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Today’s ecommerce landscape is growing more competitive by the minute. As consumer expectations’ rise, so do the number of channels, their popularity, and the number of businesses using those channels. Simply put, ecommerce is crowded and businesses need to do more to stand out.
Running ad campaigns, maintaining a presence across channels, and delivering high-quality product content are all important. But they’re also things that your competition is probably also doing. So what else is out there? How can today’s brands and manufacturers go above and beyond their competition?
In this article, we’re going to look at three ideas for how modern businesses can go the extra mile and gain a competitive edge amongst the heavy competition. We’ll cover:
If you can think of it, there’s probably a marketplace for it. Marketplaces are one of the most diverse channel types in ecommerce. There are big players like Amazon and eBay, but there are also those that cater to niche and regional audiences like Baidu and Naver. On top of that, there are resale marketplaces, which are a key player in the growing secondhand industry. However, despite being popular amongst their own audiences, “recommerce” sites aren’t often considered as key channels for today’s brands and manufacturers. Which means they tend to be less competitive, while still bringing in notable results for their sellers.
The resale market is booming, a trend that is almost entirely driven by Gen Z and Millenials. In fact, the $24 billion industry is expected to reach $51 billion in value by 2023.
Why is it so popular?
One of the biggest verticals in the resale industry is fashion. There are a ton of marketplaces out there that already have substantial sized audiences and that fashion brands might want to consider.
|StockX||Sneaker resale marketplace||Adidas, Nike, Converse, Gucci, Prada|
|The RealReal||Luxury online consignment store||Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton|
|Poshmark||Fashion resale site||Nike, Michael Kors, Coach|
But the secondhand industry isn’t only for fashion brands, there are also some popular sites out there for used and refurbished electronics, auto parts, furniture, and more.
|Newegg||Consumer electronics reseller||Dell, Lenovo, Dyson|
|MPB||Used camera equipment||Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Fujifilm|
Nothing is set in stone for what you can and can’t sell on secondhand marketplaces. It often depends on the channel, the condition of the product, and the type of product. Oftentimes the products don’t even need to be used! In fact, most brands and manufacturers have found that the following product types bring the best returns in resale.
It’s no doubt an interesting time to be a manufacturer. While traditional manufacturing sales relied on resellers, physical retailers, and wholesale buyers, the digitization and the rise of online shopping has changed the game. Just look at brands like Dollar Shave Club and Casper. These digital-native brands have seen great success by doing D2C from the start.
Now, consumers want the best online experience possible when shopping online. And they expect brands and product manufacturers to provide them with it. According to a study, 52% of consumers go straight to a brand’s website when searching for a product. So if you haven’t already, it’s time to start considering a D2C sales model for your business.
So you understand that digitalization has changed the ecommerce landscape. But you’re busy with so many other projects, is D2C really worth your time? It might be! Take a look at just a few of the benefits it could bring.
Today’s consumers want to feel recognized and to be given a personalized experience. As traditional manufacturing operations don’t deal directly with the customer, it’s long been difficult for manufacturers to develop a relationship with their end customers. D2C models allow businesses to gain valuable audience, behavior, and performance insights – just like a reseller would get. In fact, according to a Forrester report, 82% of manufacturers have seen improved customer relationships since initiating D2C sales models.
It can take months to years to introduce a new product to the market. By cutting out the middleman and selling directly to the consumer, businesses can drastically speed up the time it takes to launch products and increase the regularity of their product launches.
Instead of mass-producing products that haven’t yet been ordered by your B2B buyers, why not test new products out in the market first to see how it performs. Not only can D2C testing provide you with valuable insights, but it can also entice more resellers to purchase and increase your number of POs. Forrester reports that 14%of manufacturers test out new products before making it available to retailers.
Selling products directly to consumers gives you the chance to make your brand’s voice heard. It’s your chance to tell the product’s real story since you know it best. In fact, more than 50% of manufacturers say that D2C sales have helped them improve brand awareness and increase sales.
At the heart of any manufacturing business lies a B2B sales strategy. All too often, however, the modernization of this strategy is overlooked and labeled as a low priority – which can be a costly mistake. In 2019, the B2B ecommerce market reached a value of 12.2 trillion USD – more than six times that of the B2C market. Let’s look at how B2B is changing before we get into what you can do to modernize your strategy.
Did you know that 73% of today’s B2B buyers are digital natives? These buyers are far different than the last generation. They grew up with technology and are used to being able to find whatever they want, wherever they are online. This characteristic can also be seen in B2B purchasing habits.
Forrester’s Bruce Eppinger, a senior analyst for digital business, found that 68% of buyers would rather find product content themselves rather than interacting with a sales rep. Remember, your B2B buyers are the same people who order dish soap via Alexa and live through Amazon Prime. So what can you do to modernize your approach to B2B sales and capture the attention of today’s buyers? Here are some ideas.
Ensuring your B2B sales strategy is “digital-native-friendly” can carry many benefits if done right. Here are some ways to modernize your approach and capture the attention of today’s B2B buyers.
Remember, your B2B buyers are the same people who order dish soap via Alexa and furniture through Amazon Prime. So offering a self-service model may be the way to go. The Productsup Content Portal, for example, allows your resellers to browse through your product offerings in a digital product portfolio. Here, they can download product pages at their own pace.
Ecommerce marketplace giant, Amazon, has become a key player in B2B ecommerce. Amazon Business, its B2B marketplace, is already used by 55 of Fortune 100 companies in the US. Due to its already established presence and reputation, leveraging this channel can be an easy way to reach new customers through digitization.
“Through the years, from being a traditional business to seeing the ever-changing economy and global landscape of business, Tensator was looking for ways to expand our customer reach as we move into the digital platform. We saw the opportunity with Amazon Business to take control of our brand and reach new customers through one channel.”
David Cohen, Tensator
Here’s a quick tour of Amazon Business.
Today’s B2C and B2C consumers share the same appreciation for complete, up-to-date, and consistent product information. Ensure your product catalogs are complete with high-resolution images and videos, detailed product descriptions, and accurate product information. If buyers come across contradicting information elsewhere, they may be less inclined to move forward with a purchase.
Create online product catalogs tailored to the unique needs of each of your resellers. Since many buyer’s work with their own software to browse through and purchase products, make sure to deliver each catalog in the right format and file type for easy ingestion.
What works for one business, won’t always work for another. To stay competitive in today’s digital world, companies need to test, test, and then test some more.
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