Building a direct-to-consumer or DTC brand not only enables you to increase profit margins by skipping the wholesalers and retailers but it also gives you more control over the user experience. The only thing that stands between you and the success of your business as a DTC brand is how you manage it.
A key aspect of brand management is how you reach your customers and how you make sales. The more customers you can reach and the more sales you make, the more your business can grow. Traditionally, businesses relied on a single sales channel and focused on marketing tactics to increase brand awareness and draw customers in.
There is no doubt that the marketing techniques focused on the quality of the product or service can work like a charm to lure the customers towards your brand, but something that can work even better is convenience. In a fast-paced world such as the one we live in, consumers are as much concerned about saving time as they are about saving money.
The real question is how can you ensure convenience for your customers as a DTC brand? The answer is multichannel sales. Instead of using different platforms to lure the customers to visit your store, use the same platforms to bring your store to them. Along with using social media platforms like Facebook to run ads for your business, you can bring your business to Facebook by creating a shop right there.
Different people have different preferences. Some prefer to shop from a brick-and-mortar store, others find online shopping more convenient. Among the online shoppers, some prefer to search for products at known marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart, while others prefer visiting websites of individual brands or shop directly from Instagram or Facebook. By using multiple channels to make sales you can reach far more customers than you can ever hope to reach through a single channel.
Following are some of the most used channels for e-commerce that you can use for your own business:
- Instagram Shopping
- Facebook Shop
- Brand Website
- Google Shopping
Strategies to Ensure Multichannel Success
Following are some strategies that you can use as a DTC business owner to ensure success in using a multichannel eCommerce approach.
When using platforms like eBay or Amazon, save your time and energy by making use of their predefined templates for the products instead of making your own templates. Once you get a hold of things, you can always invest more time in creating your own templates.
E-commerce fulfillment can become a real challenge if not done right. If you are looking for efficiency, relying on 3PL for eCommerce fulfillment can be a good idea. 3PL or third party logistics companies will handle the order fulfillment process for you. You can rely on a fulfillment center to pack and ship the order for you. If you are using Walmart fulfillment, Shopify fulfillment, Amazon fulfillment, or some other well-established fulfillment company you can get them to do customized packing.
Managing inventory the right way can be a huge feat especially if you’re doing it on your own. If you do not have the resources to own a warehouse and hire and train personnel that specializes in inventory management, the best course of action is to look for third party logistics (3PL) warehouse services near you and outsource the task to a company that specializes in warehouse logistics and eCommerce order fulfillment.
Fortunately, we live in an age of information technology where we have a software program for everything. Using integration software, you can stay on top of how your inventory is being managed without having to manage it yourself.
Use Advanced Software
The biggest challenge of using a multichannel sales approach is managing the different streams of data. We advise you to invest in some good cloud-based software that can help you integrate data from multiple sources and manage it in one place. Doing this will also help you in syncing inventory counts across channels and handling restocking. Software that also offers analytical tools can help you understand the customer journey at various touchpoints across different channels.
You can use this information to see which channels are working well and which ones are lagging. This will give you a chance to focus on the areas that need your attention and make necessary adjustments.
Using a multichannel approach can seem like too much work at the beginning but if you do it the right way, you can make the process smooth. If you have high ambitions for your business and are really committed to growth then using a multichannel approach is your best bet. It will not only help you increase your revenue but also increase your brand’s exposure.
A multichannel sales approach is a win-win for both the business and the customers. While you see it as something that gives you multiple avenues to sell, the customers see it as something that allows them to make the purchase using the platform they prefer. It spells convenience for customers and convenience is a key ingredient for creating a good customer experience. So with a multichannel approach, you are not only winning in the short run by making more sales but you are also increasing your chances of winning in the long run by giving the customers a reason to stay loyal to your brand.