Whether your retail business is founded on your own webstore or on a marketplace like Amazon or eBay, the time will come when you will want to expand onto other sales channels to increase your market reach. But with the increased market exposure comes substantially increased administration. In fact, retailers typically experience a doubling of their back-office workload by adding just one more sales channel. And, as you add more sales channels, it can sometimes feel like your running multiple businesses instead of just one.
This additional workload comes from a number of administrative tasks ranging from the creation of product content for listings and ads, to the preparation and submission of those listings for every product on each and every sales channel. Multiple listings require retailers to manage their stock across multiple sales channels, process orders, create and distribute invoices, and then manage order fulfilment.
Ads and orders naturally solicit customer communication - questions, queries, enquiries, status update requests and sometimes, complaints, all have to be handled promptly to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction. But again, all of this communication is flowing through the message boxes of multiple marketplaces and webstores.
But never fear, because help is at hand. ChannelGrabber will automate each and every one of these time consuming processes. But what's more, ChannelGrabber optimises many of the tasks that actually help retailers reach, win and retain more customers too.
Product Content Optimisation
In order to maximise reach online, a retailer must optimise product content for each sales channel to capitalise on the data structures, available descriptive fields and the means of representing their product pictorially and with video.
This is to ensure your products can be easily found and that customers are empowered to make a buying decision in your favour. ChannelGrabber has been designed such that it is aware of the optimal product content format for each channel.
The system enables you to create a master product catalogue for all of your products in which you can define each item, with all of the product content and information required, for all of your active sales channels. This makes listing to all of those sales channels so much easier later on and allows you to automate the listing process.
When listing products to multiple webstores and marketplaces, its sadly not possible to reuse the same product content. That's because each sales channel uses different data structures to compile their product databases and catalogues. In practice, this means that retailers have to create new listing content every time they list a product and do so for each and every sales channel. This is hugely time consuming and error-prone.
Some software products exist which attempt to partially solve this problem by copying the listings you've already made to Amazon and then pushing them through templates for all of the other sales channels. However, this requires you to create your Amazon listings first and then modify the content to meet the requirements of all of those templates, every time you want to list to other channels. At ChannelGrabber, we don't call that a solution. That's why ChannelGrabber features a unique master product catalogue to automate this process - you set up your products once and once only, then you can list them to any or all of your sales channels with just one click. It couldn't be faster or easier!
Maximising sales across multiple sales channels requires you to expose your inventory through all of them. But unless you can adjust stock levels in real time, you risk overselling and disappointing customers. Split your stock up in virtual silos and you risk missing out on larger orders you could have fulfilled.
You have to view your inventory as one and make it available to all through every channel, but to do this you must avoid common inventory control challenges and engage in real-time stock management. Every time you sell an item, the stock level has to change in every sales channel and in real time. This is relatively easy to do if your sales volumes are low or if you have only a couple of sales channels to manage, but as your business grows, your stock management challenges can become a real headache. ChannelGrabber solves these problems by providing a single, fully-integrated system with one user interface, and one location from which you can automate your listings and manage your stock across all of your outlets.
That’s because ChannelGrabber integrates seamlessly with your webstore, eBay, Amazon and many other sales channels. The system will automate the stock management process, making all of your stock available everywhere at once and managing your stock levels in every outlet in real time, synchronising any changes across them all instantaneously.
Billing is a crucial part of every sale and it’s tempting in the early days as a retailer to think that all you need to do is take an online payment and leave PayPal to manage the administration. But it’s not long before the lack of a proper invoicing process starts to hurt and the avoidance of administration today causes headaches tomorrow.
The simplest solution that many small business owners employ is to create manual invoices in Excel or Word, but sequential numbering, calculation of taxes due and assignment of transactions to the correct accounts quickly becomes challenging. The introduction of accounting software brings its own advantages and disadvantages for the small retailer.
In general, small online retail business invoicing methodologies work against them in many ways, including the lack of a professional appearance, facilitating timely payments, and optimising cash flow. All of which are critical to a small business owner because they help sustain and grow results.
ChannelGrabber enable you to customise your invoices using pre-designed templates to give them a personal touch. You can easily setup different invoice templates for each of your trading companies and sales channels such as your own webstore, Amazon and eBay to tailor the look and feel for each channel.
The system also enables you to create invoices as PDFs which you can print or send by email from within the software. Or automate the process by having the PDF invoice sent automatically to the customer direct, using eBay and Amazon. ChannelGrabber can also save you time by completely automating your VAT receipts and you can also configure your invoices to be created automatically and sent to your customers the moment you dispatch an order.
Shipping & Fulfilment
The culmination of every sale, and arguably the most important step, is the prompt picking, packing, dispatch and shipping of the goods to your customer. Apart from the product itself, it’s probably the stage in the process upon which the customer most heavily bases their judgement of your service. Speed and accuracy are critical.
When selling through a single sales channel, the process can be time-consuming and complex but these processes multiply significantly when orders are derived from multiple sales channels. Even accessing your orders requires logging in to several different systems, each with their own login credentials, workflow and user interface. First there’s the application of shipping rules, label printing and invoicing, then dispatch confirmation and customer messaging and then the provision of tracking information – for each and every order in every system!
This complexity inhibits your performance, introduces delays and errors, and ultimately impacts customer satisfaction which in turn results in poor seller ratings, hurting your seller reputation and putting future sales at risk.
ChannelGrabber makes multi-channel order fulfilment easy. It connects with your webstore, eBay and Amazon, and more, enabling you to print courier labels faster than ever, ship via multiple couriers from one location and reduce your dispatch times. ChannelGrabber allows you to create smart shipping rules which automates shipping options so that your most used services are selected by default. Advanced filters allow you to create labels based on any metric you like.
Compatible with Royal Mail OBA, Royal Mail PPI, MyHermes, ParcelForce, Interlink and DPD and many more, ChannelGrabber connects to your account and prints all your labels from a single interface. ChannelGrabber produces your courier labels and, when you dispatch an item, it will send the tracking number directly to eBay, Amazon or your webstore without any additional action required.
The system also strengthens your brand and marketing and personalises your customers’ shopping experience with customised invoices and packing slips.
Online retail customers consistently cite the quality and timeliness of vendor communication as one of the most important components of the customer experience. What’s more, message response is referenced time and time again in seller ratings and feedback scores. But lack of response, late replies, duplicated replies or errors in customer or order association plague so many online retail customer relationships.
Picking up, reading and responding to customer messages can be time-consuming for vendors when selling through a single sales channel.
Indeed, when you sell through multiple sales channels, the laborious process of logging in to multiple web applications, downloading and refreshing messages, searching through message threads and negotiating character limits become the stuff of nightmares! What’s more, if you need to look up customer order or contact histories before taking an action, the process can be very complex indeed, involving moving between multiple screens and menus. Imagine if you managed your email or other communications this way. It’s no wonder messages are missed and errors are frequently made.
Most of us are familiar with unified messaging, with a single piece of software being used to draw on all of our messaging accounts and repositories, displaying them and facilitating interaction and response from a single user interface.
So, when so much is at stake, why can’t the same be achieved with eCommerce messaging?
ChannelGrabber is fully integrated with eBay and Amazon messaging systems to read and track messages sent to and from customers. Received messages are automatically linked directly to the customer or order they’re referring to, saving time and eliminating mistakes.
With ChannelGrabber you can easily see all messages awaiting a response and mark them as resolved when no further action is required. This creates a simple workflow that you, and your staff, can easily follow. Messages can also be assigned to team members to track interaction and resolution and improve response times for customers.
After receiving a message, ChannelGrabber automatically searches for, and links customers and their orders to, the message enabling you to view them with a single click right from the message.
ChannelGrabber is the most powerful multi-channel retail software solution available. ChannelGrabber uniquely helps retailers to reach, win and retain more customers. You're just minutes away from reaping the benefits!