In my post last month, I touched on the fact that I was experimenting with omnichannel selling in 2015. If you’re not familiar, omnichannel selling is a fancy way of saying your products are available for purchase on multiple platforms. For me, this means my Bigcommerce store, Amazon, and, most recently, Facebook.
The beauty of being on a platform like Bigcommerce is that it makes the jump to omnichannel sales quite simple. The backend infrastructure of the platform and availability of one-click installation apps make it easy to get started. Utilizing an inventory and order management platform such as Skubana or Stitch Labs can get you up and running without incident.
When I approach a new sales channel, I first scan the competitive landscape to see if it’s worth investing resources. This is one of those decisions only a business owner or trusted consultant can make.
For me, Amazon was interesting because there is a lot of cancer support apparel. One particular item that stood out was a tie-dye breast cancer t-shirt that had 68 reviews. That is a lot of people who felt really passionate about this shirt, and about contributing to the community on Amazon.
Facebook recently introduced the ability to launch a store on your page, called Facebook Shop. This is just as interesting to me as Amazon since I have over 315,000 likes. However, it’s also a disruption to my existing setup on Facebook.
History would suggest that having the native Facebook store would likely lead to higher conversions and tie into the overall Facebook marketing opportunities. To this point, the conversions I’ve had on the new store have mostly been when I am spending money on advertising.
Despite the Facebook Shop being brand new, we’ve actually been selling via our Facebook page for years, as I hinted at above. When I was on Volusion, in 2012, there was a basic Facebook tab store. When we migrated to Bigcommerce, the store was more robust and had a more homogenized look within the Facebook experience.
The perks of using the Bigcommerce social store versus the new Facebook Shop is that it pulls product information and inventory from my existing setup without needing a Skubana or Stitch.
Currently, the new Facebook Shop doesn’t integrate with external plugins. This is problematic because it’s an island unto itself in the backend of my ecommerce efforts. I am also fulfilling direct from our home office versus my third-party fulfillment center. This was the most cost effective measure during this initial testing phase.
In the past six months of experimenting with omnichannel sales, we’ve had mixed results. On both platforms, I’ve listed 2-5 of my best sellers. We haven’t done much to drive traffic to Amazon and have had very limited organic traffic to the products. On Facebook, we’ve done the opposite. We’ve seen almost instant conversion when boosting a product for less than $20.
Ultimately, our primary call-to-action is still to shop in our Bigcommerce store, which has all our products, inventory, and is hooked up to our third-party fulfillment center.
If you’ve had any luck with omnichannel selling, leave a comment below, listing your successes or failures.