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Today, we’re excited to announce BigCommerce Channel Manager, a new addition to our platform designed to help merchants grow sales while making multi-channel selling easier than ever. Beginning this week, merchants will see a new ‘Channel Manager’ menu in the sidebar navigation within the BigCommerce control panel. To get started, simply select it and follow the prompts, after which you’ll see options to connect your store and begin selling on Facebook and Pinterest. You can also sign up to be notified as we add support for addition social channels, like eBay, which will be added later this year.
For merchants looking to attract new customers and grow sales through third-party sales channels, Channel Manager is designed to streamline workflows and help you test new channels efficiently. For example, today merchants can use Channel Manager to:
- Discover and integrate with leading third-party sales channels. With Channel Manager, merchants now have a single destination to discover and integrate with third-party sales channels directly within BigCommerce. Connecting to existing channels or adding new ones requires just a few clicks.
- Reach more customers across multiple channels. Native integrations with Facebook, Pinterest and leading marketplaces (coming soon) allow merchants to rapidly amplify their potential reach to millions of shoppers. Seamless onboarding and catalog syncing means you can test the right channel mix for your business without introducing unnecessary complexity or risk.
- Remove barriers and unify channels. Channel Manager’s built-in bulk export and inventory syncing means merchants can avoid countless hours spent listing products on third-party sales channels by using product information already stored in their BigCommerce catalogs.
Why Channel Manager
Statistically speaking, there has never been a better time to sell online. According to estimates from the U.S. Commerce Department, online sales during Q1 2016 approached $93 billion, a whopping 15% increase compared to the same period last year. This means ecommerce accounted for roughly 30% of all retail sales growth in the first quarter after factoring for specialty items (e.g. cars, fuel, etc.) not typically purchased online.
But capitalizing on this explosion in online sales remains complex, particularly for growing businesses looking for high-impact opportunities to increase market share. Recently, many BigCommerce customers have noted rising competition caused by new market entrants and renewed focus from larger players looking to grow online sales. With so much noise in the marketplace, capturing prospective customers’ attention requires brands find ways to make products accessible when and where shoppers want to buy. Where there’s demand, the supplier wins. In a recent blog post, industry analyst and author Brian Solis captured this sentiment saying, “Customers today are ‘accidental narcissists’...they have lost patience. We want things now.”
Because of this, selling online is no longer just about attracting customers to your online store. Online retailers are increasingly faced with trying to reach and convert customers wherever they want to shop, whether that be through their online store(s), physical retail, marketplaces, social selling platforms or elsewhere. This proliferation of available sales channels has forced retailers to consider new, unforeseen inventory and order management challenges as well as to make difficult choices about opportunity costs associated with exploring potential new avenues to attract customers and grow sales.
“With purchases taking place across so many different channels — online stores, social networks, physical retail locations and marketplaces — Channel Manager gives retailers a comprehensive way to manage their entire online business,” said Michael Burk, Senior Director of Product, BigCommerce. “We created Channel Manager with the intent to help merchants run their businesses more efficiently and empower them with a complete overview of their sales, allowing them to make changes to listings, pricing and availability in real-time.”
Additionally, as new sales channels are integrated with Channel Manager, merchants can easily experiment to determine fit and customer demand without the need for time-intensive, manual data entry or specialty third-party listing tools.
This is just the start. This summer, we’ll be adding support for additional channels as well as new functionality to Channel Manager to make adding and selling on multiple channels seamless, including more control over customizing individual product listings.
Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks or feel free to leave your questions in the comments.
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