Brands Laura Lane By Laura Lane

Three Benefits of Selling Online as a Branded Manufacturer

Can you believe that 93% of brands are being sold online today – one way or another. For many branded manufacturers, going direct to consumers is an obvious choice (considering they are the product source). For others, the thought of e-commerce is still daunting.

Right now, over half of all consumers prefer to purchase a product online regardless of where they started their buying journey. With so many conversions taking place online, it really isn’t a viable option to overlook e-commerce any longer.

So whether you sell direct, or work with retailers and authorised resellers, delve in and see how you can make e-commerce work for you. And you’ll soon realise that what you thought would be e-commerce issues, are actually opportunities:

  1. You’ll get (a lot) more insights into your customers

Selling online opens your company up to masses of rich customer data. You’ll learn about your customer’s journey and identify how customers are moving through the path to purchase. How did they first discover your product? Did they purchase immediately or spend time reading your site or downloading information? How long did it take them to buy?

You’ll also be able to get really granular with your point-of-sale analysis. Sometimes this point-of-sale data comes from retail partners, sometimes through third-party data providers. Wherever you can get it, knowing exactly how a customer arrived at a sale will help you refine your campaigns throughout the sales funnel. If you’re not already working with your retailers on sharing real consumer insights, think about building programmes to share this information. Remember your programmes with retailers should include shared analytics, not just profits.

  1. You’ll maintain real-time intelligence about your online channels

Brands can often feel in the dark when it comes to product data. Selling through online channels provides real-time and deep product data. If you’re unsure what data to track or look out for, why not start by looking at product assortment, pricing, retailers and competitors?

  • Track assortment and pricing for each of your online retailers: Products run out of stock all the time. Do you know where your product is being sold? How much inventory do your retailers have? Or do you know if your retailers are overcharging? Spend some time delving into this to understand trends and potential issues.
  • Get to know who is selling your brand on marketplaces: You may know some of your sellers, but do you know them all? Whether they’re authorised or not, conduct regular product searches to identify any new sellers and track them.
  • Find your competitors: Marketplaces give brands access to a lot of consumers, so the emergence of new competitors happens quickly. Stay on top of your product categories, so you’re always know when a new brand crops up.
  1. You can adapt your product information and policies to market realities

By working with retailers and sellers, you can develop and more tightly manage messaging, pricing and other policies related to your product. Online pricing affects brand perception so it makes sense to keep an eye on the prices set by your retailers. If you’re selling direct your pricing will invariably set the tone and communicate the value of your products to customers.

When you’re setting your content policies and information, don’t just leave it to your retailers to work directly with marketplaces and search engines. Cultivate relationships with these channels so you can better understand what they need from you and vice versa.

These are just three of the reasons why branded manufacturers are selling online. Brands now have opportunities and tools to get directly involved in e-commerce and see major results.

Looking for some help with building your online presence? ChannelAdvisor for Brands, including Where to Buy and Product Intelligence, gives you more data about your customers’ shopping habits, provide a clear path to purchase for interested shoppers and gain more insight into the quality of your product listings across online channels.  To learn more, you can contact us on ukteam@channeladvisor.com.

ChannelAdvisor is hosting its annual Catalyst Europe event in Manchester on 16 May 2017. Check out the Catalyst Europe website to book your tickets.