before the losses grow substantially.

What is an example of a multi-channel retailer?

Amazon is an example of a multi-channel retailer. They offer their products and services online, through their mobile app, in physical stores, and on third-party marketplaces. Customers may order things online, deliver them to their homes, pick them up in-store, or use Amazon's grocery delivery service. Customers can buy items from other sellers through Amazon's third-party marketplaces. This range of possibilities is what distinguishes Amazon as a multi-channel retailer.

Apple is another example of a multi-channel retailer. You can buy Apple products online on their website, other e-commerce platforms, and online stores. Apple products are offline in the Apple Store and the Apple experience centre. You can buy Apple products from other retail shops selling mobiles and laptops. This is how the multi-channel retailer works.

Why multi-channel retailing?

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Businesses might consider implementing a multi-channel retail strategy for numerous reasons:

1. Increased reach: By providing different options for customers to purchase things, businesses may increase their customer base and reach a larger audience.

2. Improved customer experience: Customers value having many alternatives for shopping and purchasing things. Thanks to multi-channel selling, customers may select the most convenient purchasing method.

3. Increased sales: Having numerous sales channels allows clients to purchase in the most convenient method.

4. Better data and insights: By employing various channels, organisations can acquire more data and insights on consumer behaviour, which can then be utilised to improve marketing and sales tactics.

5. Better inventory management: A multi-channel retail strategy may assist organisations in better managing their inventory by utilising sales data from several channels to guide inventory decisions.

6. Increased competitiveness: Because many firms today use multi-channel retailing, failing to implement such a plan might put a company at a competitive disadvantage in the market.

What is the multi-channel example?

In the Indian context, Reliance Retail is one of the best examples of a multi-channel retailer. They operate through a combination of physical storefronts, online marketplaces, and mobile applications, allowing customers to shop in various methods, including visiting a real store, ordering online for home delivery, or purchasing via the mobile app. This strategy is known as multi-channel retailing since the company provides numerous channels through which customers can purchase.

What are the three types of retailing?

Brick-and-mortar, online stores, and omnichannel are the three basic types of retailing.

1. Traditional physical stores where clients can explore and purchase things in person are called brick-and-mortar commerce. These stores may be found in shopping malls, shopping centres, and standalone sites. They frequently have competent employees who can assist consumers with their purchases, and they may also provide extra services like refunds, swaps, and repairs.

2. Online retailing, commonly known as e-tailing, is the sale of goods and services via the internet via a website or mobile app. Customers may shop from the comfort of their homes with this sort of shopping, which provides various items and services. Online sellers can also provide the convenience of home delivery and may have a bigger product range than brick-and-mortar businesses.

3. Omnichannel retail is a hybrid of traditional and internet shopping. It refers to a retail strategy that enables customers to purchase across several channels, such as in-store, online, and via a mobile app. Omnichannel merchants employ technology to provide a consistent customer experience whether they purchase in-store or online. They frequently provide services such as buying online, picking up in-store, and the opportunity to return or exchange things purchased online at a real shop location.

What are the four stages of retailing?

The four stages of retailing are as follows:

1. Development: This is the first stage of retailing, in which firms discover a market need or need and create an idea for a new product or service.

2. Introduction: This is the stage at which a company launches its new product or service and begins marketing it to potential clients. This stage might be difficult since the company must raise awareness and interest in the product or service.

3. Growth is the stage at which a company's revenues and customers rise. To help their businesses develop, businesses may increase their products, build additional locations, or invest in new technologies.

4. Maturity: This is the last stage of retailing when a company has built a strong client base and seen consistent sales growth. To optimise earnings, businesses may focus on cost-cutting methods such as lowering overhead expenditures.

It is crucial to note that not all organisations proceed through these phases in a straight line; some may skip or return them. Also, keep in mind that the retail sector is continuously developing, so a company should always search for new methods to innovate and stay relevant in the market.

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