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Connected software helps multichannel sellers

18 months ago, my team and I founded Tradevine, a multichannel eCommerce solution that integrates with Xero, webstore management solution Shopify and Trademe, New Zealand’s answer to eBay.

In developing Tradevine, we surveyed over 500 Trademe sellers to find out which channels they sell their products in. The businesses we talked to ranged from large-scale chain stores, through to micro businesses, to hobbyists casually selling through Trademe. Have a look at the results:

As you can see from the graph, the vast majority of them (81%) combined their Trademe sales with other channels, such as dedicated webstores and traditional bricks-and-mortar stores.

This is indicative of a trend in the wider small business community: multichannel selling. More and more businesses are selling their products to different people through different channels. Bricks and mortar stores have online components; Trademe (and the equivalent) sellers sell through other avenues. Even a hobbyist selling through Trademe and the classified section of his or her local newspaper is a multichannel seller.

But to sell in multiple channels at any kind of scale, you need lots of different software. Point of sale software for the bricks and mortar store, an ecommerce solution for the online store, an inventory solution to keep track of the product itself and accounting software to make sense of all that data.

Until recently, this wasn’t really feasible because of the time-consuming manual intervention involved in collecting sales, inventory and financial data from various channels and putting it in the accounting system. The extra revenue gained from selling in multiple channels was offset by the time and expense of tracking that revenue.

Connecting different applications through API integrations solve this problem. Now business owners can manage their different sales channels by using apps that talk to one another. Rather than spend time entering the data from each channel into their accounting system, the API integrations fetch it automatically.

This insight was vital in our development of the Tradevine application.

Since we focused on businesses who sell through Trademe, there’s an obvious skew to our results. But the results still stand – as the world gets more connected, multichannel selling is the future of small business, and API integrations provide business owners with the tools they need to get there.

Peter Montgomery is the CEO of Xero Add-on Partner Tradevine Limited

 

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5 comments

Ryan Baker
30 May 2012 #

Couldn’t agree more Peter. SMEs especially will benefit from using a suite of well integrated SaaS tools that each do their own job beautifully and talk to each other via seamless APIs. There is an attractive side effect of this eco-system approach as well. Many of these solution verticals for SMEs are saturated with solutions, of ranging quality. When an SME is evaluating and implementing each solution in it’s own vertical (as in the past), it is rather difficult to identify the best one to use. However, when the solutions are evaluated together we will quickly start to see which are well built, talk to each other nicely, do their own job beautifully & also form part of an overall solution aimed at the wider needs of the SME.

[...] We believe you find the results of our survey of over 500 Trademe sellers good reading! Read more here. This entry was posted in General by tradevine.sandy. Bookmark the [...]

Gayle Buchanan
30 May 2012 #

Just got a client that will find this very interesting … thanks so much for the email update – very informative. Go the xero addon team …. awesome

Anna
30 May 2012 #

Congratulations with your success at Tradevine which is also excellent Trademe tool.

Robbie Dellow
31 May 2012 #

Congratulations Peter and his Tradevine team. Great work and fantastic to be supporting the Xero platform.

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