Whether you’re already running an online business or looking to extend your bricks & mortar company into digital sales, effectively marketing to online buyers is a must. In today’s fiercely competitive consumer marketplace, if you’re not getting ahead, you’re likely falling behind. So, what is the single most effective way to increase your sales? Expand your audience.
Team up with the right partners
The fastest way to expand your audience is to team up with large-scale, proven retailing partners. This allows you to tap into their robust market share. There are plenty of opportunities to reach customers who are looking for your products, including distributing your products through massive online sales platforms like Amazon Marketplace or eBay, or partnering with major retailers like WalMart, Sears or Home Depot.
In fact, nearly every large retailer offers some sort of ecommerce partnership agreement, so it’s never been easier to reach new customers in thriving online communities. Depending on the product you sell, look for a partnership that will reach your desired audience (geographic or demographic), or one that is already deeply embedded in your industry (ex. beauty, technology, automotive, housewares, fashion).
Take advantage of speedy approvals
Unlike in the past, today’s major retailers have streamlined their approval processes so you can begin selling through their channels quickly. Gone are the days of extensive vetting and extensive paperwork shuffles before becoming an approved vendor.
Keep in mind that each online retailer will require slightly different information when exchanging data between their platform and your own ERP system. Your data integration software will need to reflect various data requirements that are unique to each retail partner. Make sure you have the right connections in place before you receive approval or you risk establishing a partnership in which you can’t immediately fulfill orders.
Expand your partnerships
In order to grow sales, don’t stop after establishing just one partnership. Continue to seek out additional partnerships that can benefit your business. Here is where your data integration software can be your biggest ally – or hold you back by complicating the process.
If you’re using a custom-developed solution, you’ll likely require lots of lead time for developers to set up and test your new integrations. Be sure to plan this into your sales expansion schedule.
Another option is to use a plug-and-play integration solution with established data synchronization tools that connect your ERP to the most common sales platforms. This is a more rapid, “no-surprises” way to make sure that your ability to sell will not be hampered by data field inconsistencies.
Stay up to date
Each retailer updates their system regularly, to enhance speed, efficiency, and security. Make sure your integrated documents are also up to date. If yours is an all-in-one solution, your documents will likely be updated on the back end and will not require your involvement. For custom-developed solutions, you’ll need to let your data integration software partner know that certain documents require updating. By staying on top of updates, you ensure that your business won’t be slowed down by integration errors.
As you grow your potential customer base by incorporating additional channels into your sales flow, your data synchronization tools must be able to keep up. Look for a data integration software provider whose platform offers the speed and flexibility that enables you to expand your sales partnerships at a rate that makes sense for your business.
To see how Alluvia’s solution can help you reach more customers, request a demo today.