For ecommerce retailers, Amazon is no doubt the holy grail of sales platforms.
And for good reason: over 200 million users frequent the everything store and purchase billions of products each year, many of them using it as their default search engine for online shopping.
With such a wide reach and impressive year on year growth, it’s clear to see why many sellers use Amazon as their primary and often only online sales channel. All the hassle of opening accounts, gaining approval, and listing products on other smaller platforms seems a huge waste of time when compared to the return on investment offered by Amazon.
But as many seasoned sellers know, focusing all your efforts entirely on Amazon and dismissing other sales channels leaves you blind to one of the biggest opportunities for increasing your online growth: multichannel selling. And contrary to what you might think, expanding your ecommerce efforts across multiple websites and marketplaces doesn’t have to be difficult and time-consuming.
But before we get into the nuts and bolts of it, let’s first discover the reasons why looking beyond Amazon and selling through various channels is key to driving your online growth:
Often Amazon is not the lowest price
Amazon is not cheap. Its high fees and pricing structure mean that it can often be more cost-effective to list on other sites — particularly if you sell low margin products.
If you can make money with products in the lower end of the market, you’ll want to consider platforms like Ebay and Walmart where the costs, depending on your category of goods, can be significantly cheaper.
Bypass product and branding restrictions
Due to Amazon’s long list of product restrictions, it’s common for sellers to be unable to list certain prod-ucts, especially in categories like health and beauty, food, and apparel.
Some products that are restricted on Amazon can be sold very well on other platforms like Rakuten and Ebay which have more lenient policies. Many of these sites are also more open to branding, allowing to increase your brand awareness and build a relationship with your customers.
Take advantage of less crowded markets
Many categories on Amazon are dominated by big marketplace sellers, making it difficult for small to midsize retailers to get a foothold in their niche. But the problem spreads much deeper, with new sellers coming online every day and Amazon driving their own fierce sales agenda.
The growing competition and formidable opponent of Amazon only push you further down the listings and forces you to cut your margins. Seeking out less crowded markets can allow you to establish your presence and gain an early upper hand.
Other channels bring other benefits.
New platforms are using advanced AI software to offer their own unique shopping experience. The algorithm-driven marketplace of Jet favors sellers who can fulfill goods to the customer at the lowest overall costs, therefore making it a great opportunity for local sellers.
It’s no longer a hassle to sell to multiple channels.
Splitting your time and attention between multiple channels — each in need of continual improvement and optimization — is a recipe for disaster that more often than not results in an incredibly low return on investment.
A new wave of inventory and order management platforms aim to address this issue by helping sellers centralize and manage seller’s data, so they can focus on what’s important: driving more sales.
CASE STUDY: From 6 to 30+ channels and double the sales
One recent success story of multichannel selling is a client of SellerCloud and a successful home decor merchant. Using SellerCloud’s platform, the merchant expanding his ecommerce sales over 30 market-places and DOUBLED his revenue in just a few short months.
This merchant was initially selling on six channels including ebay, Houzz, Overstock, and Wayfair. With not enough time to update inventory, manage orders, and optimize listings on each individual site, he was already struggling to cope and making much less than his business was able to bring in.
Once he started with Seller Cloud, he was able to expand his reach to over 30 channels including Bon-Ton, Boscoy’s, Gilt, and other specialist markets for home decor products. While doing this, he also streamlined the management of his channels and significantly reduced the amount of time he needed to invest.
In just a few short months the merchant’s sales went from $59,537 up to $118,919.34, with the combined profits from alternate sites outweighing his profits from Amazon.
The bottom line for sellers is that the world’s number one ecommerce platform does not necessarily mean it will be their number one source of online revenue.
Sellers should open accounts on other platforms and use a trial and error approach to find out which work for them. For the best results, take advantage of the specialist software services and platforms that make listing on multiple channels incredibly easy, efficient, and, as you can see, profitable.