Statista shares that global retail ecommerce sales grew from $3.3 trillion in 2019 to $4.28 trillion in 2020. With online retail on the rise, it’s no longer what you’re selling that matters — it’s where you’re selling that counts.
From marketplaces like eBay and Amazon to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, there’s no shortage of ecommerce channels for online retailers.
You need to choose the best ecommerce sales channels and complement them with a winning multichannel ecommerce strategy to succeed.
Curious about the marketing channels that drive ecommerce sales?
Read on to learn:
- Multichannel Ecommerce 101
- Best Channels to Market Ecommerce
- Best Social Media Channels for Your Ecommerce Business
- How To Choose the Best Ecommerce Sales Channels
- Final Thoughts: How To Choose the Best Ecommerce Channels To Increase Sales
Multichannel Ecommerce 101
Multichannel ecommerce is the process of selling products and services across several digital sales channels. It enables online businesses to increase brand awareness and reach new customers across multiple ecommerce channels.
Selling across multiple ecommerce distribution channels diversifies risk. You don’t rely on one channel for online sales.
It helps you create a consistent shopping experience across all ecommerce channels. Potential customers can discover your products on Instagram and check reviews on Facebook before buying from your website.
Such a channel mix maximizes your reach and helps your customers decide quickly.
Best Channels to Market Ecommerce
1. Online marketplaces.
2. Search engines.
3. Email marketing.
4. Content marketing.
5. Affiliate networks.
6. Social media.
Before we explore the factors that influence an ecommerce channel strategy, let’s look at the top marketing channels for ecommerce.
1. Online Marketplaces
Online marketplaces are excellent ecommerce marketing channels for lead generation and sales. You can list products and find customers without investing in a marketing strategy.
There are different kinds of online marketplaces, including:
- General marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
- On-demand marketplaces like Zazzle and Redbubble.
- Niche marketplaces like Not On The High Street.
Most online marketplaces let you share product data directly from your online store and simplify product feed management. You don’t need to worry about manual feed management.
2. Search Engines
Search engines are the most versatile ecommerce acquisition channels. They let you target different search intents with digital marketing and drive organic traffic.
You can also employ ecommerce marketers to manage the online marketing for your ecommerce company. They’ll help you get the best return on investment from paid search channels like Google Ads and leverage free channels like Google Shopping.
3. Email Marketing
Email is a timeless marketing channel. It works across all buying stages and requires little investment. Email marketing can help reduce cart abandonment, retarget existing customers, and even drive traffic to other ecommerce channels.
Build a list with sign-up promos and offer targeted discounts to customers based on past purchases.
4. Content Marketing
Product content marketing is perfect for driving inbound traffic to your product pages. It can help you target customers in different stages of their buying journeys and guide them with their decisions.
You can use content marketing to build authority, drive traffic, and boost your website’s SEO. But unlike other marketing channels, content marketing takes longer to deliver results.
5. Affiliate Networks
Affiliate networks help you increase your online reach by displaying your products to relevant audiences across various online platforms, blogs, and publications.
You only need to sign up to an affiliate network like ShareASale or ClickBank and upload your product feeds. And each time the affiliate network generates a lead or a sale, you pay them a small commission for their marketing efforts.
6. Social Media
Pew Research found that seven in every ten Americans use social media daily, making it one of the best marketing channels for ecommerce businesses.
Social networks can help you leverage user-generated content to build trust organically.
Best Social Media Channels for Your Ecommerce Business
When it comes to social commerce, it’s vital to know the platforms you should use.
Here are the best social media channels for ecommerce companies:
Not all businesses are alike. Thus, it helps to plan your social media marketing strategy to suit your industry and audience.
For example, a B2B business can use a Facebook ad to target users in specific Facebook groups or geographical locations. In contrast, a B2C company may benefit from Instagram Reels to generate interest in their products using targeted hashtags.
How To Choose the Best Ecommerce Sales Channels
With so many ecommerce channels within your reach, how do you decide the right channel for your online business?
Here are six crucial factors you should consider when choosing different sales channels for ecommerce.
Consider Your Business Model
Your business model determines the success of the online marketing channels you choose.
A B2B business selling industrial machinery might see better results on a social media platform like LinkedIn. Conversely, a B2C company selling scented candles is more likely to attract followers organically on Instagram and Snapchat.
Conduct Competitor Analysis
Competitor analysis can help you identify what works for your industry and audience. It can save you a considerable amount of trial and error at the start.
You can take inspiration on pricing strategies, communication channels, and marketing platforms.
Define Your Target Audience
Detailed buyer personas help you identify who your target audience is and what appeals to them.
Ask yourself what motivates your ideal customer and what their pain points are. It can help you target sales channels that deliver the best return on your marketing investments.
Check Your Product/Market Fit
Analyzing your product/market fit can help you identify the ecommerce channels suitable for your brand.
For example, niche-specific businesses like auto accessories manufacturers will benefit from using social media platforms and communities for auto-enthusiasts. Similarly, brands selling daily-use products are likely to see better results on online marketplaces like Amazon.
Outline Your Long-Term Business Goals
It’s essential to consider your long-term business goals when choosing the best ecommerce sales channel.
If you want to transition from a niche B2B brand to a D2C brand, you might need a different approach than a business that’s scaling from B2C to D2C.
Review Your Cash Flow and Marketing Budget
If you own a bootstrapped business, it helps to focus on free and low-budget sales channels to use your marketing budget efficiently. Similarly, established businesses might benefit by using ecommerce channels that complement their cash flow.
For instance, upfront marketing fees or sales commissions might hurt a B2B business with net-30 payment terms.
So, make sure to prioritize positive cash flow and sustainable growth over short-term ecommerce sales.
Final Thoughts: How To Choose the Best Ecommerce Channels To Increase Sales
We hope our guide helps you select ecommerce channels that complement your business and help it grow. It’s important to remember that as your business grows, your online store also needs to scale with it.
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