In the United States, ecommerce accounts for 8.5% of total revenues in retail, according to the most recent Census Bureau data. Experts expect online sales to continue rising, with Forrester predicting that ecommerce's average annual growth rate of 9.32% will hold steady through 2020.

If you want to make the most of your brand's presence online, however, you have to be active on, and optimized for, multiple channels. Price comparison engines, social commerce options, mobile apps, multi-site product aggregators and marketplace platforms are all enormous drivers of sales. The 18 largest marketplaces alone account for some 44% of the world's ecommerce sales, according to data from Digital Commerce 360.

But none of this matters if your brand can't provide a consistent, unified customer experience across all those of those channels. Keeping it all in sync is hard from many perspectives, including order fulfillment, branding assets, product information, shipping logistics and inventory management.

Trying to do it all alone, or even with a dedicated team, can spread merchants too thin. These tools can help.

Create a Seamless Omni-Channel Presence

BigCommerce provides a single hub for all your sales channels. In addition to its ecommerce website management tools, the platform integrates with Google Shopping, Amazon, Facebook, eBay and Pinterest. It connects your inventory to all your marketplaces, social media and point of sale solutions. You can manage sales across all channels with automatic syncing, allowing you to optimize inventory, avoid errors and skip cumbersome manual data entry.

BigCommerce's integrations with multiple POS systems like Square and ShopKeep mean you can also use it to sell in person. Merchants can save time, because everything is managed from a central location, making it easier to manage the backend of ecommerce, so you can focus on other aspects of running your business.

Provide Stellar Multi-Channel Support

When you connect with customers on multiple channels, it can be difficult to keep up with customer service and support. Freshdesk makes it easy to manage all your customer support conversations from one place, regardless of which channel the customer chooses to use to initiate a support request.

Freshdesk includes email ticketing, a built-in phone channel (that saves you from upfront costs and hardware installations associated with a traditional call center), live chat, and a feedback widget that can be installed anywhere your customers are looking for help. It also includes channels for social media support, available for Facebook and Twitter, so you can keep track of when customers are mentioning you there, and address their questions and concerns. The central platform saves time and effort, and helps improve customer satisfaction.

Engage With a Branded Mobile App

Since more internet traffic comes from mobile devices than desktops these days, it makes sense to connect with customers via mobile. Shopgate makes it easy for ecommerce companies to create branded mobile apps for customers. This platform allows you to create mobile websites, apps for iPhone and iPad, and Android apps, too. It's great for incentivizing loyalty via coupons, QR codes in ads and push notifications for daily deals.

You can create a custom app with absolutely no coding knowledge, saving time and money compared to hiring a mobile app developer to handle it for you. Plus, Shopgate integrates with 60 leading ecommerce platforms like Volusion, Magento, Shopify and the aforementioned BigCommerce, so you can sync it with your existing store with just a few minutes of setup time.

Feed the Comparison Shopping Engines

GoDataFeed makes it easy for merchants to market their products on comparison shopping engines including Bing, Google Shopping, Facebook and Shopzilla. Merchants often see up to 20% of their online traffic coming from these comparison engines, so it's important to include them as part of your strategy. But, manually handling all of it can be time consuming, and leaves a lot of room for error.

With GoDataFeed, however, the process is simplified, since it provides a single point of integration to push out your product catalog and automates daily feed submissions to more than 200 shopping channels. Built-in analytics allows you to measure clicks, conversions, and revenue across channels or by SKU.

Streamline Asset Management

A brand management platform, Bynder simplifies your digital asset archives. Using a single dashboard, you can develop, edit, find and use the latest versions of your content - including logos, banners, product images and video content. This way, your branding efforts will always be consistent, because you use this library as the one source that everything flows from.

The built-in project management module makes it easy for your marketing, content and branding teams to work fully aligned with one another, tracking progress and workflows. It features real-time collaborative edits, and provides a central location for all your company's guidelines. Bynder allows you to tag assets and publish them with embed codes, for easier organization and management.

Conclusion

Ultimately, multi-channel ecommerce merchants who are looking to simplify their operations and increase efficiency should look into using one or more of these tools to help. They'll make it easier for you to maximize your customer acquisition efforts and streamline fulfillment, while leaving you enough time for customer service and strengthening relationships with suppliers and customers.

 

 

 

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