Omnichannel and sales channels
Sales channel means the place where the companies offer their goods to be sold. It could be a classical brick-and-mortar store or many other electronic services such as e-shops or online marketplaces.
Brick&Mortar represents the most common type of sales channel. Nowadays, brick&mortar stores are also often used as dispensing points for online stores. Their good interconnection of product records, stock availibility or sharing of customer information in the information systém, and subsequent work with this data, from the basis of a succesful modern business.
Online store belongs to frequently used online sales channels. In a bigger-sized e-shops we can often find thousands of products from many suppliers. That places high demands on e-shop’s software solution. It is common to link to accounting or warehouse software. Modern e-commerce systems, such as Retailys is, include billing modules as an internal component. E-shop deals with various forms of promotion, such as search engine optimization (SEO), advertising systems (usually PPC) or price comparators.
The omnichannel strategy is commonly expected to run e-shops in several countries, which entails the need to address different shopping practices, languages, currencies and another functionalities (also called “local specifics”).
The main principle of the online marketplaces is connection of sellers and buyers. The company lists its products to the marketplace and the marketplace then displays those products on the site to visitors who can put them in their carts to buy them. The marketplace then forwards the order to the buyer, who must check in at a certain time.
The main difference between a marketplace and a classic e-shop is that the marketplace does not sell products itself. Depending on a business model, the marketplace often deducts commission for brokered business.
One of the most popular global marketplaces are e.g. Amazon and eBay.
Specialized portals collecting product information at individual e-shops are called good’s price comparators. Thus, visitors can choose from a range of products coming from a various storers according to price, reviews or other information in one place.
Comparators, unlike marketplaces, do not normally allow direct purchase on their sites. Business model is often based on PPC (pay-per-click) model. It means that online retailers pay for driving a visitor to e-shop or pay additional commission on sales.
There are hundreds of comparators in Europe that are often one of the main sources of traffic at each e-shop.
The most used comparators in Europe are Google Ads, Shopping.com and Shopzilla.
Social networks are an important sales channel that online retailer must not miss in any multi-channel strategy. At modern social networks, it is possible to create own websites with the products offer, or to share products in various ways of cooperation with the e-shop.
The main representatives of social networks in Europe are Facebook and Instagram that both can be used for product’s promotion, and Retailys is closely integrated with them.