India is a growing hub of online commerce. In the online arena, the marketplace model is gaining popularity by the minute. This has encouraged many small businesses to setup online stores. Having an online store has multiple benefits. Not only is the seller able to reach a wider audience, but the costs in maintaining a physical store are significantly reduced.
However there are other expenditure, like warehouse, shipping and inventory. Most Indian online sellers also have accounts in different marketplaces. While this ensures greater coverage and a strong online presence, it also calls for extreme vigilance. Each online marketplace will have a host of forms to fill and formalities to take care of. Maintaining different accounts with different marketplaces translates to constantly logging in to each account regularly to keep track of the orders, inventory, complaints, and returns. There is a lot of scope for error in such a situation.
It might be cheaper to put it all in a spreadsheet and monitor the data, but experts say that sellers should plan to scale up. A seller should always aim to sell in larger scale, and grow the business.
Thankfully, technology has progressed to provide sellers with simplified solutions to these problems. Using multi-channel software to manage the accounts is one such solution.
The concept of multi-channel software is in its nascent stage in India, with few companies in the field. India based retailers who sell online will find that using a software tool that helps manage their multiple sales channels will make life far simpler for them. Let us take a look at what a multi-channel software is, and explore its features and benefits.
A good multi-channel software will help the seller to manage orders, monitor the stock, monitor the consignments, keep in touch with the courier companies and manage accounts at multiple marketplaces. This greatly reduces the stress involved in managing several accounts.
This article says how a good multi-channel software will give a seller a unified IT solution for all the sales channels and bring together different processes like managing orders, customer handling, marketing and supply chain management.
The ideal software should allow you to integrate different aspects of your business like inventory, analytics, customer management, accounting, and social media. It should also be flexible enough to accommodate business growth. This article says the three key questions you should ask are – Is it:
It is better to spend a little and go in for a company that offers dedicated support and after sales service rather than opt for a free service that might not be a tailor-made solution.
Before you zero in on a service provider, do a thorough research. Assess your requirements and do a careful study of all the service providers. Look for reviews of each, talk to existing clients and try to understand the high and low points of the service providers. Try to get a free trial of the software before you actually purchase it. Ensure that the service provider has a solid after sales support system in place.
By unifying the standard processes to a single source, an online seller is able to free up time to focus on the business, and expand in terms of operation, rather than tie-up time and resources in managing multiple accounts. Browntape, an ecommerce software company, offers Indian online sellers a multi-channel software to manage their seller accounts. Their blog post explains how their software integrates orders from different marketplaces in one place.
Browntape- inventory & order management software
Saketh Ram, Business Development Manager at Browntape tells us that a multi-channel software helps in more ways than one.
“A seller can do a comparative analysis on how she or he fares in each marketplace, because all the data is available in a single place. A multi-channel software also brings down any scope for error in stock count, as a low stock count is reflected immediately in the account. The software fetches orders from multiple marketplaces, syncs inventory, and helps maintain details of your stock,” he says.
So when you are running an online business on different marketplaces, you can either hire three or four different people to handle the intricacies, or go in for a software that will take care of everything.
Saketh sums up the benefits of multi-channel software briefly,
“Software like this help retailers establish an online presence. Particularly for those who are not net savvy, it helps ease things for them. One of the major advantages of a multi-channel software is that not just full time traders and retailers, but even those who look at selling part time can benefit from a unifying software. With the amount of time you save, you can really work on a lot of other areas of the business.”
With facilities and services available to online sellers, things are getting simplified. This not just helps in maintaining accounts, but also ensures that seller can expand their online business. There is no dearth of customers online. Online sellers should make use of available software that promises to make life easier for them. With a little help from the facilities available, and by making prudent choices, online sellers can watch their business zoom ahead.