If there’s one challenge all brands are undergoing right now, it is this:
Direct-to-consumer relationships are more powerful, and important, than ever.
Consumers have preferred to buy products directly from producers when given the alternative. And today, according to recent research from Forrester, 21 percent of US shoppers (and 25 percent of European shoppers) intend to initiate electronic connections with brands much more often in the future.
The question on the minds of many branded manufacturers is: What is the best way forward?
Through time, different brands have taken different approaches — with wildly different results. As customer trends continue to accelerate in this region, now is the time to build a good plan based on the strategies that work best for your brand. And Forrester’s new report will help you do precisely that. In the most recent resource for producers, Branded Manufacturers: Master Your Own Digital Destiny, Forrester researchers explore the largest opportunities available to manufacturers now, in addition to leading strategies for crafting a detailed direct-to-consumer strategy.
Here’s a quick preview of what is in the report:
First, while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to successful D2C selling, Forrester’s findings suggest there are several factors which will impact virtually every brand’s chances at D2C success. For example, although not every manufacturer will opt to sell directly to customers, all should:
- Own the client relationship as far as possible
- Connect customers to the stations where they could find and Buy a new products
- Clearly define how merchandise supply and partnerships will be handled
Whether you decide to sell direct to customers on e-commerce marketplaces or leverage retailer partnerships to broaden your digital footprint, Forrester’s report is full of insights you can use to future-proof your enterprise. Download it today for step-by-step instructions you can use to:
- Identify your brand type
- Know your e-commerce chances
- Build out your direct-to-consumer strategies
- And much more
The report takes into account a huge array of options. So no matter where your D2C attempts stand now, you can get a stronger comprehension of where to concentrate efforts next.
8 Ways E-Commerce Teams Can Boost Brand Picture
Brand image is all about delivering a consistently positive new experience end-to-end — from social media to packaging, from your site to customer support. Right in the center of the experience is your retail supply, which means that your retail team should aim to keep consistency.
It’s a fact that, as a brand, you can not directly edit product pages at a retail configuration. However, it is important to know that:
- This doesn’t imply that you can not do anything about merchandise page content.
- More importantly, brand image in online retail is about far more than product content.
In this report, we will look at the various levers available to retail groups in regards to improving brand image.
Establish a Selective Distribution
Selective distribution is a sort of distribution strategy that lies between intensive and exclusive distribution. The strategy involves choosing distributors and online retailers based on a particular set of rules. If your manufacturer adopts a selective distribution strategy, benefits include:
- Ability to keep and improve your brand image by simply linking with trusted online retailers that are in line with your strategy
- Improved market coverage, which positively impacts your brand awareness.
You need to collect feedback from your clients and slowly phase out online retailers which undermine your brand awareness. A selective distribution ensures that, in the long term, you’re simply working with partners you can trust to deliver adequate pre- and post-sales services along with a positive shopping experience.
Negotiate and Monitor Product Assortment
Building product ranges and carefully planning your assortment enhances how shoppers perceive your brand. It is key that consumers have the ability to select from a wide assortment of variations (e.g., colour, dimensions, capacity). They should also have the chance to get accessories alongside the primary product.
Most online retailers have a tendency to prefer the SKUs with the maximum margin and turnover. But your brand isn’t just about its own best-selling 20%. And online retailers may fail to find that bigger picture if they simply analyze profits in the SKU level.
Your e-commerce team should set goals concerning share of assortment, then negotiate with online retailers separately. Most of all, they ought to monitor the way the assortment gets executed and immediately identify discrepancies in the negotiated variety.
Remedy Critical Out-Of-Stocks
Evidently, out-of-stock situations will cost you sales. But it doesn’t stop there. Your products are not as likely to appear in search results while they are unavailable, and even once they return in stock, they might suffer from a reduced sales velocity. In addition to that, out-of-stock listings make your brand look unprofessional and search algorithms will push replacements from your competition.
Identify Gray Market Sellers
The unauthorized sale of branded merchandise occurs within the grey market. To protect their image, brands can’t turn a blind eye to the possible effect of grey market sellers. When grey market products are easily available to customers, particularly online at huge discounts, it’s very likely to trigger brand damage.
Furthermore, grey market sellers often apply their particular service rules, instead of the brand’s protocol for pre- and post-sales services. They might be selling factory rejects or cross-border imports. These under-the-radar transactions could sabotage your team’s attempt to construct a top brand positioning.
By actively scouting the market for grey sellers, you should be able to spot the flow on your distribution channels and safeguard your brand image.
Establish and Enforce a MAP policy (Where Applicable)
Minimum advertised prices (MAP) policies are legal in certain countries (like the US). Many manufacturers use them mostly for margin and profit reasons. Truly, they do help to slow down intra-brand competition. However, MAP policies also help protect brand image.
Price is a huge part of how clients see your brand. When online retailers greatly drop the price of your merchandise, or use them as loss leaders, it erodes the perceived value of your brand.
MAP policies only work if they’re enforced, which is notoriously tough to do manually. That is where retail solutions with effective price tracking come in handy.
Plan, Execute and Monitor Synchronized Promotions
While unending discounts are detrimental to your brand image, promotions continue to be a fantastic way to draw attention to your products and boost earnings. They may be particularly efficient if your whole network executes them at precisely the exact same time.
A means to do this is to plan promotions which make sense business-wise, then offer your resellers the chance to opt-in. Naturally, the promotion should include a sellout allowance from your own brand.
During the advertising period, it is vital that you verify if the online retailers applied the reduction — and finished it at the specified time. At times, online retailers forget to end a promotion.
Answer Priority Reviews
Responding to priority reviews might be an essential way to remain in touch with all your clients. Well-thought-out and considerate responses help your clients feel acknowledged while impressing potential clients.
The advantages of reacting to testimonials are actually twofold:
- Attracting and engaging new clients with attentive and thoughtful answers
- Increasing retention rates, which may have a considerable impact on your company’s bottom line
Customer testimonials also strengthen trust and provide credibility to your own brand. Consider tracking reviews a necessary, strategic action to sharpen your internet appearance.
Assure Product Listing Quality
And last but by no means least: product content. If you don’t guarantee product record quality, your goods are not as likely to rank well and you could lose important sales to your competitors. Content could also hugely affect conversion rates and perception. By integrating content, for example comparison charts or lifestyle photos, you can specify your brand voice and emphasize the core values and benefits of your brand.
In particular, you need to be certain that product titles, pictures, descriptions and rich content are up to your criteria.
On websites like Amazon, as a vendor, you can edit pages to your goods, so there’s absolutely not any excuse for poor content! On other sites, the situation may vary widely, but it is crucial you have a clear vision of where product material is lacking.
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