As you expand your retail business, adding multiple sales channels to increase brand awareness is a very logical and strategic step forward. Today, shoppers are driven by convenience and the more you are represented on channels they shop, the better. However, as you add multiple sales channels, you are also adding more for you and your team to manage.
In order to keep your team sane and increase sales across all of your multiple channels, here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Get organized.
Increasing sales across two, three, even 10 different channels sounds great in theory. However, before you do that, you must implement systems that allow you to track inventory, orders, customers and supplier information accurately and in real time. This information must be insanely simple to access. The more time you invest getting these things organized now, the less frustration you’ll experience down the road. You want a trusted system running behind the scenes while you focus on growing your sales, product design, marketing efforts and anything else besides counting (and potentially re-counting) inventory and data.
2. Get a centralized view of your data.
As you grow, quantifiable data that supports the decisions you make as a business owner will continue to grow in importance. However, sales reporting and order analytics can be a drag when you’re going to several different outlets to retrieve the information you want. Find the best reporting tools that integrate your sales channel data into one location so you and your team all have the same information. Access to this type of data will allow you to make smarter purchasing decisions and avoid communication breakdowns among your staff and with your suppliers.
If you add these tools to (free) Google Analytics, you’ll then be able to see how your product views compared to actual sales. If you notice a large discrepancy between the number of product page visits and the number of times that product is purchased, you can more quickly address those issues with the support of proper data and reporting.
3. Test as much as you can.
Once you have the smartest systems in place, tracking your product performance, customer behavior and order history, you’ll be able to test to optimize your store’s online presence and product listings. Everything from photography to product descriptions can be altered to increase conversion rates. It is important that you focus on testing a few key elements first and avoid over-testing multiple items at once.
4. Gather customer feedback.
Reporting and internal testing will certainly help you increase sales and enable you to better manage your business, however quantitative data only goes so far. In order to get a well-rounded perspective of your business and areas of opportunity, get in touch with your customers. Send a customer survey or follow up each completed transaction with an email asking for their satisfaction rating. Share this qualitative data with your team and discuss areas of opportunity.
If you haven’t already, sign up for an account with an email marketing platform such as Emma or MailChimp. With these tools, you’ll be able to segment your customers by channels they shop (Amazon vs. in-store), products they purchase or the frequency with which they purchase from you. These are all key characteristics that you can track and customize content around to better your relationship with customers across all of your sales channels. The more you know about a shopper’s behavior and preferences, the better you can customize their experience to increase loyalty and social sharing of your products.
Are you currently selling through multiple channels? What kinds of tools do you have in place in order to stay organized and increase sales? We’d love to know!