In the classic sense, multi-channel sales is sales via stationary retail in combination with an online shop. According to a survey by Statista on the share of multi-channel sellers in Europe's fashion industry, half of the companies sell in this way. In the online world, however, multi-channeling is even more widespread and more opportunities are emerging. To keep the risk as low as possible, however, newcomers to e-commerce usually start their career in marketplaces such as Amazon. But why not have your own online shop directly?

Multi-channel distribution and its advantages

The sales launch via Amazon or other online marketplaces is simple, fast and inexpensive. These three arguments are probably the most serious when it comes to the decision: online marketplace or online shop? Most of the time in e-commerce you only start with one sales channel. Which is also true, because as a freshly baked online retailer you first have to get to know the market and face many different challenges.

Once you have established yourself in a marketplace, it is a matter of conquering others. You can start selling through social media channels, open your own online shop if you didn't have one before or look for other interesting online marketplaces.

With multi-channel distribution you expand your focus and sell through multiple, independent channels. There are several advantages for your brand. Your visibility increases, you reach more people and are perceived as present. Even if potential customers don't buy from you immediately, you'll be remembered because they keep coming back to you.

Through multi-channel distribution you can increase your target group.

Afterwards, of course, your potential target group and thus the number of potential buyers will increase. In addition, new distribution channels - such as an online shop - allow you to gather more information about your clientele. You can then use this information to better understand the needs and behaviour of your target group. Once you have collected all the necessary data, you can use it to optimize your sales strategy.

If you are thinking about expanding your distribution, then you cannot avoid having your own online shop. Because only this offers you the opportunity to build up your brand sustainably.

Online marketplaces do not offer space for self-promotion and do not want you to stand out from the crowd. On marketplaces you are only one of many, but in your shop you can be individual and have room for creativity.

What shop systems are there?

Building your own shop always starts with the selection of the right e-commerce system. Before you randomly choose a system, you should inform yourself well and see which one fits your requirements. A few years ago the decision was not very difficult, because the range of shop systems was small. Today it looks completely different.

In Germany alone, there are currently over 200 different options, so we want to make it a little easier for you to decide and now we present the three most popular ones.

Since we are sure you have big plans, we focus on the big players in the e-commerce world that grow with your business.

  1. STRATO Webshop: This system is a good solution to create a shop for a large company without much effort.
  2. WooCommerce: Also suitable for larger projects, but requires some technical know-how. But with this system you have maximum flexibility.
  3. Shopify: Is a SaaS product, i.e. a modular system with monthly fees. It is also suitable for large companies and is used by corporations such as Vorwerk or Tesla.

Why should I sell with Shopify?

Shopify is the market leader in the world of e-commerce systems, so we want to introduce this to you in more detail. First of all, it is a modular system and saves its users a lot of time and nerves. You don't need any IT knowledge to create your shop, the system is very user-friendly, offers many flexible designs and functions and the possibility to scale.

This is what the Shopify shop from the large company Gymshark looks like. (Source: gymshark.com)

Also, as mentioned above, it's a SaaS product - so the platform is hosted by the provider itself, so you don't have to worry about updates, security issues or hosting services. This hosted solution is the fastest and easiest, and you can get started right away after a one-time registration.

You can upload an infinite number of products and connect directly to other sales channels such as Facebook or Amazon .

Another practical feature is the simple payment option. With Shopify-Payments you have already integrated popular payment methods such as Klarna and you don't have to register on different pages, but can remain on your platform in comfort.

You don't want to build your shop yourself? Then contact Shopify experts who can help you.
Or are you now fully motivated to take it into your own hands and finally sell it? Then we have three more valuable tips to help you get started.

3 quick sales tips for a successful start

1) Use the MVP idea for your online shop

You've probably heard of MVP. While it's not about creating a product, the idea of MVP can be used for your business. Try not to lose yourself in the love of detail when creating the shop and rather start unfinished than perfect .

Unlike newcomers to e-commerce, you have a big advantage when it comes to your products, because you know which ones sell particularly well. So instead of flooding your shop, concentrate on the products you know work.

2) Create a content plan for better SEO

If your budget is generous, you can directly switch Google Ads to get traffic to your site. However, if you are more of a team player, it is worth doing some research. Using keyword tools like Ubersuggest, you can find out what customers are looking for in relation to your product and find keyword ideas that you can use as the basis for a content plan.

SEO tools show you keyword ideas that you can use to create a content plan. (Source: ubersuggest.com)

Relevant content in the form of blog articles for your target group will not only increase your Google ranking. You also gain the trust of your readers and can establish yourself as an expert in your field. You also increase the visibility of your shop by offering added value to the visitors of your site. They always come back, even if they don't want to buy anything at the moment - but they do at some point.

3) Promote your shop via Facebook and Instagram

Once your Shopify store is up and running, and you may have already started producing content, the next step is to place ads. This is the only way to let people know you exist and in online business, reach is what counts. So what exactly can you do to promote your shop?

Create a business page on Facebook and Instagram. There you should start to share your website content, introduce your latest products, create interesting postings and interact with your community.

With social media you proceed similarly to the search for content ideas. Are there Facebook groups on your topic?

For example, if you sell shirts in organic quality, groups are offered to deal with the topic of sustainability and environmental protection.

By reading through the individual postings and comments, you can find out what your target group is interested in and what they are currently occupied with. You can use this information for your content by taking notes and creating an editorial plan.

You can also use Facebook groups by commenting on them yourself, which helps you get more attention for your page. The same applies to Instagram. Follow relevant hashtags and comment as much as you can.

Conclusion: An online shop is worthwhile

Selling via online marketplaces makes sense at the beginning. You will get to know your market and can start off in your new role as an online trader. Amazon & Co. do a lot of work for you, but they also reduce your margin and prevent you from building your own brand.

If you want your business to grow and establish itself, sooner or later it will make sense to add your own shop to the sales on market places. The Shopify shop system is ideal for this, as it can also be used by non-programmers and you can start selling immediately after setting up your shop.

About the author

Inés Fabienne Gand is part of the marketing team of Eshop Guide. Texts, social media and content management are her specialties. She likes to spend her free time with her son, friends & yoga.

Inés Fabienne Gand from Eshop Guide

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