What do Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Rakuten, and Jet have in common?
They all have millions of eyeballs viewing their websites every day, looking for something to buy.
Why settle for one, when you can have them all?
The question is no longer, “Should I sell on Amazon or eBay?”
The question is, “How can I sell on Amazon and eBay, and on my own webstore, Etsy, Rakuten, and Jet?”
The answer: Multichannel and omnichannel selling using an inventory data management software.
What are Multichannel and Omnichannel selling?
Multichannel selling simply means selling your products on multiple channels, such as Amazon, eBay, and your webstore.
Omnichannel selling is taking multichannel a step further and selling on all available channels.
The secret to growth and scaling an eCommerce store is omnichannel selling.
Now you may be thinking, “I have so much inventory data. How am I supposed to get it all from Amazon to Shopify, or vice versa? Furthermore, how am I supposed to get it on Jet and eBay?”
If you manual entered this data, it may have taken you weeks or even months to get it on your Amazon or Shopify store. You certainly don’t want to go through that process again.
If you used a data feed, it may not have taken quite as long. However, the problem then becomes editing the data to fit each sales channel. You might only be able to sell certain products on Amazon. Or, you may want to price them differently on eBay. Furthermore, what happens if you only have 1 left of a certain product, and two people purchase it at the same time on different channels? You’d have to cancel one of their orders, causing unhappy customers and slaps on the wrist by the channel owner (Amazon hates canceled sales).
As you can see, inventory data creates a whole mess of headaches. Not having full control over it causes lost sales, unhappy customers, and potentially getting kicked off one of your precious sales channels.
The Solution is Inventory Data Management Software
The easiest way to scale a business with less headache and more profit is automation.
Inventory data management software, like ChannelApe, moves your product data from your supplier to one centralized location.
From there, you can put “rules” on your data in order to manage how it’s sent to each marketplace.
For example, you may want your data to go from your supplier to your website exactly as it is. However, you may want to lower your prices on Amazon in order to compete with the other listings.
With ChannelApe, you can easily apply those changes to your data before sending it to it’s respective marketplace. It looks like this:
ChannelApe is a place for centralized inventory management. Compare it to a warehouse; you ship your inventory to a centralized location before splitting it and sending it out across the world. Same concept, but instead of physical inventory, it’s inventory data.
It’s the product images, descriptions, titles, tags, quantities, variations, and vendor information.
If you understand the importance of inventory data management, try our 14-day free trial now.
How to get started selling on multiple channels
Once you’ve decided multi-channel selling is right for you, there are a few relatively easy steps to follow to get started.
Step 1: Open accounts on all the marketplaces you want to sell on
Once you’ve decided which marketplaces you want to sell on, you’ll need to open an account on all of their websites.
If you’ve followed the steps in my previous guide to choosing a business name, you should have your legal business already set up. You’ll need it in order to register for an account on most marketplaces.
Note: The names are linked to the application pages – just click on it and get started. Also, keep in mind that ChannelApe is so far only integreated with Amazon and eBay, so we recommend sticking with those two for now. We’re working on Jet, which should be done soon, as well as Etsy and Rakuten.
In order to create an Amazon account, you’ll need your legal business name and tax ID. You should have gotten your tax ID when you incorporated your business. If you didn’t, you can apply for one here.
Make sure you actually take the time to read over (or at least skim) the seller agreement. Not complying could easily get your store banned from selling on Amazon, which we don’t want.
To sell on eBay, you first have to create a seller account. Once you’ve done that, have a credit card on file, and are verified through PayPal, you can create an eBay store where customers can go to view our products.
If you have any questions about selling on eBay, check out their help page – it’s full of useful information. Also be sure to read their rules for sellers page, just as you read the sales agreement on Amazon.
Jet is fairly new to the eCommerce game, but is already giving Amazon and eBay a run for their money.
As always, be sure to read their seller agreement before getting started. It’s painful to sit and read through all these, but you’ll be glad you did down the road.
Etsy is unique compared to the other selling platforms listed so far. It’s market is mainly for people selling handmade goods, vintage items at least 20 years old, or crafting supplies.
While you can certainly try to sell your manufactured goods on Etsy, and it may work for a little while, you’ll likely eventually be taken down. I would only use Etsy if you use a manufacturer that is approved by them. They have an application process you can go through.
Rakuten, formerly buy.com, is Amazon’s Japanese counterpart. While not quite as popular in the U.S, it does have some traffic.
However, from what I’ve seen and heard about it, it’s not faring very well right now. Feel free to give it a try, but the $99 quarterly subscription ($33/month) is a little outrageous when combined with all the fees and commissions they take when you make a sale.
Overall, I’d personally stay away from using it until you have a substantial income on the other marketplaces and just want to test it.
Step 2: Upload your product data to all your new marketplaces
Now that you have a seller account with your chosen sales channels, it’s time to get your product listings up and start making sales.
As I eluded to earlier, the easiest way to do this is by using ChannelApe. If you’re ready to start scaling your eCommerce store and sell on multiple marketplaces, sign up for our free 14-day trial now.
Step 3: Sit back and watch the profits come in (don’t forget to fulfill orders!)
Pretty soon you’ll start to see orders coming in from all your new marketplaces.
ChannelApe will take care of your inventory data and quantities to ensure nothing is sold when out of stock, but you still need to fulfill the orders and make sure your dropshipper is sending them out.
Give yourself a pat on the back, you did it! You’re now an omnichannel seller, and soon we’ll rule the world together! At least, the world of eCommerce!
Step 1: Finding a Product to Sell
Step 2: Choosing a Perfect Business Name
Step 4: Creating Your Shopify Store
Step 5: Marketing Your New Store
Step 6: Selling on Multiple Channels (You are here!)