The term multichannel or also multichannel strategy stands for a strategic approach of service providers and acting. In this way, an attempt is made to reach potential customers on several so-called “channels”. This can be through targeted advertising (multichannel marketing) or presence on a marketplace.

Wikipedia defines the term multi-channel strategy as follows:

Amazon Brand Guide

Multichannel marketing or multichannel strategy is the strategic approach of retailers and service providers to reach (potential) consumers through several different communication channels. This form of marketing is the consistent continuation of the use of different advertising channels; now in the form of the provision of different communication and distribution channels.

With the general spread of mobile devices, the buzzword “Everywhere Commerce” has also found its way into the trade press. The term refers on the one hand to e-commerce and on the other hand to the fact that customers can enter a purchasing decision process anytime and anywhere.

Traditional multichannel distribution channels used to be catalog and mail order, teleshopping and stationary retail. E-commerce has degenerated teleshopping and the catalogue trade to marginal groups and provides a multitude of own distribution channels.

Multi-Channel marketing

In multichannel marketing, the goal is to communicate directly and indirectly with customers and prospects. It is about reaching the customer on the channel where the customer is. Thus the purchase process is controlled more by the customer than by the marketer.

Direct communication channels can be a stationary shop, catalogues or postcards. Indirect channels can be, for example, the homepage, blog posts or the social media presence. This type of marketing is also referred to as inbound marketing. Further possibilities for multichannel marketing can be advertising in apps, SMS, e-mail or search engine optimization (SEO). Consumers today have more choices than ever before to get the information they need.

Onlinemarketing-Praxis describes multichannel marketing as follows:

Multichannel marketing is also called multichannel strategy and describes the communication and sales strategy of companies to reach people from the target group via various communication and sales measures.

This can be online measures such as search engine advertising, display marketing, social media marketing, online PR or e-mail marketing, as well as offline measures such as print ads, sponsoring, trade fairs & events or personal sales. Comprehensive multichannel marketing often consists of a mix of online and offline activities.

Multichannel distribution

Distribution via many channels is called multichannel distribution. Here, the seller offers his goods via several distribution channels. Especially in e-commerce, this type of distribution is of decisive importance. In the course of time some marketplaces have been established which can contribute a decisive part to the turnover. For globally operating companies it is no longer sufficient to offer the goods only in their own online shop. Marketplaces such as Amazon, Ebay & Zalando offer sellers an interesting platform for their own goods.

This use of several trading platforms in the e-commerce environment presents companies with new challenges. All marketplaces must be administered and maintained. If possible, to the same extent, in order not to miss the connection on a platform. Service providers who offer a software solution have positioned themselves for the uniform administration of these marketplaces. With the help of these systems it is possible to manage the data only on one platform and to manage all marketplaces synchronously.

Multichannel shipping on Amazon

Retailers who sell on Amazon can use the “Multi-Channel Shipping” service. The prerequisite for this is that the retailer uses the professional sales tariff and stores his goods at Amazon. The Multi-Channel Shipping (MCF) program is part of the shipping through Amazon program. When selling via channels other than Amazon, the desired goods can be packaged and shipped via the Amazon fulfillment center. Orders can also be processed via your own website or via Ebay with the help of Amazon FBA. 1- and 2-day premium shipping is also available with this shipping option. If desired, Amazon can also take care of returns processing.

This shipping method is a good option if individual marketplaces generate significantly less turnover than Amazon. The entire storage at Amazon makes it easy to keep an eye on the stock and to fall back on Amazon’s many years of logistics expertise.