The advantages and disadvantages of multichannel selling


Multichannel selling occurs when a company offers several ways for consumers to purchase goods and services. 


When multichannel selling, there are many options, such as traditional channels like retail stores, catalogues, and over the phone. However, with the rise of technology in recent years, nontraditional methods such as electronic or mobile have become more popular over time. 


This could include websites, whether you’re selling on your ecommerce store or other platforms such as Amazon and eBay, apps, and social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. 60% of shoppers do their product research on a mobile device. And, with 2 billion people using their smartphones for at least an hour or two per day, it is a significant sell not to miss out on. (*)


In this blog, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of multichannel selling for businesses so you can consider whether it’s the best option for you and your brand. 


Advantages of Multichannel Selling


According to a study from Wharton, 66% of online shoppers rely on more than one channel for purchases. 


In this new age of technology, consumers now like to shop across a range of channels before purchasing to find the best price in product or delivery option. To remain successful businesses should follow in the footsteps of their customers. Consumers conveniently want the best goods, which is causing businesses to broaden their horizons and expand their business to multiple platforms to suit everyone.


The same consumers on new channels


Multichannel selling means you can offer customers the option to shop for your goods on other channels. Rather than having to travel to your store, they can buy from you online or perhaps in a local department or grocery store closer to their home. This way, customers can happily shop as and when they please, regardless of opening times or distance. The options suddenly become endless, and, in turn, becomes a great advantage for consumers. 


With a new channel, comes new consumers


Selling on a variety of channels will attract new customers. If you start selling on sites such as eBay or Amazon, a whole new audience comes to light. Each channel will help expand your customer reach, resulting in more attention and higher turnover. By 2040, it’s predicted that 95% of total sales will be online, and even in 2019, this is already progressing at a fast pace. (*)


The option of omnichannel


As stated previously, customers want the best price at the greatest convenience. They expect the ability to research and shop across multiple channels. Perhaps even switching between channels to ensure they find a product for the most cost-effective price, such as low shipping combined with a discount code. Multichannel selling allows you to provide the omnichannel experience that customers truly desire.


Did you know that omnichannel shoppers are more valuable overall? According to a Google report, shoppers who cross-channel shop have a 30% higher LTV to merchants than single-channel shoppers.


Growth in sales


The apparent advantage of multichannel selling is the opportunity to grow sales. New channels will bring in a percentage of new custom, which means you’re (possibly) doubling the sales you would make if you were to sell only in your store or on your ecommerce website. Profit is key to running a successful business; growth in sales is never a bad thing!


Disadvantages of Multichannel Selling


As with anything in life, even with such great advantages, disadvantages are not far behind. Although multichannel selling can increase your sales and exposure, it will come at a cost.


Shipping and Service Costs


Delivering your product to different wholesalers, retailers or distributors means your shipping and service costs could increase. Selling your product across one channel allows you to decrease the use of resources such as trucks, drivers and staff to deliver product and the time spent working with several partners.


It’s complicated…


Although rewarding, multichannel selling is complex and could become more stressful than it’s worth. For starters, you have to manage inventory, fulfil orders, and work with suppliers. Selling across multiple platforms means you to do all of this, times however many extra channels you’re selling on. The management between systems can prove time-consuming.


The struggle to keep up could soon cause problems in the warehouse. Without full concentration, incorrect and slow orders can occur, stock levels could display wrong, which can lead to overselling or no stock at all.


Letting go of control


When you sell your products on multiple platforms, the control over your brand message is limited. Retailers want to sell your product without any added effort; after all, they have their brand values to maintain! Making requests on things such as not wanting your product next to a competitor could be out of the question, retailers will go with whatever decision benefits their brand. 


Increased Sales Costs


If you expand your business from retail store to online sales, you will need to hire warehouse staff to fulfil orders, buy software to take and process orders and pay to advertise your new venture. Similar with selling on Amazon or eBay, these sites take a percentage of the sales you make, and the more services you take with them to market or fulfil your orders, the more they will want. 


Ultimately there are pros and cons to multichannel selling, and you must think carefully about which option is best for your business in the long run.


Here at Bray Solutions, we can help you run a smooth service by taking control of your shipping and returns process. To find out more, call us on 01780 784875 or email us at

We can help you run your multichannel selling warehouse. Call us on Phone: 01780 784875 or email us

As we already reach the end of February 2018 is proving to be a fast paced, action packed year, perfect for a retail revival. Click to read more.

Bray Solutions

Lakeview Office Suite, Kings Cliffe Road, Wansford, Peterborough, PE8 6PB

Phone: +44 (0)1780 784875

As we already reach the end of February 2018 is proving to be a fast paced, action packed year, perfect for a retail revival. Click to read more.
As we already reach the end of February 2018 is proving to be a fast paced, action packed year, perfect for a retail revival. Click to read more.