With the prolific growth of digital commerce, consumers have access to countless shopping opportunities right at their fingertips. From browsing on Google to communicating with friends and family on social media, today’s consumers are inundated by brands and retailers trying to compete with Amazon’s vast product selection, low prices and rapid shipping.
Additionally, technology today has democratized the shopping experience, shifting the power from brands and retailers to consumers, which now demand a personalized experience whenever, wherever and however they want it. Brands cannot force customers to behave in a certain way—even digitally native direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have begun expanding into additional sales channels. Everlane, whose CEO was vehemently against opening a physical presence when the online clothing company launched eight years ago, has recognized that an online-only approach is not the answer, opening its fourth brick-and-mortar store earlier this month. Harry’s co-founder and co-CEO Jeff Raider was quick to embrace brick-and-mortar retail, where an initial Father’s Day promotion with J. Crew led to partnerships with other specialty retailers as well as a physical presence in mass retailers like Walmart and Target.
To succeed in today’s changing retail landscape, brands must be able to capture the attention of consumers across multiple channels and stages. When developing a strategy, companies must think beyond traditional digital and physical channels and evaluate all options, including mobile, desktop, social media, retail e-commerce, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar and more.
With millions of sales platforms available, identifying the appropriate channels for your brand requires proper research and consideration. Here are a few tips for evaluating potential sales channels and implementing a successful “Sell Anywhere” strategy:
- Understand your customers. Technology today enables us to collect a bounty of valuable data that can be transformed into actionable insights to drive sales and improve the customer experience. In addition to collecting the data, utilize a platform or provider that can accurately and effectively interpret and translate that data into valuable intelligence.
- Identify channels offering options that appeal to your customer demographics. Live chat assistance and flexible pickup and delivery options are growing in popularity among today’s shoppers, according to a recent survey by CFI Group and Radial. By understanding your customers’ shopping preferences, you can identify opportunities to improve the experience and ultimately build a long-term relationship.
- Seek out unique and lucrative partnerships. To further expand your reach and stand out from the competition, look for opportunities to create rewarding relationships across various sales channels. From Kohl’s accepting Amazon returns to the Kroger and Walgreens alliance, many brands and retailers are finding success through creative partnerships that increase visibility of their products and services and provide additional value to customers.
- Embrace a variety of channels. While selling D2C is trending at the moment, do not restrict yourself to selling through a single channel. Make sure to incorporate a mix of mobile, social, digital, D2C, traditional retail and brick-and-mortar channels into your sales strategy. To ensure long-term success, do not base your sales strategy solely off of what is popular today—explore opportunities that provide a series of options capable of adapting to whatever the future holds.
- Reach customers at all stages of the purchase funnel. In addition to incorporating a wide variety of sales channels, it is also important to capture customers’ attention wherever they happen to be in the sales journey. Discovery is an important part of the purchase funnel, which is where Google and social media win. Google Shopping Actions and in-app social purchasing options allow customers to make a one-click purchase and can also gather valuable search and social data to improve the customer experience by recommending relevant products based on the customer’s preferences and history. This is vital to driving lifetime customer loyalty and long-term business growth.
This post is part of our “Sell Anywhere” blog series. Learn more about this concept in the related articles below or visit our newsroom to stay up to date on our latest news.