This is the final installment in our new, weekly blog series on multichannel commerce. Missed the first few blogs? Read How to Connect to the Right Channels, Market at the Right Time, Sell Wherever Consumers Shop and Fulfill Customer Expectations.
If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that things can change — FAST. This is especially true for consumer preferences and behaviors. That means your e-commerce execution must regularly change too. Without optimizing your presence in each retail channel, you could be wasting your brand’s time and money.
A multichannel commerce framework is key to generating positive business growth by implementing and operating a diverse set of channels. With the right tools and organization, your channel mix can generate positive outcomes without putting intense strain on your business.
Revenue and Profit Margin: Both Matter
Growth in a particular channel is a key indicator that your brand belongs there. Flat or declining sales demonstrate the channel is stalling and opportunities for sustained future growth may be lacking. Before you start opting out of channels or reassessing your overall e-commerce strategy, try optimizing your presence in a few different ways:
- Diversify your channel mix to broaden your customer base and minimize revenue cannibalization between channels. Think about the specific role each channel can hold in your overall strategy.
- Test your product portfolio to find new best sellers. Typically, only a handful of products drive the majority of your revenue, so expand the top-performing products to avoid relying on limited lines to drive sales.
- Optimize in-stock rates by properly allocating inventory between channels so out-of-stock instances don’t funnel sales to competitors.
At the same time, monitoring sales targets alone can be misleading. Your profitability margin is also a great indicator of channel health. Whereas factors like discounts, advertising and returns can trim your margins, look for ways to maximize profits with a layered approach:
- Identify and group products by margin level and pricing
- Build your portfolio strategy by channels utilizing product groups
- Account for fees and costs associated with each selling destination
Best Practices for Optimizing Channel Performance
Optimizing across a wide selection of channels can be daunting. But every detail matters, and with small but efficient changes, you can generate a big impact.
Promote a Strong Brand Image
Your brand content goes far beyond logos and mission statements. It includes every detail and perception a consumer can see about your brand. Ensure your content is clean and meets channel requirements, but don’t forget to monitor and correct things like:
- Vague or misleading descriptions
- Lack of search engine presence/ranking
- Deeply discounted prices
- Out-of-stock messages
- Negative reviews
Manage Strains on Internal Resources
The more channels you enter, the more resources you’ll have to allocate to maintaining each one. This may keep your teams busy with everything from monitoring out-of-stock products to regularly updating your D2C website.
Instead, look to e-commerce automation to handle the daily grunt work for you. With a centralized e-commerce platform, you can automate nearly everything your team manages, from Amazon Advertising to repricing to forecasting future demand.
Strengthen Retail Performance
Retail channels are notoriously difficult to optimize. As a brand, you can’t build your own product listings or control prices. But you can still improve retailer performance by optimizing your:
- Assortment and availability. Remedy critical out-of-stocks, increase the number of listed SKUs and monitor third-party sellers.
- Pricing and promotions. Watch for pricing mistakes, understand price matching dynamics and synchronize promotions across channels.
- Position on the digital shelf. Test how different keywords in titles and descriptions affect your search position, keeping an eye out for competitors.
- Content and reviews. Ensure your product pages have the most up-to-date assets and plan corrective action when bad reviews or low averages do occur.
There’s no need to let your product pages sit stagnant across channels. By continually monitoring, testing and modifying your content and e-commerce strategy, you can optimize both sales and brand reputation.
Want to learn more about how we help brands optimize across channels? Contact us today to talk with one of our e-commerce experts. Learn how to connect, market, sell and fulfill in the proper channels as part of our entire multichannel commerce framework series. Stay tuned for the launch of our new report this month on the full multichannel commerce framework.
We’re hosting a webinar, Multichannel Brand Roadmap, on April 21 at 11 a.m. ET, that will go into more details about developing your multichannel e-commerce strategy. Register now and join us to dive deeper into this topic.