Why eCommerce Companies Need to Rethink Their Distribution Strategy

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Already in 2014, businesses were discovering the benefits of connecting with consumers across multiple channels, including more repeat purchases and referrals. Today, with the rise of e-commerce, consumers expect omnichannel experiences to be even better.

For small businesses in today’s competitive marketplace, meeting these expectations of seamless omnichannel services can bring big rewards, including higher customer engagement, retention, and purchase rates. To diversify your traffic sources and sell across multiple channels, a good channel strategy has become essential for any e-commerce business.

Why a channel strategy is necessary

A handful of powerful companies dominate the Internet today. While providing access to massive audiences, marketers need to diversify from being tied to one platform. Between their constant battle for control of the internet and quarterly reports to shareholders, these platforms can make policy changes or algorithm changes that benefit them if a seller’s customer experience is disrupted. Amazon has many reasons why they might freeze a seller’s accounts, withhold their money, or make an Amazon Basics of someone’s product and become a competitor. Last year, when Apple changed its privacy policy for data collection through apps on its new iPhone, Facebook advertising and e-commerce stores that relied on that data scrambled to find new sources. traffic and sales.

Executing a strategy across multiple channels, on the other hand, makes businesses more resilient. A good channel strategy finds new traffic or sales channels for your e-commerce business and perfects them. Dependent on e-commerce giants like Amazon, which retain customer emails from their merchants, this strategy makes it harder for sellers to generate repeat sales through these marketplaces alone. Through multiple channels, you reach more people, collect your own data, and maintain full control over your customers and their experience. You can use this data to develop a messaging and communication strategy and direct customers to your website for additional purchases.

Related: 3 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Scale Their Ecommerce Strategy for Maximum Growth

Where small businesses need to innovate

Fighting for their own place on each of these major platforms is a massive influx of new entrepreneurs. Clever e-commerce marketers can easily copy all of your online strategies – titles, banners, and videos – reverse-engineer and even improve them to steal customers.

To stand out from so many others doing the same thing, successful e-commerce businesses are turning to creative ways to market themselves. We see examples of great companies doing this in action all the time: those that can dominate Amazon’s buy box, or implement top Google search results can empower teams to do these things for them. Advertising that seems to know what you want and follow you all over the internet is another popular approach companies take in their strategies to get noticed in the crowd.

Small businesses, on the other hand, tend to have their preferred method and stick to it. In 2021, 36% of small businesses still did not have a website. Of those that did, 82% of those websites didn’t have a social media account. Many still lacked the strong digital presence and marketing strategy needed to attract and engage today’s e-commerce audiences.

Even more rarely do they implement great strategies for multiple channels – like Google, Facebook, eBay, Walmart, and Amazon – at the same time. In a survey, less than half of independent businesses said they had added new channels during the pandemic. Of those that did, 80% planned to keep them, but maintaining them will require focused channel strategies that keep up with and evolve with businesses and markets.

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Where to start

If you want to explore additional options in traditional e-commerce marketplaces – extended to platforms like Amazon – the best way to start is to improve your skills and knowledge in the most effective way to exploit them. The more you understand the pros, cons, and best practices of each channel, the more of an edge you have over your competition. Strengthening these skills can often be enough to dominate a single channel.

While there’s nothing wrong with a channel becoming a primary source of traffic and sales, if it starts producing more than 50% of your revenue, you should start making backup plans. . If you have product feeds for Google, try Facebook and Pinterest. If Facebook ads have brought you some success, try Snapchat or TikTok. Use strategic channel selection to determine which platforms will be most beneficial for reaching your audience while facing the least competition, and include processes in your strategy to test new markets. Also make sure you have your own domain and website and implement methods to collect your own customer data. Even if you already have a website, look again at your traffic sources and make sure your brand would survive if one of them disappeared.

Trends change quickly. A successful strategy today could fail tomorrow. Google’s top organic rankings can disappear. The latest marketing strategies may work for a while, but that success may be short-lived. The more new channels you can bring to your e-commerce business, and the better you can perfect each of them, the better your chances of success in an increasingly competitive and rapidly changing field.

Related: 10 Marketing Strategies to Fuel Your Business Growth

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