Does your brand currently sell products online through retail partners as well as its e-commerce site? Are you looking to increase online sales across retail partner sites? Do you want to improve your brand’s findability online? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, this article is for you.
A recent report from Forrester Research outlines the best practices of selling products online via retail partner sites. To help your brand increase its online sales, in this article, we’re going to break down the report and provide some action points for you to implement.
Customer Shopping Journey
Throughout their shopping journeys, customers visit many touch-points – each providing different information. Yet, not one of these touch-points is fully comprehensive. Because there is no single source of credibility for all aspects of a product (e.g. price, product information and reviews), brands need to provide shoppers with detailed information at each touch-point (be it the brand site or a retailer site). The Forrester report, titled ‘Six Things Brands Must Do Online To Improve Sales,’ focuses on two factors that brands can directly impact on their retail partner sites: findability and product details.
E-commerce Enablement Framework: Mastering Findability And Product Details
As a brand, it may seem impossible to manage your presence on retail partner sites. However, focusing on findability and product details can help to increase online sales through these touch-points. Forrester Research has created a framework to help brands evaluate how visible its products are and how comprehensive/accurate product information is on retail partner sites. The framework encourages brands to follow these steps:
- Link to strong retail partners from their brand sites
- Ensure that key products match important search terms on retailer sites
- Encourage retailers to have assortment breadth online
- Confirm that imagery is comprehensive and up-to-date
- Provide all product attributes and information
- Ensure value parity across retailers
Brands With a Strong Presence on Retailer Sites
According to Forrester, it’s not enough for brands to simply ship their goods to retail partners and leave it at that. Successful brands work proactively to make sure their products are represented fairly, accurately, and attractively on other sites. Brands with a strong presence on retailer sites usually possess:
- Strong Technology Solutions – teams dedicated to product information, product imagery and video assets.
- Strong Retailer Relationships – retailers will likely favour brands that share comprehensive product content and allow them to offer greater assortments at a minimal cost.
- Diligent Auditing Teams – resources dedicated to third-party retail sites that audit the brand’s products (and competitors), and speak with retailers to understand how to optimise their presence.
Before following the E-commerce Enablement Framework, Forrester recommends brands do the following:
- Know Where They Stand – regularly evaluate retail partners – are there certain violators of value parity? What long-term goals can you put in place to bring them back to parity.
- Dedicate Resources To The Audit Process – invest in employees that actively manage retail partners. Provide employees with the tools needed to create content for retailer sites, and a marketing budget to help increase brand presence on retail sites (where needed).
Hatch’s Where to Buy Technology
Hatch’s Where to Buy Online and Local technology makes it easier for brands to implement the steps Forrester recommends. In fact, with our products, we have combined two out of the three features that Forrester believes brands should possess.
1. Strong Technology Solutions:
Our Where to Buy technology offers a range of online and local retail partners, and allows brands to display them together in one widget. The widget can then be customised to fit individual brand styles, and added to brand e-commerce sites. Plus, with Hatch’s near-live reporting dashboard, brands can gain data and insights into customer shopping behaviour across all retail partners.
2.Strong Retailer Relationships:
With the insights provided in Hatch’s reporting dashboard, strengthening retailer relationships is made easy. Our insights show the number of consumers that visited each retailer’s website and what they bought.
With Hatch’s solution, brands can enjoy the benefits of strong technology solutions and retailer relationships with minimal effort and at a cheaper price point than appointing dedicated teams.
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