Over 50% of online retailers use more than 5 channels

No primary category set

At the EU Catalyst conference in London, ChannelAdvisor surveyed a cross section of medium and large retailers and found that established channels are the primary focus for retailers, with new channels such as social commerce following closely behind.

Even though over half of respondents are already present on more than five online channels, a full 87% of firms are looking to increase the number of online channels that they sell through within the next three years.

The channel most likely to benefit from retailers’ emphasis on new channels is Amazon, which was identified by one in four respondents as the channel with the most potential to increase sales, putting the site ahead of eBay, paid search marketing channels such as Google, comparison shopping sites, social networks and even brands’ own e-commerce sites.

Eighty-five percent of retailers surveyed currently sell through more than one channel online, with the majority (54%) operating in more than five separate sales channels.

Social commerce is also increasingly prominent on retailers’ agendas; the survey revealed that 40% of retailers are active on Facebook and 32% active on Twitter. Already, one in five retailers (21%) see social networking as a sales channel in its own right, and the majority are currently using Facebook as a tool for marketing (64%) and community engagement (32%).

James Scott, EMEA MD of ChannelAdvisor said “Retailers need to keep a very close eye on the more revolutionary models now being explored in social commerce. These platforms have huge potential and those businesses that can crack social commerce will have a chance to put themselves way ahead of the competition, which explains the uptake of channels such as Facebook and Twitter”

Catalyst was interesting this year as there were few of the traditional eBay crowd in attendance. Most of the (estimated 450) attendees were traditional retailers using marketplaces as additional routes to market rather then marketplace sellers expanding off eBay and Amazon.

The overriding message however was the need to diversify, whether this be adding new marketplaces, websites or social media or by expanding internationally by adding more eBay and Amazon country sites.

8 Responses

  1. To tell you the truth. I can see three channels to sale from. eBay, Amazon and your own website. I can’t see any other channel generating a large enought profit to sell on. The other marketplaces are too small and unpolular to generate sales. Facebook and twitter are used as business pages to direct traffic to your website, or if you haven’t got one your eBay or Amazon shop. Are Channeladvisor talking about selling via a Facebook shop? If they are what is their percentage of sales from Facebook? I just use social media as a promotional tool for my website, I personally can’t see the point of a Facebook shop.

  2. in the real world you simply cant advertise on every radio station, tv channel, billboard ,newspaper,etc
    and be in every high st, and shopping mall

    so we dont do our heads in worrying over multi channeling
    we make money instead

  3. It might be possible in a large organisation to have adverts and promotions all over the place. But it needs a large Department with a large budget to keep control of it(I wonder how many such as Coca-Cola has in their Marketing Department?). Most of us are quite small. Often only one or two or maybe up to about ten people. That sort of organisation just is not big enough to be able to support a large enough Marketing Department. So just for once(it does happen…occassionally) that I agree with northumbrian.

  4. Absolutely no surprise that Ebayers were not in attendance. After the entrance of large retailers cutting their prices to the bone to create cash flow to maintain their bricks and mortar offerings many Ebay retailers have gone to the wall. It’s impossible to compete with the likes of Argos, Currys and Ebuyer who are effectively dumping stocks to raise much needed cash to fund purchases.

    Facebook and Twitter rely on the ‘honesty’ of the posters. I question the real commercial benefit of these channels when users find out that ‘Good ol Jimmy’ is a suit in Tesco’s Head Office who’s paid to blog on a daily basis. At what point do you draw the line? Once discovered as a corporate suit Twitter and Facebook will become your worst nightmare as a campaign to out you commences!


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