What Are the Advantages of Multi-channel eCommerce?


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When businesses first experienced the eCommerce boom, establishing an online presence to retain existing customers and attract prospects was the greatest challenge. This challenge has only evolved over the years. With multiple purchasing routes, customers demand fluidity across different sales channels that knit a unified experience. These ever-evolving demands of modern customers are significantly shaping eCommerce businesses operating in today’s hyper-scalable era. Consequently, these companies are bound to rethink their sales and distribution channels by leveraging the power of multi-channel online selling strategies.

To begin with, implementing and executing multi-channel online selling requires an upgradeable system for communication and distribution methods, helping create a consistent customer experience across any channel. That said, eCommerce companies must invest in data management solutions that keep the base data – such as information associated with inventory, logistics, products, and digital assets – up-to-date and relevant. Here, platform solutions such as product information management (PIM), digital asset management (DAM), and master data management (MDM) can help in structuring and delivering diverse product-related data right to the selling point, and at the right time. Let us take a look at a few advantages associated with multi-channel eCommerce and the key to unlocking them:

Amplify customer base and extend the reach

Multi-channel eCommerce opens up a vast number of online opportunities to target and captivate customers that can otherwise get overlooked in traditional brick-and-mortar setups or a single sales channel. At the same time, adding channels like online marketplaces, social media, paid media or sites, mobile applications, and more to the bandwagon without a centralized base creates disparate data sources. Crucial sales-based information pods such as inventories, marketing communications, and customer-oriented data become dissonant. This causes a significant delay in the process of customer acquisition and retention, wherein target-specific information must be distributed across multiple locations and kept relevant for improved engagement. Here, a PIM integration can help create a single source of truth for information with a unified data record that can reach various customer segments via online touchpoints.

Diversify offerings with personalization and targeting

Businesses in the eCommerce space are always on the lookout for innovative ways to reach their target audiences, facilitate discovery, drive purchases, and retain them. The paradigm shift from traditional in-store buying to personalized online experiences is one such boon in disguise that can help companies lead the tide of innovation. Here, online sellers using diverse channels can exercise personalized customer practices like enabling intuitive user journeys, delivering hyper-focused messages, and disseminating content in alignment with critical sales goals. Sales teams can further leverage these avenues to diversify their offerings based on unique insights cumulated from customer engagements across all channels. A PIM-DAM system integration accelerates each multi-channel engagement and elevates the buying experience for the target audiences with accurate information and enriched media based on segmentation.

Enhance brand exposure

Most customers do not use a single route to purchase products and weigh their options based on different factors like pricing, experience, relevance, and more.

Before they reach the final point of sale, companies have an opportunity to foster brand and product exposure. But to seize this opportunity, brands must deliver consistent and fluid experiences via all channels to gain their interest. Moreover, these experiences need to be anchored with relevant product reliability messaging while keeping preferences like language, locality, demographic category in mind. Here, a PIM integration is handy for eCommerce companies to improve brand and product exposure by gaining a unified view of various target segments and their preferred way of engagement. PIM aligns multi-lingual data and content localization needs for highly relatable messaging across all channels at the right time.

Improve conversion rate

The eCommerce landscape is expanding with multiple marketplaces, small online storefronts, subscription services, and more. In such a case, while few customers prefer shopping from the most accessible available options, many aren’t always on the search for a specific brand and make a choice based on product attributes such as design, features, and durability that make it purchase-worthy. To convert either, companies can diversify their sales by funneling target audiences to the relevant product listing based on the most crucial piece of sales information – customer need. However, before attaining information accuracy for effective sales diversification, companies need to address the increasing number of diverse systems and their data as channels expand. An MDM integration helps funnel customer segments toward relevant information by centralizing data and systems from expanding channels.

Enhance customer experience

Online selling via several channels relies mainly on information being structured and contextually aligned with whichever channel the customer chooses to engage. Secondly, it requires centralized product information wherein data sources for both customers and internal teams can reflect in a synchronized manner, leaving no scope for conflicts when companies promote sales and align marketing initiatives. By establishing these crucial factors in online selling, eCommerce companies can deliver exceptional customer experiences across various channels. Here, solutions like PIM and DAM help create compelling interactions via numerous touchpoints by eliminating duplication and discrepancy across all data types. This also makes the process of automating multi-channel publishing much easier. Additionally, an MDM integration manages product information workflows sourced from various channels in any digital format, untangling the otherwise complex information required for effective cross-selling.

Derive meaningful insights from diverse selling channels

Companies selling on multiple online channels can collect a wide range of information about their target audience, including locations, purchase history, buying patterns, personal preferences, and more. These insights help analyze and measure metrics unique to each channel, such as sell-through rates, best-selling products, inventory turnover, sales velocity, and more.

But to unlock the full potential of this information in developing an effective sales strategy or a marketing plan, solutions like PIM and DAM are a must to drive the right kind of information to the target audience, which then subsequently helps companies in deriving reliable and accurate insights. Besides, without relevant product information to reach the target audience, insights derived from an analysis of inaccurate customer responses simply become a futile exercise.

Multi-channel eCommerce – scale revenue, create diversity

The combination of multi-channel publishing and eCommerce makes for an integral part of modern marketing and sales. The focus is to guide customers from the initial search for product information to the close. Regardless of when and where they make a purchase decision along the buying journey.

When implementing a PIM, DAM, or MDM system to streamline content across multiple online channels or touchpoints, companies need to ensure it can be customized around growing business requirements. Including expanding marketplace integrations, product listings, inventories, workflows, third-party applications and technologies, and more. An efficient PIM, DAM, or MDM integration automates publishing processes across devices and enables seamless access to relevant information that can be communicated with target audiences via any channel. Moreover, these solutions also benefit in improving collaboration efforts with suppliers, with a complete outline of product locations, delivery information, write-offs, and more, regardless of the number of online channels involved.

In conclusion, multi-channel selling empowers eCommerce companies to build brand awareness and increase conversion with economies of scale. And the right kind of data management solution helps increase the output efficacy across any number of channels.

Rajneesh Kumar
Rajneesh Kumar is Director, Marketing at Pimcore GmbH. He is developing the marketing plans. Operationally he is responsible for the marketing program and driving business outcomes. He builds data-driven decision-making frameworks – customer segmentation, Go to Market strategy, targeting, cross-sell/up–sell. Pimcore is an open-source platform for product information management (PIM/MDM), digital asset management (DAM), content management system (CMS), and eCommerce.


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