Published September 17, 2019
To succeed in today’s customer-centric world, sellers must offer their products when and where their customers are and offer a seamless journey across every touchpoint. The only successful way to accomplish this is to expand your sales strategy to include a wide range of online and offline channels.
Every sales channel presents a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with customers and ultimately build a valuable, long-term relationship. Whether online or in-store, or direct-to-consumer or through a third-party retailer, selling anywhere is vital to achieving long-term profitable growth in today’s constantly evolving environment.
Below are five practices every business should implement to maximize product visibility and sales:
- Utilize a wide variety of sales channels. This includes different stores, websites, marketplaces, social media and any other places where customers shop. To further expand your reach and stand out from the competition, explore opportunities to build unique partnerships across sales channels. Earlier this year, Walgreens teamed up with Kroger to cross-sell Walgreens’ health and beauty brands at the grocery chain while offering the Kroger Express grocery assortment and Kroger Pickup service at its drugstores in the Knoxville, Tennessee market. The retail partnership ultimately provides more value to customers and increases the number of outlets available for them to buy your products. With store closures in the first half of 2019 already surpassing the number of stores closed in all of 2018, it is more important than ever to expand your product availability beyond traditional sales channels.
- Expand your geographic reach. While the escalating trade war with China is precluding many businesses from potentially entering the world’s largest e-commerce market, it is important to be selling products worldwide (and have the proper shipping and distribution operations in place to support global delivery). If your infrastructure or business model does not support global sales, broaden your geographic availability as your operation allows or enlist the help of a third-party provider with the expertise and distribution network required to fulfill international sales.
- Gain customers at every stage of the purchase funnel. Google is the leader in ‘top of the funnel’ or the ‘awareness’ stage, where customers are researching various solutions, while Amazon dominates in the ‘bottom of the funnel’ or the ‘purchase’ stage, where customers already know what they are looking for and are ready to buy. In response to steadily losing ad sales to Amazon, Google recently launched Google Shopping Actions, providing consumers with a seamless shopping experience by allowing them to purchase products across multiple Google platforms and utilize a universal shopping cart and instant checkout with saved payment information. Sellers should capitalize on the debut of Shopping Actions and proliferation of ‘social shopping’ by including these new and lucrative channels in their sales and marketing strategies.
- Integrate customer journey with company supply chain strategy. Traditional supply chain strategies were not designed to handle the intricacies of today’s customer shopping journey. As the industry continues to shift into the world of digital commerce, customers are now driving supply chain strategies as their expectations and demands continue to change and grow. In order to deliver an amazing customer experience, today’s supply chain solutions must be flexible but unbreakable, capable of adapting and constantly evolving to provide a series of options to address what is happening at that moment. Popeyes recently learned this lesson when, despite aggressively forecasting demand of its chicken sandwich, the popular fast food chain sold out of the new menu item more than month earlier than predicted.
- Employ cutting-edge technology solutions. While customer demands and sales channels continue to evolve at a rapid pace, retail technology has not advanced at the same rate. In order to support a comprehensive sales strategy and end-to-end supply chain, it is important to select a technology stack that is capable of handling the complexities and demands of today’s retail landscape and providing a seamless customer experience across all channels and stages. At Tompkins International, we utilize Etail Solutions for multichannel e-commerce onboarding and order and price management services. The digital platform connects, integrates and automates a brand’s entire sales and supply ecosystem, from marketplace listings to order fulfillment.
In response to industry demands, Tompkins International has integrated its decades of experience in strategy, technology, logistics and commerce to deliver a true end-to-end supply chain solution to help clients achieve long-term profitable growth. Our comprehensive offering combines best-in-breed services and technologies to provide a seamless customer experience and ensure digital commerce success, including channel design, development and management; digital marketing and merchandising; payment processing and revenue management; and cross border and global digital commerce.
We will dive deeper into each of these five practices in an upcoming blog series. Please subscribe to our newsletters or visit our newsroom to stay up to date on our latest news. To learn more about our complete digital commerce capabilities, please visit www.tompkinsinc.com.