Is Multi-Channel solution more attractive then ecommerce?
Posted: 12 April 2009 01:54 AM
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2008-06-22

Having worked as a retail industry expert in ecommerce industry for more then a decade now; I have presented quite a lot number of times, case for going ecommerce to several of my business customers. Different cases were meticulously prepared based on customer profile, market segment, turnover and lot of customer business specific variables. Even then, every time I sit in front of customer, I have had a strange inkling in my stomach, for those un-prepared questions, which make my job of converting prospects into sales all the more difficult and sometimes even impossible. Over the years, I have had my share of good success and some good failures as well.

In my engagement with RiteCart ( multi channel and ecommerce solution Provider Company, I had learned to realize that my job of converting prospects into customers has been easier compared to what it was maybe a couple of years back. This realization was after; I looked back into the ratio of my approached prospect to the converted customer. Seasoned statistician may disagree with my conclusions and can weigh in lot of factors, which will make any logical conclusions blur. But since I am not a statistician, I am going to attribute this change in the conversion rate to the following attributes

•  Ecommerce is a proven industry now
•  Economy had been booming
•  Ah-Uhh! I have been selling Multi-Channel solution (

I think the first two factors definitely form a large share of my reason to have the increased conversion rates but personally I am interested to know more about the effect, the third factor had on conversion rates.

Ecommerce conversion has always been about convincing customers for adding a new prospective line of business, an additional channel for generating revenue, a channel with a very low initial investment and more importantly at the end of pitch having them convinced and acknowledge that it is their business of future.

All that said; the act has been always trying to paint the beautiful picture of future and to make the customers imagine how it will look like once they go online. Any sales-men would tell you that selling imagination to customer is much more difficult then providing what the customer needs or at-least thinks he needs.

Things have been different with Multi-Channel solution. It has been taking me a quite a less effort to convince customers to go for multi-channel ( solution, even though they are priced way higher then a stand-alone ecommerce solution. Before I go into my analysis of the reasons, let me try to briefly describe what Multi Channel is and how a small to a very large business can benefit out of it.

Multi- Channel business (sales) can be defined as a business having more then one channel for selling its goods (products/services) to its prospective customers. These channels can be retail stores (one or many epos systems), ecommerce stores (one or many), EBay stores, Amazon stores, Other Multi-Channel stores, Telephone sales (using IVR), etc.

Multi-Channel solution like RiteCart multichannel solution ( can be described as a solution, which supports all the above channels and has an architecture that allow to keep on adding new channels as and when they develop.

To keep it short, let us quickly look at some of the key benefits a Multi channel ecommerce solution can provide to any business

1.  Allows business to integrate its offline Point of Sale solution with its Online ecommerce solution
2.  Allows business to have a single administration tool to control, manage, view its inventory (stock) level and the stock movement across different warehouses
3.  Allows business to define products once and use it across different channels
4.  Gives decision maker a complete picture of his entire organization. Allows generation of various reports and provides analytics to plan future sale
5.  Reduces time spent on definition of products, stocks, warehouses and sale by having single administration tool across different channels
6.  Allows business to add new channels like Ebay, Amazon and other market place solutions and provides a single administration tool to control and manage these channels
7.  Reduces learning curve for the usage of the tool, as the same tool can be used for new channels as and when they are added in business
8.  Increases productivity, efficiency of work and reduces time spent in administration and handling of the system

If you go through point 1- 8, you will see that, I haven’t even mentioned about how adding multiple channels to a business can bring an increase in your business revenue or sales. All the benefits described are on easier management of business, optimization of time spent, increase in productivity, better visibility of overall business, ability to add new channels and ability to manage your business better.

Whether you are small or large, most of you realize that you need to have an ability to add new channels and support your current multiple channels of business. In the past, people have used different tools and solutions to handle multiple channels, with Multi Channel solution like RiteCart multi channel and ecommerce solution (; you can handle all of your sales channels in one single solution.

Most of the business have one or more channels of business already and do realize that the agility that multi channel solution like RiteCart Multi channel solution provides, can go a long way to increase their bottom-line and make their business successful and competitive in the market.

Author, John Lollis, is US regional sales director for RiteCart ecommerce and Multi-Channel ( solution business.

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