If the events of the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that the future is hard to predict. Particularly the future of eCommerce. 


From consumer behaviour to demand prediction to customer retention, every aspect of online retail has been altered or accelerated since March 2020. As consumers shopped online during the Lockdowns, some for the first time and often out of necessity, brands found themselves forced to rapidly pivot their strategies to adapt.


The Main Drivers of Change to the eCommerce Landscape


As a consequence of the rapid changes brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain issues and rising fulfilment and customer acquisition costs came to the fore. These issues brought about reactive change that directly impacted the future of eCommerce technology as we knew it. 

It doesn’t look like the pace of change is going to slow down anytime soon, either. It has now become more important than ever for retailers to be able to quickly adjust their eCommerce strategies to account for supply chain issues, escalated freight costs and web browser privacy policy shifts

According to the UK eCommerce Association, IMRG, continued investment in multichannel strategies will be one of the key trends in eCommerce in 2022 to help retailers avoid potential long-term risks that the results of these changes pose to their businesses. 


What is Multichannel eCommerce Software?


Before we dive into how to evaluate the options to choose the best multichannel eCommerce software to help you future-proof your online store, let’s first take a look at what multichannel eCommerce management software is.


“Multichannel eCommerce” is the term used to describe when an online merchant sells products across more than one marketplace and platform – e.g. selling on Etsy and eBay in addition to their own Shopify store. A seller might choose to do this to help increase their sales by expanding their brand’s exposure and customer reach. 


Managing multiple eCommerce stores, web carts and sales channels is no easy feat though, and sellers quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the need to constantly monitor all the different platforms. 


Manually listing individual products, variations and bundles is a very repetitive task. A lack of accurate inventory management across multiple marketplaces means the seller risks selling out on one sales channel before you can update the others. Then there is a plethora of apps, shipping carriers and accounting packages to manage, learn and sync…


Selecting the Best Multichannel eCommerce Software


The days of long implementation cycles and limited customisation capabilities are long gone. Today’s eCommerce technology needs to be flexible and quick to implement, with many options for integrations to help maximize your sales opportunities. 


The best multichannel eCommerce software rolls key functionality into a single platform. At the very least it will be inclusive of multi-channel inventory management capabilities to allow you to manage inventory across multiple channels. It will also make marketplace order management a doddle by showing you all your sales data in one place. It should boast powerful, if not fully automated product listing software and enable accounting integrations to allow you to use Xero for eCommerce. 


There are 3 areas you should prioritise when looking to select the best multichannel eCommerce software for your online store. 

1. Multi Channel Inventory Management 


When it comes to mitigating ongoing supply chain disruptions and stock shortages, choosing the best inventory and stock management software for the task is essential.

Having complete visibility of your stock is key. By implementing a robust multi-channel stock management system like Expandly, you can sync your inventory across all your sales channels, view and manage it all from within one platform – so you can grow your sales without the risk of overselling.

As an added bonus, using reports within Expandly allows you to accurately forecast demand, so you can side-step supply chain issues altogether; defining what to buy and sell, where and when and identify your most profitable lines and greatest runners. By making informed decisions based on tangible data, there’s no need to hedge your bets and buy too much stock just on the off chance that it sells.


You can try Expandly’s powerful eCommerce inventory management software free for 7 days. There’s no credit card required to start the trial and you can cancel it at any time.


2. Multi-Channel Selling Software


With multiple logins to remember, all the different quantities to manage and all the different channel listing fees to keep track of, it’s no wonder that managing different marketplaces and web carts is time-consuming, repetitive and prone to errors!


A multichannel eCommerce platform like Expandly makes it so much easier to manage your inventory, accounting, listings, orders, returns, shipping and more. Why? You can do it all from one place!


Here are a few things that Expandly’s multi channel sales software enables you to do:


  • Effortlessly sync your quantities and manage your stock levels across bundled items and variations
  • Hook up your shipping carrier and link to your accounting software for seamless data transfer
  • Connect your marketplaces with your website’s shopping cart and list to all channels individually, as well as in bulk for flexibility in your offering


Fun fact: did you know that managing all of your sales channels from one single platform can reduce your time spent dealing with orders by 40%?
This case study provides more information on how to use Expandly to manage your orders across all your sales channels.

3. Accounting Capabilities


Like with managing multichannel sales, trying to ensure that all your orders from your various marketplaces and web carts go into your accounting software is hard work.

Doing it yourself takes up valuable time that should be spent running your business, whereas transferring orders from multiple channels into the correct accounts can make hourly outsourced accounting rates soar.

Keeping track of your sales and accounts in one central platform like Expandly gives you complete visibility of your sales and accounts at a granular level – with the added bonus of eliminating the need for manual invoice creation.

What’s more, by enabling information to flow automatically from each sales channel into the correct accounts, Expandly’s direct integration to Xero gives you line-by-line accuracy and complete visibility of your sales and accounts activities whilst ensuring VAT compliance.

Rebecca Johnson, an Accountant who uses Expandly to manage the accounts for a gaming cards retailer, says that Expandly offers “The best VAT functionality of the apps that I have found. It allows data to be uploaded effortlessly and effectively to Xero using appropriate tracking categories and Tax Rates. If you are making significant sales in multiple jurisdictions, then this is definitely worth reviewing.”

You can read more about how Rebecca uses Expandly here.


There’s no telling precisely what the future holds in store for the eCommerce industry – and there certainly isn’t a blueprint to navigating your way through the ever-changing landscape. 

However, if you prioritise finding a provider who fulfils all three of the above, you do stand a fighting chance of maximising your eCommerce opportunities moving into the future.


Grow your business with Expandly

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