Multi-Channel Ecommerce Strategy: Creating and Optimizing an “Everywhere” Experience Starts Onsite

Multi-Channel Ecommerce Strategy: Creating and Optimizing an “Everywhere” Experience Starts Onsite

This is a special guest post by Peter Starr Northrop Jr., New Media and Content Marketing Manager at BounceX.

Every retailer worth its salt wants to capture its market in totality, to reach customers new and old through mediums familiar and not.

It’s a strategy that was once reserved for only the most innovative brands. Now, if your company isn’t selling across multiple channels … good luck keeping up.

Yet deploying a multi-channel strategy and crafting the right one are two very different matters. If you’re not smart, wasted time, wasted capital, and uneven results can find you long before profit ever will.

The best multi-channel strategies begin in a place you might not think to look.

As you search outwardly for ways to reach customers far and wide, many times the first place you ought to turn is within.

BounceX live webinar

Is your site ready for a multi-channel strategy?

Join us Wednesday, Jan. 24th for a live webinar with Peter Starr Northrop, Jr. — New Media and Content Marketing Manager at BounceX, Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing software company.

Discover …

  • The difference between multi-channel and omni-channel strategy
  • How to keep your branding consistent on a channel-by-channel basis
  • Conversion tactics to guide your customers through the buyer journey

Reserve your spot today

Okay, Wait ... What Is Multi-Channel Ecommerce?

In the plainest terms, multi-channel ecommerce is marketing – and, especially, selling – everywhere your customers buy. And it means doing this natively.

So, let’s say you’re an online retailer with a killer following. You have a website that attracts a lot of traffic, and you move a good bit of product through that platform.

But growth stalls when a website is your only means of reaching shoppers. The best brands sell to their customers wherever they are, whether that is through shoppable Instagram posts, a Facebook Shop, or through ecommerce apps that allow customers to purchase products anywhere they’re listed (Amazon, eBay, Houzz, BuzzFeed, etc.):

A multi-channel ecommerce strategy acts as a hub around which all your channels orbit

Omni-channel retailing is like multi-channel, but supercharged. There’s harmony to omni-channel selling, so that all touchpoints overlap with a single view of each customer, delivering a tailored and interlocking experience.

Unlike multi-channel, where the product is the center of your focus, the customer is at the heart of any omni-channel retailing strategy. No matter if the interaction is via email marketing, retargeting ads, or shoppable posts on social media, each touchpoint enhances the customer’s overall experience of your product and brand.

An omni-channel selling strategy is like multi-channel but supercharged, all your channels working together in harmony for the optimal selling experience.

They all work together – abandoned carts lead to coupon codes appearing in their inbox; retargeting ads through social media remind them to utilize those discounts; completed orders result in cross-sells and even financing options for other products to purchase – to create a cohesive approach that aligns under a single, united brand experience.

Whether a business chooses to sell through omni-channel vs multi-channel, there are no limits to how many channels you can use to move product.

But the most successful ecommerce companies don’t just spread out and hope for the best.

They identify a handful of channels that make the most sense for who their customers are and hammer those platforms home for optimal results.

The Fundamentals of Multi-Channel Unity

In online retail, the website will always be the hub that channels unify around, where the tone of your brand is set.

Channel unity hinges on proper branding, focused and dedicated messaging that broadcasts consistency across all your sales channels, yet that is not a company’s only hope to ensure cohesion across all its sales platforms.

To make your channels work together, technology is your friend.

Multi-channel ecommerce software can be used to organize and manage channels all through one dashboard, where you can edit listings, change item descriptions, and even schedule when you want a product to be advertised across each individual platform so they work as one to achieve your sales goals.

And don’t forget numbers.

Whether through Google Analytics or your ecommerce software’s internal dashboard, sales and conversion data will allow you to make certain your channels are operating as intended.

If they’re not, the output won’t lie. You’ll know which sales channels require more resources to pull their weight to continue the brand experience you wish to maintain across all platforms.

Retargeting from Channel to Channel

With the deployment of a proper multi-channel system, customers arrive at your website from any number of avenues.

Through a people-based strategy — like the kind we recommend at BounceX — you can start building your strategies around identifying customer intent via their traffic source. Whether folks are coming in via email, social media, paid, etc. – every one of those channels tells a slightly different story.

Then, the best course is to serve them up custom content based on their traffic source, so that their first experience on your site makes sense for where they came from.

For instance, if Pinterest is how they got to your page, you can queue up a scroll-delayed overlay that, as soon as they scroll past 15% of the page, displays a message like …

Thanks for coming over from Pinterest!

Use code Pinterest25 when you check out to save 25% on your first purchase.

It’s a welcome and relevant personal touch, but don’t rest just there. Don’t forget also to secure the centerpiece of effective retargeting: your visitor’s email address.

Through overlays that trigger pop-ups based on page viewing behavior – for instance, when their cursor moves upward to suggest they are about to leave your site – an important dialogue box appears to prompt customers to provide their email address before they go.

It all flows from here.

The email address is the Holy-Grail piece of information for your business to more personally engage in its retargeting efforts.

Converting via Convenience

Advertising on the web is all about getting your message to the right person, at the right time, in the right location.

To ensure no wasted movement or repeated communication, the smartest companies will be able to segment their customers based on their previous interaction with a product.

Identify who is getting your ads first, then deploy content-specific messaging so your retargeting efforts do not go in vain. On Facebook, for instance, you might create separate ads or campaigns to retarget:

  1. Recent visitors to product or category pages (0-7 days)
  2. Non-recent visitors to product or category pages (8-30 days)
  3. First-time customers with upsells based on recommended products
  4. Recurring customers with upsells based on new releases
  5. Long-term customers with loyalty program offers

Convenience for a customer means making your product the right product for them to buy in that moment. That means it has to make sense what they’re looking at and why they’re looking at it. Each buying journey may not be the same, but — for your customers — it should feel like an intuitive process every time.

Your Multi-Channel Ecommerce Strategy Starts …

As a principle, multi-channel ecommerce makes sense. In practice, developing a multi-channel strategy is a big task: a tall, wide-reaching order the likes of which may forecast how your business fares in a hyper-competitive ecommerce space.

But it all starts within.

When your core business is right – that means branding, messaging, product, and customer fit – expanding outward will have a solid foundation to build upon.

An “everywhere” experience should only be created when your site enterprise is ready.

Multi-channel begins onsite. Where it ends only you can know.

BounceX live webinar

Create and optimize a true multi-channel strategy ...

Join us Wednesday, Jan. 24th for a live webinar with Peter Starr Northrop, Jr. — New Media and Content Marketing Manager at BounceX, Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing software company.

Discover …

  • The difference between multi-channel and omni-channel strategy
  • How to keep your branding consistent on a channel-by-channel basis
  • Conversion tactics to guide your customers through the buyer journey

Reserve your spot today

About the Author

Peter Starr Northrop Jr. is the New Media and Content Marketing Manager at BounceX, a company that's People-Based Marketing (PBM) is the first new channel with scale in 10 years.

He talks digital marketing strategy across a multitude of digital industries in his bi-weekly broadcast series, found here.