Magento and multi channel selling

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It is not a wise choice to have a single web site nowadays because the E-commerce market keeps growing rapidly that means you have to keep pace with this trend to survive in the ever-changing market in which customers tend to look first at one or the other of these sites when looking to purchase. Therefore, you will lose a wide number of potential customers if you don’t take selling on these channels into consideration.

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Magento ecommece and multichannel Selling

With multichannel selling, there are three challenges:

Stock Control

In fact, it is not a good idea to run out of stock. There is nothing worse than having orders that you cannot fulfill particularly such order(s) are on a third party channel like Ebay or Amazon due to the fact that they are not satisfied with this and will penalize you. In fact, with poor stock control you tend to give priority to sales on these third party channels rather than your own customers

Thus you must either reserve stock for each channel that means you have to invest in more stock or you use a central stock control system that automatically updates all stock levels on all channels whenever you have a sale on any channel

That’s why using Magento is essential. As you can see, there are a lot of options around that can do this; such as M2E Pro, which integrates Magento with Ebay and has started to integrate it with Amazon. This is currently free, mainly because Ebay purchased Varien (the company that develops Magento) and have subsidised this extension. They want more people to list on both Magento sites and Ebay. I use a solution called Linnworks, because it also does my order processing and integrates label printing with my chosen shipping. These are not the only solutions available

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Multichannel stock with magento ecommerce

That you should pay attention when evaluating a multichannel stock control solution is how it works; in particular, the time lag between getting an order and the other channel stocks being changed to reflect this. It does not matter when you only sell one or few items per day but for fast moving items, even a 10 minute lag may be too long. In some cases, you may get really unlucky that you can sell few last items simultaneously on more than one channel, and be left with orders you cannot fulfill

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Data Entry

If you sell one item on three channels, it has to be listed on each channel. Thus it will take a lot of time to enter it. Now there are a number of the stock control solutions typically let you create a single entry, and then it is pushed onto each channel. Then there is either a central stock database (Linnworks and similar) or Magento is used for the stock database (M2E Pro).

Magento has a wide variety of pages of data needed to be filled to fully create a product, so if you create it first on something like Linnworks, you still have to go in and complete the entry

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Entry Data with Magento ecommerce

As usual, Amazon have tendency to have more than one catalogue entry for the item. Although it is frowned on by Amazon, it is not a good idea to ignore these other entries. For stock control however you must have only one stock control item and somehow these duplicates need to be linked. Ebay also face the similiar problem because it often offers several listings for the same products. Is there any solution should let you list a number of duplicates without losing stock control

I do not know of any extension that takes listings from Amazon for entry on to Magento. They all seem to do it the other way around. A gap in the market perhaps?

Pricing

Third party sales channels charge commission. Amazon for example charges 15% on much of its categories. Thus you either have to increase the price of your offerings on these channels to maintain your margins, or accept a lower profit. However Amazon frowns on you undercutting them on your own site. Amazon UK actively seeks out such undercutting and treats each case as a policy violation. After a few of these you get suspended and subsequently banned

This becomes a hard -solving problem when you change your price on one or more channels. How do you keep them in line.

Pros and Cons of Multi Channel retailing

Although selling on many channels could increase your sales, you have to be aware that the customers on Ebay and particularly Amazon are not your customers; in contrast, they are Amazon’s and Ebay’s customers. In general, most customers will buy from whoever is cheaper, or offers better perceived value, rather than keep coming back to you. So it is chance for you to transfer some from Ebay to your own web site if you are able of actively promoting your web site with leaflets and offering contained in each delivered order.

The problem arises that there are more and more customers shifting to Amazon and Ebay. When more retailers do multichannel selling, the variety and value of offerings on both Amazon and Ebay will be increased. Thus, more and more people tend to move to use these channels. There is no easy solution to this. Whilst it is the effective way of expanding and enhancing your sales, by doing so you are feeding your rivals. It is very much like having a tiger by its tail

                                                                                                           Source: www. practicalecommerce.com

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