When branded manufacturers integrate Where to Buy functionality on their websites, the goal is to increase sales by pushing consumers to their products sold by resellers.
With ChannelAdvisor Where to Buy, brands install a widget on their websites that lists the retailers that currently have their products in stock. One question we at ChannelAdvisor often get from our Where to Buy customers is, “How do I choose the order of my retailers, to maximize success?”
Now, before I explain the various ways to answer this question and the pros and cons of each, let me first review what most branded manufacturers are hoping to achieve with Where to Buy:
- Maintain relationships with retailers
- Provide the best customer experience possible
- Avoid turning the brand website into a comparison shopping engine
Okay, so let’s look at four common ways to prioritize which retailer partners on your Where to Buy widget you send consumers.
Pros: To be honest, I don’t feel like there’s any real “pro” for sorting retailers by alphabetical order unless you’re a retailer that happens to have called itself Aardvark.
Cons: The obvious disadvantage here is that key retailers could appear lower on the list, despite being the largest account. I’ve seen this get messy, so my advice is to think carefully if you choose this method.
2. Price Ascending
Pros: Starting with the retailer with the lowest price will clearly help the customer find a bargain, but it won’t necessarily help them find the best service. It’s common for retailers to use only the price as their unique selling proposition. But this is often a sign that the retailer isn’t providing the highest level of service.
Cons: Seeing only the cheapest price can set unrealistic expectations if shoppers are looking to make the purchase offline. This can also create a price war between retailers as they compete for the top spot.
3. Price Descending
Pros: Not rewarding retailers that sell at the lowest price will reduce the risk of retailer partners looking to buy their way to the top of the results.
Cons: Setting the retailer with the highest price as the number one spot can cause problems, as it can set unrealistic expectations and essentially make the product look more expensive than it actually is. Seeing a high price first may cause customers to lose interest quickly.
4. Click-Through Rate
Pros: By using the click-through rate, you’re essentially ordering retailers by how likely shoppers are to click. This way, the most trusted retailer will appear at the top of the list.
Cons: For this to work, you need historical data. So a retailer that’s new to the program could find it hard to climb the ranks.
There’s no perfect science for how a brand should order its retailers in a Where to Buy solution. At ChannelAdvisor, we always encourage our customers to use testing to find the right order for their business. Accordingly, all ChannelAdvisor customers are given Account Management resources to ensure they get the most out of our technology.
Blog post by Bradley Keenan, senior director of brand solutions, ChannelAdvisor