It’s a tricky balance being a manufacturer. In the current retail landscape, the lines are starting to blur between retailers and brands. From the perspective of a consumer purchasing online, what matters is the product – is it what they want, at the right price, to be delivered at the right time? Furthermore, a retailer listing online can easily damage your brand if they don’t stick to best practice. So what can you do?
- Focus on getting found!
With billions of products online, your product need to be easily found on search engines and within onsite search of retail partners. It’s essential that brands master this element of search and are visible to consumers, wherever they may finally add to cart. This means that brands must be agnostic as to where customers want to research or buy and ensure they provide helpful lists of retailers that sell their items. Consumers may research on a brand’s site but then proceed to purchase on another site.
This is where an element like ChannelAdvisor’s Where to Buy can be helpful to brands and manufacturers.
It’s also important to ensure value parity across retailers. While competitive pricing is important to consumers, brands risk diminishing their long-term customer service if some merchants have very steep discounts.
- Don’t take e-commerce enablement for granted
Don’t assume that if you ship your goods to your e-commerce partners your job is done. Brands need to ensure their products are represented accurately and attractively on-site. This means you need to provide retailers with strong product information and nurture your retailer relationships. Is your retailer giving your product range prominence on social media? Are they boosting your brand presence? These are all elements that come down to the two-way relationship you have.
Strong brands dedicate resources to auditing their third-party retail presence online to ensure consistency and optimisation. It is critical that brands keep an eye on their presence online. Use scorecards to evaluate your retail partners and then disseminate these evaluations to stakeholders within their organisation. This means you can flag any issues early and get on top of them. For example, if there is an issue with price parity, you can deal with it quickly. This is also where technical solutions come in to augment the brand’s presence on a given retail site as needed. Are the product descriptions correct? Are the images reflecting your products well? This is why auditing is essential.
For more information about the connection between brands and retailers, download ChannelAdvisor’s free whitepaper: Brands and Retailers: What’s Your Current Relationship Status?