As a brand, building a strong relationship with your retailers offers a massive opportunity when it comes to sales and discoverability. But with price-cutting, lack of control over listing quality, and inventory fluctuations, it’s hard for brands to harness that opportunity and control results.
In our recent webinar, which you can watch on demand, we discussed the four pillars of e-commerce performance for retail partnerships and how to collect the data you need to manage that performance.
Assortment and availability
76% of e-commerce shoppers say that if the item they want to purchase from an online retailer is out of stock, they might buy from a competitor brand (Dynata for ChannelAdvisor, August 2021). When your products aren’t available, you risk sending your customers to your competitors.
What’s more, third-party sellers can creep in and steal the buy box when your brand’s inventory is out of stock. Even when your items are replenished, these third-party sellers might continue to own the buy box for that listing, if their seller ratings are high enough.
Make sure to keep a watchful eye on product stock at popular online retailers, especially the stock of your best-sellers. Create a critical out-of-stock process that will place new orders quickly. And don’t only use online retailers to sell your most profitable SKUs, but also the products with a high amount of awareness.
Price and promotions
The same Dynata research found that 79% of consumers say that price impacts their decisions, while 44% said the same of reviews, and 35% reported being influenced by brand names. Brands are at risk of high intra-brand competition and difficult B2B negotiations, where online retailers are slashing prices for consumers and pitting brands against each other to get the best price.
To mitigate these risks, brands should understand price-matching dynamics within their market. Ultimately, you need to determine if selling on certain marketplaces is worthwhile. Also, watch for large price drops in your listings on online retailers, investigate whether other distributors are matching those prices, and reconsider your distribution strategy accordingly.
Search and digital shelf
A lot of product discovery takes place on online retailers, not just on brand websites and social media. When e-commerce shoppers want to buy a product, 35% begin their search on a retailer website, as opposed to searching in Google or visiting a brand website directly. This means that optimising your product listings for online retailers is essential. You want your brand to show up not just for your brand and product names, but also for product category searches.
To make sure your competitors aren’t beating you in marketplace searches, track your share of search within each distributor for brand terms and category terms. Test and optimise keyword placement accordingly, and make sure to divert more budget towards marketplace SEO—instead of investing only in paid ads.
Content and reviews
17% of customers say that they’ll hesitate to make a purchase if the product doesn’t have any reviews. Content and imagery are also important for conversions. Some retailers might use sub-par or insufficient content on your landing pages. For example, on your brand website you might have nine angles and product detail shots for a leather purse, while a retailer only features two of these images. Mismanaged customer expectations can lead to high product returns.
To ensure quality content and reviews, keep track of your rating volumes and averages for all products across top distribution channels. Also, monitor that percentage of pages with 100% compliance with your brand expectations. Reach out to retailers to resolve page compliance issues, and reply to customer reviews when appropriate.
As a brand, it’s impossible to manually track hundreds of listings across dozens of retailers. You need automated e-commerce intelligence.
Want to learn more about the robust brand analytics you can collect with ChannelAdvisor?