Increasing sales is a major challenge for retailers. Shoppers have unlimited options when it comes to products and retailers from whom to purchase those products. Rather than leave it to the customer to come to them, retailers should make their products readily available to the consumer no matter where they shop. How? When retailers expand into new distribution channels, they reach new customers, build brand recognition and increase profits.
The most obvious benefit to channel expansion is the potential for increased profit and a wider customer base. New people are exposed to your brand while existing customers have an additional access point to your brand. By continuing to meet consumer demand and expectations across channels, you build enduring positive brand sentiment among your customers.
An additional benefit to increased channels of distribution is a decrease in market risk. When retailers limit their presence to one distribution channel, they are at the mercy of the rise and fall of profits in that channel alone. When you diversify, risk is spread across multiple customer venues. If one channel struggles, your entire business won’t suffer as a result.
Expanding into new distribution channels, however, is no easy task. When brands work with an experienced distribution partner, they don’t have to worry about the minute details and can focus on new opportunities to build the brand.
Distribution partners are often the experts in this expansion arena and can help retailers with the following:
Stock and Inventory Management: When you expand to new channels, you’ll need more product than ever and systems to better organize it. Consumers today want to know exactly where their order is at all times and your systems need to be able to handle this demand. Armed with the right tools, your distribution provider is better equipped to manage all inventory and stock processes.
Decision Support: It’s hard to consider every variable that affects your channels when making decisions. It’s even more difficult as you grow, but you need to be able to focus on your business’s growth instead of just staying afloat in your operations. With in-depth reports from your partner, your team will always have access to current and pending order statuses, product inventory and more.
Brand Packaging: Your packaging is the first tactile impression your brand makes on the customer. According to a recent Dotcom Distribution study, 49 percent of online shoppers said premium packaging gets them more excited to open a package and 61 percent said it makes the brand seem more upscale. Your distribution partner can help you develop high-quality, customized brand packaging that goes beyond the simple brown box to provide the best customer experience.
Shipping: Consumers today expect swift and transparent shipping as a part of their purchase. It’s your responsibility as a retailer to go the extra mile and monitor orders as closely as an excited customer watches for theirs. Making delivery as seamless as possible on your end will also drastically alter the consumer experience. Conveniently located warehouses with real-time package tracking should make for speedy and streamlined shipping service.
When brands decide to expand their reach into new distribution channels, they will have a myriad of decisions to make that will affect the success of their expansion. But with a reliable distribution partner, brands can grow gracefully and maintain the quality customer service that their customers, both new and old, will continue to appreciate.
Contact us to see how we can help bring your brand to new markets and customers.