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Maximising Sales Opportunities for Your Products
Are you a branded manufacturer that has watched your trickle of website traffic turn into a steady stream? Are you prepared to usher those informed and curious shoppers to your preferred destination for purchase? What if they want to buy from you directly?
Today, many brands are at the beginning of their journey as e-commerce retailers. And many brands are stuck in limbo as the shifting sands of traditional product distribution have given way to a new brand-customer dynamic, and they haven’t yet figured out their next move.
No matter what phase you’re in, the bottom line is that you want to ensure that you maximise the sales opportunities for your many products, whether it’s on your own site or those of your preferred resellers.
ChannelAdvisor for Brands is here to help.
The Changing Online Landscape
The rise of e-commerce has created a seismic shift in the way the world buys and sells goods. As new online channels come into use, the traditional online distribution model for brands continues to be disrupted.
The Traditional Distribution Network for Branded Manufacturers
Modern Product Distribution for Branded Manufacturers
The Reality Facing Branded Manufacturers
As a brand, more consumer traffic is likely finding its way to your website, whether for research or just because consumers would rather buy from you than a third-party reseller. And this increased traffic presents a great opportunity to grow your brand.
As a brand, you need to make sure that all this new traffic is being put to good use. But direct-to-consumer sales can be complicated. You may lack the necessary infrastructure for fulfilment, customer service and more. Or, you may run the risk of channel conflict with your resellers and damaged relationships with those valued channel partners.
So how do you take advantage of this new consumer dynamic within the traditional model?
Phases of a Brand's E-Commerce Lifecycle
Each brand faces its own set of obstacles. Your challenges are uniquely tied to your business model, your infrastructure and, often, your vertical. Some of the challenges you may encounter:
- Maximising sales opportunities with qualified customers who are researching your products
- Understanding consumer behaviour better
- Minimising channel conflict when using a transactional site
- Assisting authorised channel partners with sales growth
The ChannelAdvisor for Brands initiative presents industry-leading solutions for brands navigating this challenging process.
Most brands fall into at least one of the following phases in the e-commerce lifecycle. The first phase consists of zero online commerce, while the final phase is a brand selling directly to consumers and being present on every online channel it can. Most brands fall somewhere in between.
Chances are, your business doesn’t fit cleanly into any of these phases. Depending on your brand and product vertical, you likely have your feet in more than one phase. Or perhaps your strategies stretch across two phases while your business straddles a third. It won’t ever be cut and dry, but the five basic phases give you a roadmap for the e-commerce journey that many brands take as consumers continue to make more purchases online.
Examples of Multi-Phase Brands
Say you’re a small apparel brand with no webstore but a series of authorised resellers and a first-party (1P) relationship with Amazon, where Amazon buys your products wholesale and sells them on its marketplace as the retailer. You’re currently hovering around the second phase of the lifecycle, but odds are, you’re looking to incorporate outbound links on your site that would strengthen your relationships with your channel partners. Doing so would stretch part of your business strategy into the third phase.
Or, to offer an example further along in the lifecycle, you could be an established watch company that has been experimenting with direct e-commerce for many years. You sell direct to your consumers from your website, as well as through resellers, including a successful first-party relationship with Amazon. You even have a multifaceted digital marketing strategy that drives traffic to your site from Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs). You almost fully sell direct to the consumer, except for the last piece of the puzzle: third-party (3P) marketplaces. When it comes to selling third party, you likely don’t have the technology in place to keep up with so many listings and provide sufficient customer service. And it’s holding you back. Getting your listings up and running on third-party marketplaces and fully transitioning to a direct-to-consumer brand may require you to work with an established e-commerce solution provider like ChannelAdvisor.
Regardless of where your brand is in the e-commerce lifecycle, ChannelAdvisor provides tailored solutions and support along the way that can help you maximise the opportunities for your products.
Introducing ChannelAdvisor for Brands
If you’re a brand looking to drive qualified traffic to your resellers, increase your e-commerce activities and expand your online presence, you now have three ChannelAdvisor solutions to choose from.
ChannelAdvisor Where to Buy: ChannelAdvisor’s newest solution allows you to drive the qualified buyers that visit your website to your authorised retail partners and then use this data to learn more about how consumers are discovering and purchasing your products. ChannelAdvisor Where to Buy is even valuable for brands that offer on-site transactions. You can augment your transactional site and manage channel conflict with retail partners by offering consumers multiple purchase options.
If you’re approaching the third phase in the lifecycle above and are looking to include links on your site to various resellers, you know that you need to capture better data on your potential consumers and offer better value to your online retailers. ChannelAdvisor Where to Buy provides these capabilities.
ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces: Marketplaces like eBay and Amazon can be used to experiment with and expand on direct-to-consumer strategies. For example, many brands that have an existing first-party, wholesale relationship with Amazon might implement a hybrid Amazon strategy by selling on the third-party marketplace as well. The hybrid approach gives you increased access to Amazon’s loyal consumers.
ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces offers a single integration point for your product data, from which you can easily expand to many marketplaces around the world and not lose track of your inventory data along the way.
ChannelAdvisor Digital Marketing: Once you’ve initiated a direct-to-consumer strategy, ChannelAdvisor Digital Marketing allows you to use Google AdWords, Product Listing Ads (PLAs) and over 100 comparison shopping engines (CSEs) to ensure your direct-to-consumer channels have optimal global reach and your shoppers are being driven back to your website.
Brand Spotlight: KitchenAid
After iconic brand KitchenAid decided it was time to list its products on various marketplaces and sell directly to consumers, it struggled to manage inventory and experienced customer service issues. With ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces, KitchenAid was able to use a single inventory feed to send its products to multiple online channels. Immediately, it successfully managed its entire online selling process, from product listings to order management, from a single dashboard.
We’ve created a great buying experience for the customer, and they feel great because they’re buying directly from the brand. We have ten times the SKUs out there now — everything from a thumb screw to a countertop oven. It was so easy for us to get up and running, and we immediately saw the growth.
-Todd Ohme, KitchenAid
Brand Spotlight: Karen Kane
Karen Kane is one of the most respected names in women’s apparel, synonymous with style, comfort and sophistication. After the company implemented ChannelAdvisor Digital Marketing, many of Karen Kane’s customers began showing up to its website through paid search ads — and purchasing products after clicking on Google Product Listing Ads. The company’s e-commerce sales grew from 2% of its business to almost 20%.
With ChannelAdvisor Digital Marketing, we accelerated our online advertising strategy. We are now finding new customers online, getting our placements in the right locations and making sure the right people are seeing our ads. With the support of ChannelAdvisor, we can now be more aggressive with our online business strategy.
-Michael Kane, Karen Kane