The New E-Commerce Roadmap for Brands

Are you looking for a guaranteed method your brand can use to sell more online?

There isn’t one.

Fact is, successful online selling strategies are as varied as the brands that use them. The tactics that work well for one manufacturer may be the opposite of what gets results for another.

Which is a little unsettling, since so many brands are looking to accelerate the e-commerce side of business. With more consumer spending happening online than ever before, many manufacturers are looking for new ways to take advantage of the expanding e-commerce landscape. 

Thankfully, there are several overarching approaches that can work well across industries and verticals. For example, you can start by focusing on:

Developing a strong direct-to-consumer selling strategy

Brands of all sizes are moving toward direct-to-consumer (D2C) selling, with good reason. Surveys have long shown that eight in 10 consumers are loyal to brands, and that 55% of shoppers would prefer to buy directly from brands rather than multi-brand retailers.

Factor in the massive move toward online buying in 2020, and the opportunities are significant. In one example of just how quickly the D2C trend has progressed, Nike is now relying on direct-to-consumer sales for 30% of its revenues — a target the manufacturer had not previously expected to reach until 2023.

But while the general idea stays the same across companies — products move from warehousing to consumer doorsteps without involvement from retailers — in practice this method can look drastically different from one brand to another. Some brands put their full product assortments online, while others rely on marketplaces and e-commerce websites to sell only the items that partnering retailers don’t carry. 

No matter which approach you take, selling directly to consumers can be an excellent way to both expand and future-proof your business. With 57% of global web sales occurring on marketplaces, these e-commerce channels offer a chance to tap into the millions of consumers who are actively searching for your products. 

And the more you can diversify your online presence, the better positioned you’ll be to weather any big shifts and changes in the future.

Using existing retail partnerships to succeed online

Traditionally, the first step to successful sales and distribution has been building and maintaining a healthy ecosystem of retail partners. While those relationships are still important, how they’re structured is shifting with the move toward direct-to-consumer selling.

As you consider your options for selling online, several key steps can help ensure your retailer relationships remain productive and profitable throughout the transition.

First, be sure to monitor important metrics such as pricing, promotions, assortment and availability. Staying ahead of changes as they occur will not only help protect your brand’s reputation, but ensure your retailers are all playing by the same set of standards.

In addition to monitoring your retailer network, it’s important to collaborate on strategies for improving the customer experience. For example, by adding shoppable media links to your product pages and promotions, you can connect interested consumers to your preferred retailers right at the moment they’re ready to buy — essentially removing the risk that they’ll head back to the search engine and get distracted by competitor products.

This is a strong example of how e-commerce technology can be used to not only strengthen relationships with retailers, but increase your chances of landing more sales as well. It’s good for your brand, great for your retailers and provides a seamless experience for your customers. 

These are just a few of the countless considerations your brand should be factoring in as you navigate the current e-commerce landscape. Addressing each one of them would require a comprehensive playbook — one that covers everything from consumer trends to the latest developments on e-commerce marketplaces.

This is precisely what the e-commerce specialists at ChannelAdvisor have created in their all-new eBook, A Guide to E-Commerce for Brands. If you’d like to learn about the current trends impacting brands online, along with specific tools, technologies and techniques you can use to get ahead, this resource is for you. You can get your free copy here.