Multichannel retail management is a kind of digital marketing strategy that provides the customers, various possibilities to select a product to buy online. It connects offline shopping with the online shopping experience. Simply, Multichannel marketing uses multiple channels to sell a product. This kind of marketing allows the user to buy a product in various modes. They may buy the product in traditional outlets, brick-and-mortar stores, telephones, and so on. In addition to the offline shopping methods, it connects online too by providing the option of buying goods in electrical channels like websites, mobile applications, email, social networks, and so on.
Why Multichannel Retailing:
Multichannel Retailing provides,
- The facility of ease of purchase to the customer. They can select any mode of shopping either online or offline.
- It enriches opportunities to build a brand among diversified customers.
- 24/7 customer accessibility
- Easy tracking of records such as order list, delivery list, brand list, and so on.
- Customer reviews can be reached easily.
- Trusted payment possibilities.
How can be achieved:
Multichannel retailing or marketing can be achieved by providing various buying options to the customers. Mainly, this concept focuses on the convenience of the customer so it is customer-centric. whereas, single-channel marketing is brand-centric. It focuses on distinct distribution channels rather than focuses on only one. It mixes both the retailing and marketing strategies. As it mixes together, there are several steps involved to change the required organization.
Channel Diversity is nothing but how differently the distribution channels have been elected. As E-commerce business reaches its peak in this pandemic situation, the distribution channels should be easily accessed to the customers. In such a situation Multi-channel marketing becomes essential. Different diversified channels are as follows:
In this channel, the customer directly presents to the store and they can be in touch with the product directly. The customer can see,feel, and touch the product before taking the decision of buying it. In this channel, they can pay the cash directly, or by using their digital cards. The customer can get the product on the spot and confidence about the product is high. The risk of getting the wrong product is very low in such cases.
Catalog channel is one kind of distribution channel where the list of information about the product with their price will be listed. The printed catalog will be post mailed or emailed to the customer. The customer who receives the catalog knows about the product and their prices sometimes offers. They can make use of the offers and discounts from this channel. The major advantage here is they are continuously in touch with the customers. This ensures building trust between the customer and the service provider.
Web Channels are the channel through which the customer can order for their buyings. There are websites that are designed only for E-commerce business. They display the products online with their prices and small descriptions about the product. They help the customers to choose the right choice by providing various comparison options. By using this compare option, the customer can compare more than one brand for various qualifications. From these comparisons they can easily decide on the purchasing items.
Social Media can be the best and fastest mode of distribution channel. By posting information about the product in social media, the number of people visiting the post is always higher than any other distribution channel. This kind of channel achieves more response and gives a win-win solution where both the customer and the service provider can get benefited.
Though there are a number of benefits in Multichannel marketing, there are also some challenges that have to be overcome by the service provider.
Reaching the customer with suitable Messages:
As the distribution channel is more than one, one message to all customers is not enough. Various customers need various messages according to their view. So just creating a single message for marketing is not enough. So the messages have to be designed for various customers. It takes time and also creativity to design a single message with different dimensions.
In this multichannel retailing, stock management is a little bit difficult as it has more than one channel. It requires extra manpower to maintain all inventory and stock management. Every channel should be monitored carefully to keep track of the stock and has to refill the needs as soon as possible.
As this is Multimodal, the data associated with this business model is huge and should be maintained carefully. The details of the customers should be maintained carefully. For example if a customer bought a product, His/Her details will be recorded in the database. If the address is not entered carefully, then it makes a false delivery. Such kinds of issues will arise in multichannel marketing as it has more channels. This has to be handled carefully.
This Multichannel retailing is a successful business model if it is handled carefully. It has many benefits for both the customers and the service provider. This business model requires a huge volume of work associated with it. To taste the fruit of success in this method, high level investment is needed both physically and financially. The Infrastructure should be very clear and systematic to achieve success in this field. The system should possess high level consistency to handle the hurdles associated with this model.