|Sun June 23 2013 17:34:57|
Why Sell on Multiple Channels?
By: Erika Jarvi
Today we have a guest blog from Erika Jarvi at ShipStation. If you are a multi-channel seller, please weigh in at the comments section about what channels you sell on, including if from your own web site.
Why Would You Ever Decide to Sell on Multiple Channels?
Because it's awesome. And it can help both you and your business grow. Perhaps you've had this happen to you: you’re looking at your orders, and there’s not a ton of growth, but you're looking for it. Over the past few months (years?), you've stagnated. It’s not a bad thing, per se, since your business is still profitable and your head is still above water. But, you're thinking you could expand.
The Need for Growth
This is a generalization, of course, but most of us subscribe to capitalism. We went into business because we saw somewhere where we could succeed. We saw a niche we could fill, or found a product we simply fell in love with producing/selling/marketing/revolving our lives around. And I’m not saying there's anything wrong with that. What I am saying is that at a certain point, it's not enough anymore.
There are tons of psychological reasons behind this that I could mention: the desire for dopamine and all that jazz. But basically you know why: you’re successful and you did it on your own. There's a ton of pride in that. There's a special word for the accomplishments you’ve made and the fact that you even have your own business. You’re an entrepreneur.
When you reach that certain point as an entrepreneur where you sit back (for just a second), look at your life, and sigh - because you’re content, mind you - you know you're ok. This crazy idea actually panned out. And then you start to think: why wouldn't I want to keep going? Why shouldn't I build my business out? Perhaps you've only been selling on eBay. Or Amazon. Or even your own website. There are tons of ways that you could actually grow your business. Market your product more, expand your product line, go international.
Or, you could go multi-channel. Start selling your products on eBay and Amazon. Build your own website; create your brand. Start making yourself into more than just a business selling products, but rather an entity. No, you won't become transcendant or anything like that, but your business will grow.
The Three Stages of Business
A friend of mine once told me there are three stages until a business has unofficially "made it". A startup (new, fresh, small), a business (multiple people, made a few mistakes & learned from them), and a company. A company is something that catches the eye. It's more than just a single person peddling their wares, it's an entity with whom you could identify and your customers can become a part of. A company can build a vast community around it.
The world today is coming ever closer to being omni-channel. Many people use
most if not all of the social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. You're more than likely on more than one because the demographics are different. Your "real-life" friends & family are on Facebook, but your knitting community is on Twitter.
The same principle applies to selling on multiple channels. Consumers that you might not have reached with your eBay store, you'll reach via Amazon.
Of course, there is a cost associated with opening up a second (or third or fourth) channel on which to sell your products. But the fact is, if you're not growing, what are you? Stagnating.
"If you don’t change, you don’t grow. If you don’t grow, you aren’t really living." – Gail Sheehy
About the Author
Erika Jarvi is the social media & content manager for ShipStation. You can find her
find me on Twitter, Facebook, and the ShipStation Community Forums. In her free time, she's a lover of video games, her cats, and other generally nerdy things. :)
What about you? Are you a multi-channel seller or have you stuck to one channel, and why? Why did you choose the channels on which you sell, and how are the customers different on each? Post a comment here!