Diversifying your sales channels is critical in the ever-changing world of eCommerce. Expanding your sales abilities to new platforms can help raise your profits, expand customer reach, and increase brand recognition.
Diversification also offers security; if one sales channel suddenly dries up, you have others that can replace it.
We know. ‘Diversification’ sounds intimidating and like a lot of work. But, if you start slowly and leverage some of the many tools and integrations available, it’s not so complicated.
Besides, we’re here to help walk you through it.
Sell on Social Media
Social media has become much more than just a digital location to admire your friend’s food pics and spy on people you haven’t spoken to since high school. Social platforms are now a primary space where consumers look for and purchase products.
In fact, social media spending is expected to hit $17.34 billion in 2019, thanks to the whopping number of Americans who have a social media profile.
Take advantage of this and turn your social feed into a shoppable list of products. The tools below merge your eCommerce store to your social accounts and allow users to make purchases directly within the social platform.
Here are some tools to get you started.
Start selling on Facebook:
Start selling on Instagram
Start selling on Pinterest:
- Buyable Pins
- Note: In order to create a seller account on Pinterest, you need to be on an integrated platform, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or Magento.
Extra Tip: On average, Pinterest users spend more money per order than users on any other social media platform. If your eCommerce business fits in well with Pinterest users, this is probably your prime target for social selling.
Sell on Amazon
When we offer this suggestion, many eCommerce merchants immediately respond with this question:
“Won’t that cannibalize my eCommerce store sales?”
It’s a reasonable concern, but the benefits usually far outweigh the risks. Here are a few reasons you should consider selling on Amazon.
Tap into a huge market of new customers.
According to their last period report, Amazon had 310 million active customers worldwide and 90 million U.S.-based Amazon Prime subscribers.
That’s a lot of potential customers.
It’s not likely that people will be visiting Amazon looking for your brand. But, they may be searching for products just like yours. When they do, you’ll pop up in the results. At the very least, you’ll have more brand exposure, but in such a vast market pool, you’re essentially guaranteed to make some sales.
These additional sales aren’t only restricted to Amazon either. According to an Amazon executive, sellers report an average 50% increase in eCommerce sales when they join Amazon Marketplace. People may discover you on Amazon, but once they’ve found you, many will then connect directly to your brand and begin purchasing from your eCommerce site.
If you don’t own your own space on Amazon, someone else will.
Some shady Amazon sellers are finding popular brands (like yours), setting up business listings (using your information) and selling products (that are actually yours). Then, they place a bulk order in your online store and sell it on your behalf on Amazon.
Even worse, some sellers will create a ‘copycat’ product and pass it off as one of yours.
If this occurs, you no longer have control of your brand reputation. It’s in the hands of a third-party seller, and they have no interest in maintaining a good reputation for your brand.
With the right tools, it’s incredibly easy to set up and manage.
This is especially true if you choose to use an integration like this one, which syncs up your Amazon listing with your other systems for seamless selling. Shopify also offers an integration with Amazon, allowing merchants to create Amazon listings directly in Shopify, syncing their inventory across both channels.
Sell on eBay
eBay became famous as the best place to sell or buy unique items, collectibles, and limited-edition products. These days, they’ve expanded to include retail outposts for online stores just like yours.
The primary benefits of selling on eBay are much the same as other channels. You can drive additional traffic to your site, improve brand recognition, and snag an additional revenue stream for your business. But eBay also offers a few extra perks.
Tailor your eBay Storefront to Create Better Brand Recognition
One of the features of eBay that sets it apart from Amazon is that you can tailor your storefront to mimic that of your eCommerce site. Consistent branding is tremendously helpful in building up a customer’s brand loyalty directly to you, rather than the marketplace itself (looking at you, Amazon.)
Test Out New Products and Hone in on Pricing
eBay is a place where you can test out new products quickly, with minimal effort. Use your seller profile to help you hone in on whether you’re charging enough (or too much) for your new products. For example, if people are willing to pay more than what you’d projected for your new product, you can consider upping the price on your eCommerce site.
Easily Liquidate Older or Outdated Products
If you’ve discontinued a product or want to shift some older models quickly, eBay can be a great solution to empty out your warehouse. Chances are, you don’t want to sell an older model of a product side-by-side with the newer version on your website.
Chances are also good that you didn’t sell out completely before your new model hit the shelves. eBay is going to be a great option to offload that extra merchandise.
More Potential Places to Diversify Your Sales
Social media, Amazon, and eBay are certainly not the only channels with which you can diversify sales. Here are some more ideas to consider.
- Etsy — crafts and handmade goods marketplace
- Bonanza — a marketplace for unique, quirky, and off-the-wall products
- Groupon (or similar) — daily deal sites that offer deep discounts to get people trying out your products
- Subscription Services — Get one of your products into a subscription platform like Cratejoy, Try The World, etc.
- Comparison shopping sites — Google Shopping is at the top of the list to check out
This article from Shopify has some great tips and insights for diversification as well.
Remember, your goal with diversifying your sales channels is not to replace your own website. The majority of your time and effort should still be on building and maintaining a great customer experience on your own site. Using Amazon, eBay and social media selling is just another way that you can broaden your audience and better establish yourself as a brand.
Looking for Help Building Your eCommerce Business?
FlowLink can help you integrate your systems for seamless eCommerce management, while our team at Mammoth Factory can help you create powerful, on-point branding that delights and engages consumers.