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Data & Technology

Does Your Business Need a Multichannel Selling Software?

Data & Technology
September 10, 2020
7 min read
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The key to effectively managing multiple sales channels is automation and integration. As with any tool your business employs, it’s important that your multichannel selling software simplifies your operations and supports your long-term business goals. This overview highlights the functionality and practicality of some of our favorite multichannel selling softwares.

If you’re selling across multiple sales channels to expand your market share and brand presence, a multichannel selling software can be a valuable asset that allows you to keep up with the demands of managing multiple channels without significantly scaling up your internal resources. The requirements for effectively managing multiple sales channels are not only rigorous but are constantly changing. Think of your multichannel selling software as an expert-level tool that will make sure you’re always ahead of the curve on managing multichannel listings and ensure that your customers are having a streamlined and elevated experience from browsing to checkout to delivery.

The Backbone of Your Commerce Operations Management (COM) Strategy

Commerce Operations Management (COM) is the key to a successful multichannel selling strategy. Your COM strategy is fully customizable to your business needs and goals, integrating all of your internal processes including listing products, marketing, inventory management, and fulfillment into one automated system. A successful COM strategy will free up personnel and resources to focus on business drivers and processes that require a human touch, and the heartbeat of your COM will be a powerful multichannel selling software.

Simplifying Multichannel Listing Management

At the basic level, a multichannel selling software should support integrations with all of your sales channels to allow you to meet your customers where they’re already shopping. It should offer an easy-to-use dashboard that offers a high-level overview of your multichannel listings, allowing you to accurately assess which of your channels is performing best and why. These types of comparative insights will help you decide where to focus your marketing efforts and how to prioritize inventory. It should also allow you to quickly view inventory levels across all channels with integrated demand forecasting to minimize missed opportunities due to stock-outs. Demand forecasting is especially important during high-demand seasons or while you’re running a promotion. Your multichannel selling software should also support bulk uploads of product listings that automatically populate each channel with compliant content, allowing you to launch new products quickly and simultaneously across all channels.

Closing the Loop With Fulfillment

Another important feature to consider when choosing a multichannel selling software is integration with your fulfillment partner. Fulfillment is often the unsung hero of creating a positive customer experience, which 96% of shoppers surveyed indicating that a positive delivery experience with a brand would encourage them to purchase from that business again. Consumers value constant communication and admit to regularly checking tracking information, with 93% of shoppers placing high value on order confirmation emails. While highly important to the customer experience, all of this communication could take up significant time if not automated through an integration between your fulfillment provider and multichannel selling software.

Many online marketplaces like Amazon also have stringent requirements for fulfillment, expecting sellers to meet minimum on-time delivery expectations within 1-2 days. As 1-2 day delivery continues to drive consumer expectations across all channels, it’s important for merchants to make strategic partnerships that will enable them to compete in an increasingly crowded market. The dizzying pace of ecommerce is difficult enough to manage on a single channel, but as your business expands its reach across multiple online marketplaces and traditional sales channels, the varied requirements of each channel can become overwhelming. Your fulfillment partner should have the capability to manage fulfillment across all channels with multiple integration points compatible with your multichannel selling software, shopping cart, and marketplaces as part of your overall COM strategy.

Our Favorite Multichannel eCommerce Softwares Compared

We’ve examined a few of our favorite multichannel selling softwares below to help you decide which platform may be the best fit for your business.

Sellbrite

Sellbrite is consistently well-reviewed for ease of use and an intuitive user interface, but it doesn’t sacrifice performance for accessibility. It offers customized price rules for individual channels that can automatically reprice your listings within a specified range to keep your listings competitive on every channel. It also updates inventory levels every 15 minutes, giving your near real-time insights across all channels. And with an open API it will integrate seamlessly with all of your partners.

Channel Advisor

Channel Advisor offers enterprise-level tools that are great for medium to large businesses. Its robust features include their Digital Marketing Solutions, which simplifies the process of creating an integrated marketing campaign and enables direct sales through ads with integrations with Instagram and Google Shopping. The “Pricewatch” feature allows for alerts around competitor pricing in addition to automated repricing, and its “Where to Buy” feature creates a seamless buyer journey all the way through checkout, giving insights into consumer behavior for continual optimization.

Zentail

Zentail prides itself on its patented categorization technology to simplify multichannel listing management and return more accurate cross-channel reporting. The categorization technology, dubbed Standard Marketplace Attribution Relation Technology (or SMART) makes launching a new channel effortless, allowing you to dive into new opportunities as quickly as possible. Its automatic repricing tool allows manual overrides on a channel-by-channel basis for promotions and sales, and its intelligent data management automatically updates listing content to comply with Amazon’s changing requirements.

Solid Commerce

Solid Commerce is an established brand in the multichannel selling software industry, and its reasonable price tag and relative ease of use make it a viable option for small to medium-businesses and businesses just starting to branch out to multichannel sales. One of its unique features is its intelligent kitting and bundling capability, which will suggest products to be paired together based on popularity of sales.

Brightpearl

Brightpearl is designed for retailers trading at least $1 million per year or expecting to reach that level within the next 6 months. Its focus is on creating back office efficiency by automating as many accounting functions and interactions with vendors as possible. It is less suited for businesses looking to drive channel growth and more so to businesses who need a powerful backend solution to manage explosive growth or major spikes in seasonal demand.

Multichannel Selling Simplified

Ultimately the multichannel selling software you choose should make managing the day-to-day operations of your business simpler to allow you to focus on business drivers and maximize new opportunities. Ideally, any software you add to your ecosystem will fully integrate with all of your target sales channels and trusted vendors, and in the best case scenario, the addition of a multichannel selling software will also give you added insights into the performance of your channels and as you refine your multichannel strategy and drive growth across all channels.

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