Want to sell more online? Ask these seven questions to inform your distribution strategy.

For CPG brands selling products online, the number one goal is clear: sell more. The path to getting there, however, is less obvious. Many opt for a comprehensive intensive distribution strategy, which entails partnering with as many channels as possible in order to maximize the number of points of sale.

Getting in front of more consumers is an essential tactic for expanding market share. But the number of distribution outlets is just one of the factors that influence online sales—and ultimately brand business revenue. Things like pricing, competitor visibility, and other considerations all have an impact on your market positioning, as well as on consumers’ inclination to choose your brand.

The more insights you have in these respects, the more effectively you can hone your distribution strategy to move more product and reduce the risk of losing sales to the competition. Here are seven key questions to consider.

1.     Who are the most relevant sellers in your category?

Even the most prominent positioning and attractive pricing won’t attract a high volume of customers if you’re trying to sell shoes on a website dedicated to office products. In selecting channels, it’s a good idea to be familiar with how consumers shop—including knowing where they are most likely to search for and buy products like yours. For maximum conversions, consider the websites where people are shopping for what you’re selling.

2.     Who is selling your competitors’ products (but not yours)?

Uncovering the channels where your competitors are selling can help to reveal untapped distribution opportunities and potential commercial agreements. In the same vein, it’s also a good idea to confirm that any brick-and-mortar retailers that carry your products sell them via their online stores too.

3.     Who is selling your products (but not your competitors’)?

On the flip side, it’s also helpful to know which markets you have cornered. Identifying which online retailers are selling your goods—but not your competitors’—can help you find opportunities to stand out even further. In such cases, you may be able to further improve conversions by tweaking product descriptions and images, increasing the effectiveness of product pages and/or your search positioning. It’s also a good idea to check that your products are visible on all relevant category pages and the first page of search results.

4.     Where do you experience the most competition?

While some retailers may carry your brand but not your competitor’s—or vice versa—there’s a great deal to be learned from the most competitive sites. On the channels in which you face the most competition, take an analytical look at what you’re up against: Who is moving the most product? What is their pricing? What can you glean about the aggressiveness of their promotions? These insights can help you to assess the potential of that channel and, if necessary, adjust the positioning of your own products to win greater market share.

 

Get_localized

5.     Where do you tend to run out of stock most often?

The best positioning and pricing in the world won’t help you land that sale if your products are out of stock. Stock-outs constitute a significant risk for online sellers, costing brands millions of dollars annually.

And running out of stock can cost more than just a lost sale. For example, if the retailer delists out-of-stock products or moves those pages to the end of their search results, your brand awareness may take a hit. The customer may also find another brand they like better and shift their loyalty elsewhere. As such, it’s a good idea to address inventory risks proactively.

6.     On which sites do your competitors run out of stock?

Your competitor’s stock-out can be your opportunity. Identifying the sites where the competition tends to run out of stock can create more occasions to win new business. On such sites, it’s a good idea to optimize listings so that you’re positioned as the top alternative.

7.     Where are you at risk of brand substitution?

Conversely, if you run out of inventory in a crowded space, your competition might be ripe for the sale. And losing that sale carries long-term risk: if the customer likes the alternative better, they may stick with the other brande—aforever.

To prevent this, it’s a good idea to pinpoint the sales channels that are both vulnerable to stock-outs and have a high competitor presence—and then proactively address the situation to ensure inventory flow.

A winning distribution strategy needs the right data

When it comes to selling more online, partnering with numerous channels is only half the battle. A winning intensive distribution strategy also requires the right information so that you can optimize pricing, positioning and ensure a flow of inventory to fuel the most sales.

Do you want to uncover your ecommerce blindspots and unlock your online growth?

Get the insights you need to accurately assess your online availability in order to hone your distribution strategy. Request a free 10-day trial of Upshelf now.

Share

Level-up with our newsletter

Mind the Gap!

When creating your ecommerce profile, you need to stand out among your competitors. Read on to discover what to look for when it comes to benchmarking the competition, and ensuring your brand comes out on top.

Read More

What is the Digital Shelf?

Growth in ecommerce has increased the need to track and improve online performance. However, with a fast-increasing number of ecommerce channels, getting actionable insights about the digital shelf is an ongoing challenge for CPG brands.

Read More

Asegura la disponibilidad en todos los ecommerce

Optimiza tu estrategia de precios en todos los canales

Monitoriza el posicionamiento y el page rank

Mejora el contenido para aumentar la conversión

Por qué estamos aquí

Conoce quién hay detrás de Upshelf

Únete al equipo