5 Key multichannel retailing mistakes eCommerce businesses make

Multichannel retailing carries with it a host of benefits for you and your customers. For retailers, multichannel selling inspires customer loyalty and helps build your brand. For customers, it allows for more efficient and convenient shopping. 

Key mistakes, however, can ruin the multichannel experience for customers and cause the business to suffer. Here are five common multichannel mistakes you need to avoid.

1 - Not integrating your online with your offline system

Savvy shoppers no longer view online and offline shopping as separate They want and expect a seamless shopping experience, regardless of the sales channel.  Some users will search for deals online before buying them in-store and they will also do this using their mobile phone, not just their tablet, laptop or desktop.

They need a uniformed approach, no matter how they interact with your brand, whether it's by mobile, tablet, online or in-store, as a disjointed experience in their browsing or buying cycle can be a source of customer disappointment. 

Integrating your customer touch points can add tremendous value to you, as well as the customer.  For example they may buy whilst browsing from their sofa, but want the ability to pick up at lunchtime the next day.  By giving your customer a choice that works for them, that's what keeps them coming back.

2 - Poorly designed ecommerce shopfront and checkout

It's essential that your eCommerce store is designed as intuitively as possible and works on mobile devices. Impulse purchases will drive a large portion of customer sales, so you need to have a clear path to checkout from every product page. Making the buying process as easy as possible encourages brand appreciation. 

A quick checkout process is essential, along with building trust and showing the variety of secure payment options you offer. Ensure all fees are displayed clearly as early as possible and make sure you add a guest checkout as sometimes visitors don't want to sign up.

3 - Not putting customer experience first

Businesses can fall prone to putting their own needs above that of their customer when designing and implementing a multichannel retailing system. It's of the utmost importance that customer needs and experience is the primary consideration when your ecommerce store is built. 

It's important that the retail system you use will incorporate what your customer actually wants.  Doing so will ensure it's more feature-complete and fit for purpose. The more engaging and convenient you can make the shopping experience, the more customer loyalty you will generate.

4 - Not automating menial tasks and processes

Carrying out manual tasks regularly, can keep you away from time that you could spend more efficiently, elsewhere.  Like if you update a price in your ePOS (point of sale system) you want it to automatically reflect in your ecommerce store and vice versa.  You don't want to waste time updating separate systems. 

Also with items of stock, if you keep a manual spreadsheet, again this takes time keeping it updated, whereas good inventory management which is part of your retail system, will allow you to be notified automatically when stock levels get low and automatically run reports about your best sellers across each sales channel, keeping you knowledgeable about your customers purchasing habits.   

5 - Using the wrong retail system

Multichannel retailing  is only as good as the system that powers it. If you use poorly optimised software or a system that wasn't designed for that purpose, it can bring vulnerabilities. Not only will your customers shopping experience be poor, but you may waste time with unnecessary processes, as well as affecting your bottom line.

Investing in a specifically designed system, such as ShopTill-e, ensures that the running of your business is much more integrated, responsive and reliable, for you and your customers. Do your homework and make sure your retail system is optimised for multichannel selling before you invest not just money, but your time as well.

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