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Time to stretch your strategy muscles and get ready to move. Agility isn’t just a suggestion when it comes to your multichannel strategy anymore; it’s a necessity.

Consumer preferences aren’t changing; they’re just becoming more demanding of flexibility. Being unwilling to adapt can leave you lagging behind, while the competition surges ahead. It’s a serious case of supply chain pain.

Let’s take a look at how you can supercharge your multi-channel eCommerce B2C strategy to address your customers’ requirements, react positively to market changes, and accelerate your business goals (and maybe discover some unexpected tricks along the way).

The need for speed… and agility
Consumers expect seamless experiences across multiple touchpoints, from stores to online marketplaces to social media platforms. As a result, having a strong presence across various channels to meet customer demands and remain competitive is non-negotiable.

But the retail landscape is far from static. Market dynamics, consumer behaviour, and technological advancements constantly shape and shift the environment in which we operate. Think of it as a game of Tetris (just like stacking your products onto a pallet). A multichannel strategy that works today may become obsolete tomorrow, so staying limber, deft, and alert to all of the above is critical.

Be a trendsetter, not a follower
Embracing new (and old) technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligent Automation (IA), and Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) can undoubtedly propel your multichannel strategy to new heights. 

But following the latest trends, without considering their impact on your operations, will put you in logistics limbo. In other words, it’s a bad idea that will leave you crumpled in a heap on the floor (metaphorically, of course).

Strive to be a trendsetter. You have access to every single piece of tech that your competitors do; it’s how you use it that puts you out in front. Enhance the customer experience, invest in innovation, and take calculated risks that feed into your multichannel strategy. Not everything will pay off - but something will set you apart.

How to adapt your multichannel strategy
We’ve created something called the ‘Four As’ - an easy way to remember the key steps to adapting your multichannel strategy (please don’t ask us to recite these if you bump into us on the street though):

  1. Audience

    You can’t sell to your audience unless you know who they are and what makes them cringe. We’re not talking about finding out what colour they like their brew to be or how often they flip their mattress, but we are talking about their pain points and pet peeves when it comes to logistics i.e. buying online if you’re B2C or the need for custom orders if you’re B2B.

    Use data to deliver personalised experiences to your customers across your relevant touchpoints. Segment your audience based on their preferences, purchase history, and behaviour, and tailor your marketing messages, product recommendations, and promotions accordingly. You may well end up knowing them better than they know themselves.

    Don’t forget to keep an ear to the ground for new channels that align with your target audience. Being agile and flexible isn’t just handy for when you reach old age - it’s great for eCommerce too. Whether it's expanding into new marketplaces, such as Etsy or Amazon, launching an app, or giving Instagram Shopping a go, diversifying your channels can help you reach a wider audience and remove the risk associated with channel dependency. Keep talking and listening to your customers; they can help you nail the first ‘A’.

  2. Align

    Now you know what makes your customers screech with pain, you can align your channel selection to their preferences. If your audience is teeny boppers, who scroll TikTok as if consuming short-form video content was a life-giving source, then you’re probably not going to target them through LinkedIn ads (we’re not marketing experts, but even we know LinkedIn’s limitations when it comes to eCommerce - although Steven Bartlett might disagree).

    Not only do you need to align your platforms with your audience, you also need to align your brand messaging, visuals, and customer experience across all channels to create a seamless buying journey. We didn’t say this would be easy, but consistency is key. From logos to colours, messaging to service, your multichannel strategy can’t go limp. This goes back to our first point, ensuring you’re aligned with your audience, so you don’t waste time on irrelevant platforms.

    Reinforce your brand identity whenever you get the chance to. You never know when you might entice someone into making a purchase (although you will if you analyse the data - see point four - but you get the idea).

  3. Automate

    We could bang on about automation until the cows come home, but unfortunately, we’re a 3PL company, not a farm, so we’ll just give you a quick run-down on why it’s so important. 

    Automate anything mundane, monotonous, and repetitive where you can. Use your team members to take control of the more complex and tricky issues i.e. the work where they can actually add value. Automation streamlines these repetitive tasks, improving efficiency across multiple channels and ultimately allowing you the time to provide your customers with a better experience.

    For your multichannel strategy, this might look like an inventory management system, order fulfilment platforms (a shameless plug by us), and marketing automation tools. Don’t fall into the rabbit hole of trying every single tech solution that’s currently available; use your audience research and your business objectives to decide what will increase cost efficiencies and create better experiences for your customers. There are multiple multi-channel (that’s a mouthful) eCommerce software options available - utilise them.

    Automation also helps reduce errors and ensures the consistency you achieve in the ‘Align’ section. A holistic and agile approach to technology allows your business to scale effectively. That’s a fancy way of saying the right tech = growth.

  4. Analyse 

    How’s your current multichannel strategy working out for you? You don’t know? You haven’t collected any data?! Or you’ve got a boatload of data, but no net to sift through it all? Do we need to start talking about holistic approaches again?

    The other three As are redundant if you don’t bother analysing your data. It’s as simple as that. Without data analysis, you can’t review performance metrics and KPIs across your channels. This means you can’t gain insights into customer behaviour, sales trends, and campaign effectiveness.

    Luckily, analysis can be easily achieved through automation (to an extent - then you need an expert to provide contextual understanding, assurance, and a little bit of pizzazz). From data collection to processing, as well as real-time monitoring to pattern recognition, automated systems do the laborious job of scraping all this data together for you. It’s then necessary to interpret and understand the data, creating actionable insights that put the spark back into your multichannel strategy.

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What's next?
We expect you’ve put some serious effort into absorbing all those agility tips. Now it’s time to take a moment, assess your insights, and put them into action. Continue optimising, adapting to change, and embracing new technologies. And if you're still pondering your next move with a perplexed expression, it might be time to consider partnering with a 3PL provider that offers more than just logistics solutions.

 

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