Sales growth by multi-channel mastery

how to achieve small business growth

People are different in so many ways, nonetheless, they share many traits as well, and that’s why you need to have a multi-channel sales strategy in place. Let me explain.

  • People are the same in that they have a preferred way of buying.
  • People are different in that those preferred ways vary greatly.

Probably all of us have given a nod to these facts by stereotyping the shopping habits of women versus men. We usually say that women like to spend quite a lot of time browsing through stores and trying things on. Men, on the other hand, we stereotype as grabbing an item, marching to the checkout counter, paying, and going home.

We know that these images aren’t entirely true, but there’s enough truth in them to make them a common stereotype. The lesson to learn is that sellers who are better able to accommodate these different buying styles will be rewarded with more repeat business. Further, the number of channels we have through which we can sell is greater than ever before. Therefore, to achieve sales growth the smart business owner will work to match the channel – and its configuration – to suit the buying preferences of various customers.

The three major channels for selling are:

  • Traditional stores,
  • Catalogs, and
  • E-commerce.

For sales growth, you should work with each one of these, but these major divisions don’t tell the entire story. There are many variations of each that might be “customized” to better reach your buyer, or discover new buyers for your product of service.


Even what we consider a traditional store exists in a range of configurations today. We all know the standard mall store, strip mall business, and main street store. But today we also have subchannels such as mobile stores, seasonal stores, pop-up stores, outlet malls, and permanent flea markets. Are you finding which of these are a favorite way of buying for your shoppers.

flower-shop-on-wheelsHere’s a VW bus turned into a rolling flower shop. This might be a mobile business all unto itself, however, it might also be used as an additional sales channel for an established florist. It would, for example, give the florist a tool to sell at local outdoor events, or gain access to other promising locations.


When we think of catalog sales, the big names usually come to mind: L.L. Bean, Lands’ End, or Chadwick’s of Boston. (However, note that all of these have sales channels in addition to their catalogs, sometimes even including traditional retail stores.)

But, you don’t need to start pumping out a monthly catalog to see if mail-order sales would work for you. You can produce a smaller mail piece, maybe just for holiday sales or some other “hook” that would work for your product line – seasonal, for example.


There are many subchannels for Internet sales as well. You can sell through your own website, of course, but there’s a wide range of third-party sites where you can sell. The best known of these are eBay and Amazon, but there are other good marketplace sites in addition to these.

Further, if you’re making a serious e-commerce play, you’ll also want to explore affiliate marketing. With a good affiliate offer, you can get your product wide exposure in the online world.

If you’ve been a local retailer for years, there’s a good chance that your sales channel(s) is catering to one style of buyer. Other buyers may be out there just waiting to find you in their preferred sales channel. Make the connection and your sales growth could be tremendous.