In the modern eCommerce world, it pays to offer products through multiple channels. Owning a Magento store gives retailers considerable power over promotions, sales and marketing strategies, and customer data. Selling through channels like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy gives them access to reach and network effects that would be almost impossible to build on a stand-alone store.
The obvious course of action is to do both. Maintain an eCommerce store as the center of retail operations, but also sell on the other channels. The traditional problem with this approach has been complexity. Managing sales, stock control, and product catalogues over several different sales venues can have the most diligent eCommerce merchant tearing her hair out in frustration.
It’s difficult to reconcile stock levels with sales when those sales aren’t promptly registered in a central database, leading to out-of-stock scenarios that can be damaging to an eCommerce business’s reputation. Not to mention the time-consuming process of ensuring that product catalogues match across each sales channel.
As eCommerce retailer Richard Stubbings points out:
Over the years the internet has matured, and some very large players have become well established. Particularly Ebay and Amazon. There are a significant percentage of customers who will look first at one or the other of these sites, when they are looking to purchase. Indeed some people no longer purchase anywhere else. So you are missing out of a large number of potential customers if you do not consider selling on these channels.
Multi-channel selling can be difficult, but it is also rewarding, and an opportunity that retailers can’t afford to miss if they want to maximize sales.
Fortunately for Magento store owners, there are several excellent options for integrating a Magento store with the biggest eCommerce channels. Let’s take a look at a couple of the leading multi-channel eCommerce solutions for Magento.
M2E Pro gets its name from its original purpose: to form a bridge between Magento and eBay (which owns Magento). Since then its reach has expanded, and M2E Pro is now a full-featured multi-channel eCommerce solution with support for eBay, Amazon, and Rakuten.
Unlike other multi-channel solutions, M2E Pro puts Magento front and center, making it an ideal choice for retailers with an existing Magento store who want to expand onto other channels. Product catalogues and inventory are controlled from within Magento’s backend and data is transferred from there to the external channels.
Orders from external channels are fed back into Magento so that each order on eBay, for example, will have a corresponding order automatically created within Magento.
In contrast to M2E, Sellbrite isn’t a specifically Magento-focused product. It’s a multi-channel cloud retail platform that includes a Magento integration alongside other integrations that include eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, the latter of which gives it an advantage over M2E.
It offers many of the multi-channel features you’d expect, including the ability to create and manage listings across all channels, inventory syncing, and order fulfillment.
The essential difference between the two solutions I’ve discussed is that M2E is great for turning your Magento eCommerce retail business into a multi-channel powerhouse. Sellbrite is great if you want to integrate a Magento store with an existing selection of channels or use a cloud service that can control Magento along with other channels.