8 Things You Can Expect From Multichannel Selling

Multichannel Selling


Back in the old days of the Internet, when selling online was still new, you could get by with only having a web store. 

Things have changed now. 51% of shoppers prefer shopping online, and they use sites like Amazon and eBay to do it. If you have an online business, you need to adapt to survive.

You need to expand and diversify. You need to get into multichannel selling.

If you are new to the multichannel game or are just looking for information, let’s get into the details. Here are eight things you can expect from multichannel selling.


What Is Multichannel Selling?

First, let’s start with the basics. What is this form of selling?

Having multichannel sale sources simply means you have many places to sell your products. It’s no different than selling things inside big chain stores. 

The goal is the same, sell in many places to capture a bigger piece of the market. 

You will face new and different challenges and benefits. In order to be prepared, you need to understand some important details.


8 Things You Can Expect

If you are just starting out, let’s focus on some of the most important things.


Each Channel Requires Different Things

If you’ve ever dealt with the headaches of online and social media marketing, you’ve had a taste of multichannel selling. This form of selling requires you to expand your online presences, often to online marketplaces.

This means you will be expanding into unknown territory sometimes.

Each channel will have its own set of rules, web interface, and general way of doing things. 

This is actually a good thing. The more you learn new ways of selling online, the more you will understand how you can use different channels.

Knowledge is power, so stick with it.


Customers Start with Different Channels

One advantage of multichannel selling is that it casts a wider net for customers to find your business. Each person has their preferred online shopping experience which you can adapt to using multichannel sales.

Take their favorite starting point for example. Some people start with a search engine, others with social media, others still with their favorite online store. 

Multichannel sales allow you to be where the customer wants to be. It allows you to adapt to their preferences and even tailor your product offerings to their tastes.


Branding Needs to Be Consistent

You want your business to be in multiple places at once. However, you don’t want your business to have an identity crisis along the way.

Each channel is going to have its own web presence, which includes a different brand. In order to make sure that your business isn’t mistaken for multiple businesses, you need consistent branding.

There’s only so much you can change depending on the channel, but a few things will be required. Having a good logo, consistent text, clear products, and an overall sales pitch will help keep your business consistent across multiple platforms.


Amazon Is Required

If you struggle to figure out where to start, start with the basics. Unless you are selling special niche items, you should include Amazon in the mix.

Considering Amazon does over $100 billion dollars of retail a year, it’s easy to see why it’s important. 

The platform makes it convenient for customers to find new products, and for businesses to deal with the logistics of selling online. Most importantly, Amazon has become the new standard.

55% of online shoppers immediately start with Amazon when looking for a new product. In other words, if you aren’t present on this website, you’re gonna be missing out on these customers.

Your competition may even scoop them up if they are on Amazon and you’re not.


eBay Is A Strong Contender

When you reach a point of expanding to another channel, eBay should be high on your list.

Once seen as primarily an auction site, eBay has come into its own as a solid online marketplace. These days, many businesses will create an eBay store without ever auctioning off a single item.

eBay offers a lot of features and conveniences for both sellers and buyers. It’s easy to list items and set prices, handle inventory, and search for new products.

You also get the benefit of eBay’s long-established feedback system. The better your business does, the more it shows up in your feedback.


Other Online Marketplaces Should Be Considered

When your multi-channel selling platform has its foundation, you will probably want to expand even further. At this time, don’t ignore the little, sometimes growing, other guys.

Potential customers sometimes prefer smaller marketplaces because they can find cheaper prices or better deals compared to major sites like Amazon. Other websites like Walmart make it easier for third-party businesses to sell through their website even if they aren’t in their brick-and-mortar stores.

Whatever channels you choose, make sure they are an appropriate fit for your business and products.


Order Handling Will Be More Complex

Be prepared for some additional challenges when you get started with multichannel selling. Handling orders and inventory across multiple platforms will be difficult if you aren’t prepared. 

Many of these websites offer ways to help track orders and inventory. Some will interface with your online inventory system so they can keep track of what products and orders exist at a given time.

Start off slow, ease into the multichannel selling experience, and you will be fine. 


Advertising Will Still Be Necessary

Finally, be prepared to continue to deal with online advertising. Even though your business will be in multiple places at once, that doesn’t mean people will be able to find it.

The rules remain the same. You can use social media, organic search engines, or paid advertising to find customers on any of the channels you use.


Final Thoughts

Multichannel selling isn’t necessarily better than having a web store. It is a different type of experience with its own advantages and challenges.

If you are willing to learn how to sell this way and overcome the challenges you will face, you can expect to have a greater presence online. The best place to start is with one channel, and then, to expand outward.


If you want additional help or information on multichannel selling, we can help!

How FBA Is Changing the E-commerce Model


Are you an e-commerce company wanting to broaden your sales and product distribution channels?

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) has taken the industry by storm and it’s changing the e-commerce model.

FBA is a service that gives business owners to sell online in ways that were once unimaginable.

With FBA, merchants set their own prices through Amazon and ship items to regional warehouses of the company before they are sold. But sending them to these locations is not a guessing game. It’s the result of analyzing different segments of the population and projecting demand for the product.

You are also able to utilize the strength of Amazon’s brand to benefit your business.

In 2016, an estimated 2 billion units were delivered on behalf of active FBA sellers — growth of over 70-percent from the year before.

How is FBA changing the e-commerce model?

In more ways than you may think! Read on to find out more.


Order Fulfillment

One major benefit of the FBA service for you as a business owner is that you are taking advantage of Amazon’s expansive network of distribution channels.

In October 2015, it was estimated that Amazon had 173 order fulfillment centers. With 104 located in the United States and 69 located overseas. It’s a number that continues to grow.

With your goods located in the right facilities, you are able to leverage the multi-channel fulfillments that you couldn’t if you kept all of your items in one place.

One way you are able to leverage this business relationship is that anything FBA is, of course, shipped by Amazon. This means Amazon Prime’s two-day priority shipping applies to your items.

This is arguably the FBA program’s biggest benefit to your business.

Amazon doesn’t publicize the number of Prime memberships. But it has recent estimates put the number of members north of 65 million!

Through the Amazon Prime service, you are able to deliver your products to customers quickly. You are also connected with the powerful Amazon name as you sell your product.


Exposure to a Wider Audience

Besides the benefits enjoyed by Prime members on orders FBA, listing your product on Amazon puts it in good company. It’s in the stream of commerce on a widely recognized marketplace selling website.

As recently as 2015, there were an estimated 304 million active Amazon accounts across the world.

An entrepreneur can choose to sell their product on Amazon and fulfill the order themselves. But as your business seeks to reach a wider audience, why would you?

Foregoing the FBA option separates you from Amazon and their Prime member shipping benefits. 


Quality Customer Service 

When your business uses the FBA service, there are also advantages in the form of order management.

This allows your business to use the manpower of Amazon in a way that your average small business might not be able.

When your product’s sale is FBA, Amazon handles the management of the order — from the packaging and to the delivery. Perhaps, more importantly, they also handle the need for exchanges and return requests. All things that, if handled by you, the business owner, can be costly and time-consuming.

In this respect, FBA is turning order fulfillment into a commodity and revolutionizing the e-commerce model.


Powerful Analytics

Wondering what products of yours are selling and at what price? What are the trends in the marketplace for similar items like yours?

It’s no secret that there’s strength in information and in numbers. Data — and the study of data — are behind successful businesses across many different industries. (Look at Google!)

With Amazon’s FBA dashboard, you are able to use some of their analytical data in a way that helps you grow your business. For example, you can help track demand for certain offerings over others. Is a product of yours selling noticeably better at a price point in one location over another? Perhaps there is a need to shift inventory efforts to different parts of the United States (or the world).

Amazon’s FBA service won’t do all the work. After all, there’s a high level of “business know-how” that comes with being an entrepreneur. But the service will add to your tool box.


The E-Commerce Model Is Transforming

By now, it should be easy to see why choosing to have your Amazon orders FBA is changing the face of the e-commerce model.

By taking advantage of this service by Amazon, you are leveraging the strengths of the Amazon brand to benefit your business.

You are putting the shipping process in the hands of a trusted leader in the industry. This gives you more time to develop and market your product. It also allows your business to increase your reach in the worldwide marketplace selling.

When you evaluate the FBA service from the customer’s perception, it’s easy to see why they would lean towards it. For Amazon Prime members — and there’s a lot of them — they can take advantage of free two-day shipping. 

Using the FBA service, you give your employees more time to focus on product development. It also gives them more time for marketing efforts. This is because Amazon handles exchanges and returns on your businesses behalf.

But there are also considerations for you to make as a business owner. Your sales strategy is in your hands and distribution must be modeled in an effective way. You should also be prepared for the tax consequences of selling products overseas.

The power of Amazon in the e-commerce model may be best described by Mark Mitchke. He is Amazon’s Vice President for Fulfillment by Amazon program.

“It’s never been easier for sellers to grow their businesses on Amazon,” said Mitchke in a 2016 article published at Entrepreneur.com.

“With access to Amazon’s fulfillment and customer service expertise through FBA, businesses of all sizes can harness the power of Amazon Prime and instantly reach millions of customers around the world. In fact, sellers on Amazon last year shipped more than 1 billion items to customers from more than 185 countries using the FBA service.”

With this sort of growth, FBA is changing the e-commerce model and doing it at a rapid rate.

What’s your take on how FBA is changing the e-commerce model? Join the conversation in the comments section below.


For a turnkey marketplace selling solution, consider Marketplace Valet

Fantastic (Beasts) Customers and Where to Find Them

Fantastic (Beasts) Customers and Where to Find Them


Whether you are an established ecommerce brand or someone new to selling online, we all face the same challenge, where to find customers online. In J.K. Rowling’s latest Wizarding World release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) was on a global quest to discover and document an extraordinary assortment of magical creatures. While the movie is simply an adventure in fantasy and Newt’s quest is certainly a difficult feat, strangely I feel as though I can empathize with him. We are both fearlessly searching for the whereabouts of mythical creatures, Fantastic Beasts and Customers. I have to assume that the magical creatures he is searching for are just as elusive as online customers are to online sellers.


Now I’m not saying that people are fantastic beasts, but really suggesting that finding online customers can feel like chasing down a dream. The hope is that someday I will magically uncover the source of all mythical creatures and know what to look for the next time. You can probably relate to this feeling. It was hard work to create and source products and build a website. The journey was long and arduous to drive traffic, but all internet traffic isn’t created equal, is it? Sure is easy to spend money driving visitors, but what about the conversions? This is when the paradigm shift in thinking occurs. The goal isn’t to find traffic; it is to find “Intent”. I want to get my products in front of the most magical creature, the customer that has the Intent to Purchase.


So where are the customers, and how do you find them?


Would you believe me if I told you that there are people, all over the world, that are willing to buy your product right now? There are.


Then why aren’t they buying your products? They can’t find them where they are shopping.


There is a solution. I promise. I know because I helped to create the service, it’s called Marketplace Valet.


But, I’m not going to tell you about that yet, I have some pro tips for you first.  If you keep reading, I will give you some specific things that you could choose to do yourself to help in your quest for that elusive online customer.


Short bio, my name is Justin Boggs, and I sell products on the internet. Last year I sold my ecommerce site Zeeberry.com. Zeeberry generated over $14M in online sales serving over 350,000 customers from all over the world since 2009. My business partners, Will & Laura Land also sell products online. Since 2001, they have sold over $60M of their cell phone accessory brands Empire & MPERO on over 12,000,000 direct to consumer orders through online marketplaces. 


The following are a few tips from us that you could use today…


Where to Find Them

The trick to finding them is actually making it easier for them to find you.

Winning Formula = The Right Content + Distribution

  1. The Right Content- every page you have is like a digital sales person for you. Make sure to equip your sales people with the right message and features to maximize your chance of capturing the sale every time a potential customer sees that page. Now this strategy does apply to your website as a whole, but more specifically to your product detail pages.

Here is a real example of a winning product page from a product we sell: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0093QER4C/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_1_w


Product Images– I mention Product Images first to emphasize the importance of great product photography. Every product detail page should have 5-6 images. Those images should be large and pixel perfect. At least 2 of the images should be of the product on a brilliant white background. Action shots or lifestyle photography is encouraged for images 3-6. 


Title– your product titles should be unique, descriptive, and include the brand.


Description– Here is your chance to really help educate the customer about your product. Write clear and concise descriptions to help your customer understand what the product is and how they can use it. Every description needs to be unique and at least 100 words. Steer clear of abstract terminology. Distinguish key benefits by using bullet points.


Reviews– Convince your customers to give you product reviews. Reviews are a sure fire way to increase conversions. Reviews show new potential customers that other people have in fact purchased this product from you before and loved it. This is simply the fastest way to share trust with a new potential customer. In this example, you can see that over 10,500 customers have left reviews that average 4.2.


  1. Distribution- list your products everywhere that customers shop. This means online marketplaces like Amazon.com, but also comparison shopping sites. People are spending their time on these sites because they have the “Intent to Purchase” either right now (Marketplace) or later (Shopping Comparison). Shopify has a nice blog post that outlines popular comparison shopping sites, check that out here (https://www.shopify.com/blog/7068398-10-best-comparison-shopping-engines-to-increase-ecommerce-sales)

Here is a list of popular marketplaces:

  • Amazon – Books, clothes, furniture, electronics, etc.

  • eBay – Automotive, electronics, apparel, and one-of-a-kind collectibles

  • Etsy – All things unique and handmade

  • Sears – Appliances, automotive, clothing, and electronics

  • Newegg – Primarily computer hardware and software

  • Walmart – Electronics, home goods, tools, outdoor

  • Bonanza – More than 25,000 sellers offering fashion, collectibles, home décor, etc

  • Alibaba – Leading Asian marketplace selling all product types for B2B and B2C

  • Jet – Grocery, home products, electronics, books, sports, and clothing

  • Overstock – Helps liquidate excess inventory for home, furniture, bed & beyond, clothing, jewelry, and electronics

  • Rakuten – Japanese computers, electronics, apparel, home, and sporting goods

  • Pricefalls – Electronics, computers, and accessories

  • 3Tailer – Home & garden, commercial, sporting/wellness, unique items, and luxury items

  • Zibbet – Handmade, fine art, vintage, and craft items


You need to follow the winning formula in that order, The Right Content and then Distribution. You are going to be extremely frustrated and disappointed if you don’t listen to (and apply) this specific advice to your business. When people all over the world are searching for products, they are typing keywords into Google or Amazon like “Apple Screen Protector”, especially if they have never heard of your brand before (Empire). So if your product pages don’t describe your product in terms that customers are actually using to search for products like yours, then you are dead in the water. Customers with Intent to Purchase will never find your product page. Invest the time and energy into product pages. Value In = Value Out.


Additional Ecommerce Tips


Write long form original content for your blog. That means original 750+ word posts. I’ll leave all of the on page technical SEO commentary to the professionals. Check out Moz.com and Backlinko.com which are some excellent resources.


Email Capture- People will come to your website for a litany of reasons. When they do come, get their email. Use some kind of Landing Page popup or an “Exit-Popup” because they are effective. This is all about building your house list. People may not be ready to buy now, but at least you will be able to cheaply market to them in the future.


PPC vs SEO These two strategies, while both necessary, cover reaching customers right now vs organically. My advice is to first invest in PPC for a given keyword before you invest in SEO for that keyword. The reason is that you literally have no idea whether a visitor is going to convert off of a given keyword until you have actually driven traffic to your product pages. So, spend a little money to find out if the keyword will in fact convert traffic into paying customers before spending your time and money in the SEO trenches trying to jockey for keyword ranking on Google.


So that probably just opened up a whole can of worms for you. Perhaps the thought of trying to fix your product pages, or get your products on all these marketplaces sounds time consuming, expensive, or downright painful. I hear you, I do. I understand your pain.

Or maybe you already knew everything I talked about and more. Perhaps you have already bought into the same Winning Formula, and you would just like a way to get even more distribution for your products?



Fantastic Customers… the Marketplace Valet Solution


Now if you are still with me, I want to tell you a story about an adventure, my adventure. Earlier this year, I was considering what I was going to next. I’m an ecommerce guy, so I knew that whatever was about to happen next would involve selling online. So I called my buddy Will, and at his invitation, came by the warehouse to check out his setup.


What I witnessed was the perfect infrastructure for an ecommerce guy like me. Will and Laura had already solved all of the mundane back office and logistics operations for an ecommerce business.


They have a warehouse


They have employees


They have the lowest shipping rates I had ever seen. Negotiated shipping rates by the ounce, for every country in the World


They have marketplace accounts in countries all over the World, accounts that I could never get


They have inventory management software


They have listing management software that automatically syncs and updates pricing and inventories across all marketplaces


They could handle marketplace order fulfillment


They could handle ecommerce order fulfillment


I was so impressed. I thought to myself, all I really need is a product to sell, and I could literally just fit right into their existing infrastructure. The logistics of managing a successful ecommerce operation are usually the most critical aspect for any online business. You quickly realize that ecommerce fulfillment is so time consuming and costly between rent, packaging, prepping orders, shipping, customer service, duties & VAT, etc. Everybody wants to build a brand and sell products online, but what happens if you are a success? Often I find so many small operations that have the owner/ product designer trying to manage all of these tasks themselves. They are taking their valuable focus away from marketing, advertising, sales, and design, in order to do simple warehouse labor. So from my experience with Zeeberry, I intimately knew how valuable it is to have the entire ecommerce fulfillment handled by a third party fulfillment company. That is when I was able to get my valuable time back to focus on growing my business even more.


So in the late summer 2016, I pitched Will and Laura an idea about leveraging their existing infrastructure to list and sell products that I would buy and ship to their warehouse.


Here is what happened.


Remember how I told you that there are customers all over the World that are ready to buy your products…


By late June, my first order of products arrived at the warehouse. This is a link to a google doc that shows the number of orders, by country, since June 28th. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByGgrpvORHjOcFhYX09aY3VuZms/view?usp=sharing


On August 5th, we knew something big was happening, and that was the day we had several pallets of products arrive at the warehouse. The rest of the year has been a race to add as many products as fast as possible. But most importantly, I want to emphasize some key points about my actual sales data. From that pdf, you can see that we are getting sales and shipping orders to customers all over the world. There are Fantastic Customers in every country, that are waiting to buy a product like yours. Secondly, I want to point out that while Amazon.com is a wonderful sales (Distribution) channel for my products, it only represents 28% of my orders. That means that we are generating a whopping 72% of orders from other marketplaces like Foreign Amazon accounts, Walmart.com, Jet.com, etc.


I don’t even have a ecommerce website setup yet. All of the sales are through Marketplace Valet.


First sale was June 28th 2016. Now, just 6 months later, for the past 30 days I had just over 14,500 orders generating $187,000 in revenue.


Something magical is happening. Just like our storied hero Newt from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we have discovered some new kind of mythical creature. We realized that there was a much bigger story than just my success. This process can be replicated for anybody. So, Marketplace Valet was born.


About Marketplace Valet


Since 2003, our company has shipped over 12,000,000 direct to consumer orders. We have nearly 400,000 reviews on Amazon.com alone. Earlier this year we launched Marketplace Valet to help other ecommerce businesses, brands, and product companies take advantage of our state of the art warehouse, premier marketplace accounts, and Worldwide logistics capabilities.


When you sign up with Marketplace Valet, our international marketing strategies include listing your products to all of our available marketplace accounts such as: Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Jet.com, Ebay.com, Amazon.co.uk, Rakuten.com, Amazon.de, Ebay.co.uk, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, Opensky.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.mx, Amazon.es, Newegg.com, Sears.com, and more. Additionally, we handle all of the pick & pack, shipping, and customer service as well.


Marketplace Valet Marketplace Seller Accounts



By 2013 we were the 24th largest Amazon Seller in the World. This was just with our own brands of cell phone accessories (Empire, MPERO); so imagine what we could do with your products. We are currently working with clients selling everything from Makeup, Jewelry, and Weight Lifting Equipment to Household consumables.

For more information about Marketplace Valet and how you can get started, please visit our website at www.marketplacevalet.com


Want to get connected now? Feel free to contact justin@marketplacevalet.com


Justin W Boggs

CMO- Marketplace Valet


Office: 951-687-1140 x112