In our line of work, we often notice that consumer brand manufacturers fear channel conflict. In fact, some fear it so much that they end up sacrificing sales on their own e-commerce site. It doesn’t have to be this way. Embracing a realistic approach to how your consumers actually shop [really] helps. Newell Rubbermaid, for example, embraces the ‘consumers do what they want’ approach–ensuring a full-circle brand experience. Whether the experience is had on a consumer brand’s website or a retail partners, it’s a good thing.
Questions to Help Overcome and Avoid Channel Conflict
1. Are You (and Everyone Around You) Fully Committed to Your Channel Sales Strategy?
Setting high-level objectives can help you achieve buy-in and commitment to your channel sales strategy. If everyone around you believes in what’s right for the customer–it trickles down. Leaving your colleagues and partners uncertain of the important details within your programs can create a reluctance to participate in them. Leveraging multi-channel benefits like the potential for accelerated sales growth, reaching new types of buyers and entrance into international markets will also help you to form a cohesive strategy within your company.
2. Is Your Company Selling and Promoting Brand Exclusive Products?
Channel conflict becomes easier to manage by developing exclusive products. If you are a luxury consumer brand manufacturer of bath and body products, for example, a travel-sized line of products that are exclusive to the site. This creates a buzz around the products, since it can only be found specially in that one specific place on your site. Since there’s no pricing to fight about with your partners or customers, it avoids channel conflict as it is your brand’s own unique product offering.
3. Have You Considered Giving Stuff Away?
I can’t think of one person who wouldn’t love a BOGO deal or a voucher added to their cart along with the purchase of their favorite shoes, bedroom furniture or even power tools. Your brand gets more love too, because the idea of giving something away creates value for your customers. Don’t worry about the pricing here, either. The price of the giveaway can be ‘baked-in’, hence never really having to reveal how much you’re actually selling the product for. It’s a discount without saying–and it works! Another way to offer a value-added product, if applicable to your brand, is bundling. This also uses the same methodology to ‘baked’ pricing, however you could throw in a free bag to carry all of the bundled products in.
Avoiding channel conflict is a common concern–you don’t want to upset your retail partners, but at the same time, you also want to take your e-commerce site to the next level. Begin making your customer experiences exceptional on all levels by answering these questions and more in our Consumer Brand Manufacturing Marketer’s Playbook.