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Why perform Multichannel Marketing?

In a nutshell, Multichannel Marketing is an effective way how to increase store
and product reach in search engines, deliver cost-effectively brand awareness, drive
higher average order value and acquire new customers.
How to start with Multichannel Marketing?

What is Multichannel Marketing?

In the field of e-commerce one of the most important concepts to master is product marketing. Without consistent customers purchasing your products and services, your business won’t survive in the present competitive and globalized world. Nowadays, “product marketing” is rather wide term which refers to various concepts, approaches and strategies.

The latest concept of modern product marketing on the Internet is Multichannel Marketing. The goal of successful Multichannel Marketing is product availability and traceability in the appropriate product search and price comparison websites (such as Beslist.nl), affiliate networks (such as Daysicon.com), marketplaces (such as Bol.com or Amazon.com), social channels (such as Facebook or Instagram) or direct advertisement platforms (such as Google Ads). Recently, chat bots have become the latest tools for Multichannel Marketing.

Back in the times when the term Multichannel Marketing did not exist yet the first approach to product advertising on multiple channels was the concept of Feed Marketing. The term itself refers to the technical details of the strategy – the use of structured product data files called feeds (XML, CSV), serving the purpose of transferring product data in the direction from the online store to the selling channels. In this period of online marketing, the selling channels were predominantly ‘simple’ product and price comparison websites.

Although the technical concept of integration of e-stores with selling channels through the means of feed files is becoming obsolete with the onset of more advanced techniques such as API, the original idea of Feed Marketing strategy is still pretty much alive as a part of wider Multichannel Marketing strategy.

It improves SEO & Organic Search

Organic search results are listings on the result page of a search engine (Google, Yahoo! etc.) that appear here because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to being actively advertised.

Since Google claims that their users click organic search results more often than ads, it became important within the search engine optimization (SEO) industry to distinguish between the two types of content. Moreover, Google found that 81% of ad impressions and 66% of ad clicks happen when there is no associated organic search result on the first page. In addition, users can prevent ads from being shown in search results, and list only organic search results, by using browser add-ons and plugins.

Multichannel Marketing strategy significantly improves organic search results and SEO rating of your online store and thus increases the chances of acquiring new customers.

It brings you to the customer

Today’s consumer shops for products across a variety of selling channels, comparing product detail, price, availability and speed of delivery. Specifically, the most important are product search and price comparison websites, affiliate networks and marketplaces.

With 40% of all online audiences visiting those selling channels, online retailers without a Multichannel Marketing strategy are missing a big piece of cake.

To put it simply, if you want your online business succeed you must present your products in as much relevant selling channels as possible.

It facilitates going cross-border

Without doubts, our world is getting more and more interconnected and globalized. And so does the virtual world of e-commerce, even so at way more accelerated rate. Catch the opportunities and expand behind the borders of your country. By promoting your products on international selling channels you will be already one step ahead of your competitors.

With the latest tools for Multichannel Marketing it’s getting easier than ever before. Although expanding behind the borders can be highly rewarding it brings surely certain challenges. Not everyone is ready to embark on this adventure, yet the ones who do will gain much more than those who don’t.

Types of Selling Channels

Product Comparators

Product Comparators or Aggregators are Selling Channels designed to allow easy comparison of products that have been uploaded there by multiple merchants. Obviously, the most important product attribute to compare is price, though the customer can usually compare also other aspects of the buying process, such as shipping price, speed of delivery or seller’s reputation.

Feed Marketing

Product Comparators was the first group of Selling Channels bringing wide online audiences to online stores and thus pioneering the idea of the upcoming Multichannel Marketing. Marketing of your products on those comparison websites is called sometimes Feed Marketing. Technically speaking, the term itself refers to the fact that product date were provided in the form of structured product files called feeds (XML, CVS). Although nowadays many modern Product Comparators have evolved and employ API for the store-channel integration purposes, the term Feed Marketing is still being widely used, as it refers to exposing of the products on this subgroup of Selling Channels.

Beslist | Kieskeurig | Billiger | Idealo | PriceRunner

Affiliate Networks

Affiliate Networks operate large databases of content websites, blogs, magazines, chat bots, email lists or fan pages (called Affiliates or Publishers) which all have the potential to become new sales channels for your online store. Affiliate Networks enable online merchants to offer Publishers a share of any revenue that is generated by the merchant from the visitor to the publisher’s resource that completes a checkout process in merchant’s online store.

In addition to the traditional Affiliate Networks, Performance Networks also exist. Performance Networks are typically networks that, in addition to affiliate-based promotions also offer CPM- or CPC-based display advertising.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is an approach of wider Multichannel strategy, referring specifically to product advertising on Affiliate Networks. Back in times, the store-network integration was based on exchange of structured product files called feeds (XML, CSV), though now more advanced techniques are widely used, such as API integration.

Daisycon | Affilinet | Miinto | Zanox | Twenga

Marketplaces

Marketplaces can be considered the second generation of Selling Channels, built on top of simple Product Comparators. It’s said a good example is worth a thousand words – Amazon. From a merchant perspective, you just need to upload your products to Amazon and Amazon in turn delivers you orders for subsequent processing. From a customer perspective, the customer does not leave the Amazon website – from product search to checkout and payment, all is done within Amazon website. That’s how Marketplaces work.

From a technical point of view, the integration store-marketplace is provided usually through the means of API. This means that most of the processes might be fully automated, including initial product exposure, stock status and availability updates and handling of orders and customer data.

Amazon | eBay | Bol | Fruugo | Allegro | Rakuten

Social Channels

Who has not heard about social networks, hey? They have been here for quite a while already. However, what’s still new technology somehow is the ability to promote your products there – hence the term Social Channels. It all started with simple product advertising but nowadays some social networks allow to complete the whole purchase process within the channel, without the need to leave the channel website. In this way Social Channels are overlapping with more traditional Marketplaces. However, the unique feature of Social Channels is that they bring the social aspect to the virtual world of e-commerce allowing you, as a merchant, build your brand and online presence way easier then ever before.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube

Performance Advertising Channels

Performance Advertising is a form of advertising in which the online merchant pays only when there are measurable results, i.e. measurable user actions resulting from advertisement. There are several pricing models used in the online performance advertising market, such as CPC (cost-per-click), CPL (cost-per-lead) or CPO (cost-per-order).

Those cost measures are not exclusively tight to pure Performance Advertising Channels but are spreading also across Product Comparators, Affiliate Networks or Marketplaces as general pricing models.

Google Ads | Media | Infolinks

Chat Bots

Chat Bots are the latest additions to the family of Selling Channels that are about to become an inevitable part of Multichannel Marketing strategy. Combined with the advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning they are very promising Selling Channels of our times. Bots are being build on top of popular messaging and chatting application and early adopters will benefit the most. Learn more.

Messenger | MyChat | WhatsApp

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