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How I learned to stop worrying about direct sales and grew to love the omnichannel

The omnichannel is a paradox that breaks bread with the likes of Schrödinger’s Cat or Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration. All the same, it forces brand manufacturers to reconcile two very different objectives:

  1. The desire to maximize revenue by taking the biggest sliver of the pie through direct sales.
  2. The need to increase sales as a whole by facilitating customer engagement with authorized sellers.

On the one hand, you want those larger profit percentages. But on the other, you realize your seller network can help you extend your reach into new markets.

When you get down to brass tacks, though, these things aren’t really paradoxical, but rather, two sides of the same coin: the need to boost the bottom line. And in today’s world of commerce, one of them is more instrumental than the other. Here are just a few reasons why you should take the red pill, and see how far the omnichannel rabbit hole goes.

Take a deep breath, and automate MAP enforcement

Automated MAP monitoring helps you stay in complete control of your brand's pricing perception.Automated MAP monitoring helps you stay in complete control of your brand’s pricing perception.

It’s true: 15 percent of authorized resellers violate minimum-advertised price policies, while 56 percent of unauthorized sellers do the same, according to Kellogg Insights. And yes, the more expansive your seller network gets, the more you have to keep track of as you audit for MAP violations. But don’t leave omnichannel at the altar just yet.

MAP monitoring is far more science today than it is art, and with modern data analytics, it’s easier than ever to automate this process. For example, MAP Guard from PriceSpider is designed specifically to seek out where your products are being sold, exactly what their advertised price is and whether or not that is compliant with your MAP. It also knows how to identify repeat offenders, and it can track the progression of a domino effect: Who violated first, and how quickly did other authorized sellers follow suit?

The last thing you want to do by opening up your brand to the omnichannel is tarnish its carefully cultivated perception. But if that’s your concern, rest assured, MAP Guard has your back.

Your customers love it, and you should too

Brand protection aside, today’s customers have a unique set of expectations that directly coincide with what the omnichannel has to offer. And we’re not just talking about having a mobile application, or web support via chat, and so on. Yes, those matter. But consider that at last count, there were an estimated 102,724 e-commerce retailers, and you can bet that your customers have their preferences.

“Focus on improving traffic throughout your entire seller network.”

Simply put, you can’t accommodate everyone’s buying preferences all of the time. However, your collective seller network, in its vast array of user interfaces, loyalty programs and shipping offers, can appeal to a wider audience. The trick is to get your brand out in front of that.

Enter Where to Buy from PriceSpider. If you know exactly where your brand’s products are being sold and where they’re in stock (which is what Where to Buy tells you), why not make that information available to your customers? Rather than viewing your brand’s website and social media presence as part of your own e-commerce platform, it’s better to use them as tools that help to facilitate buying behavior – and specifically, by supporting omnichannel purchasing among your potential customers.

The very basic truth is that a single e-commerce platform cannot make everybody happy all of the time. However, an entire network of them – your seller network – can. So stop trying to capture direct sales, and start focusing on improving traffic throughout your entire seller network.

If you love omnichannel, it will love you back. Plain and simple.

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