How to Build a Results-Driven eCommerce Sales Channel Program

Learn how FMCG and CPG companies are identifying new growth and revenue opportunities using eCommerce digital sales channels and brand experiences.

Omnichannel Commerce has changed the way people shop — and will continue to do so. Although it’s impossible to predict exactly what’s next in eCommerce, it’s more critical than ever to stay ahead of the curve.

From in-store experiences, eCommerce Stores or online eMarketplaces such as eBay and Amazon; the range of online marketing channels grows each year experientially.

eCommerce Digital Sales Channel Landscape

The increase in eCommerce revenue in Australia nearly doubled year on year.
In 2020, we saw a 22% increase in online sales, up from 12% in 2019. This translates into a projected AU$37.5 billion of the annual global eCommerce revenue in 2021.

From expanding and optimising post-purchase experiences to embracing a multichannel marketing and sales program, its NEVER been SO important to have an eCommerce Strategy.

Building an eCommerce Sales Channel Strategy

eCommerce is still in a mostly unchartered territory within the FMCG and CPG industry but it has changed the way consumers interact with brands globally!

People are talking about it and are using all the right buzzwords. Still, in reality, it’s a hard sell to convince business executives to migrate the business from a traditional “retail store ranging” philosophy to incorporating an Omnichannel eCommerce program.

“eCommerce is not the icing on the cake – it is the cake.”

Jean-Paul Agon CEO of L’Oreal

The FMCG / CPG industry faces a revolutionary change driven by consumers who enjoy the many benefits of eCommerce, e.g. lifestyle, convenience, price, and of course, health and safety.

The challenge for these businesses is choosing the RIGHT eCommerce channel that aligns with their digital strategy and integrates their marketing, sales, and distribution programs.

Primary Goals of your Digital Commerce Strategy

For companies embarking on their eCommerce journey, and wish to move far beyond just EDI order enablement or selling products on your website, it’s important to bring in specialists with diverse industry experience to help you create a plan that will convince senior management to make eCommerce a priority and understand its benefits.

Here are our best recommendations that should include in your eCommerce Sales Channel Program.

Get your Brand Message and Offer Right!

It doesn’t matter how much you spend on digital marketing if you don’t have the right brand message and sales offer, your online shoppers will quickly click past your page.

Before you start loading products to online stores, stop for a moment and consider what the brand stands for, who your target consumer is, and why they are purchasing from you?

Furthermore, you also need to consider the type of content that is required for specific digital channels.

If you are loading data to the National Product Catalogue (NPC) or RangeMe, you’ll need product specification and logistical details. If the channel is Amazon or eBay, they will require more detailed marketing messages e.g. features and benefits statements.

The one thing that ALL this content has in common, it resides under the umbrella of your brand. Take the time to get this piece right FIRST and the rest will fall into place and be more easily repeatable.

Related: Tips to Creating a Quality Brand

Building the Brand Experience as much as the Journey

To engage with consumers, brand marketers need to understand that the path to purchase is “really about the brand experience and journey”.

From your brand message to the flow across website pages, creating a complete digital brand experience, and connecting with your shopper on an emotional level, will move the interaction away from a ‘price driven‘ transaction to a ‘brand value’ relationship.

Related: How to Create Digital Customer Experiences

Create an Omnichannel Marketing and Sales Program

As eCommerce channels become more ubiquitous, there is now an unprecedented fluidity between the consumer’s offline and online shopping experience. The analysis shows that shoppers will research a product online but make the purchase at a physical store.

Design your Omnichannel program to support every experience, every touchpoint across online and offline channels to consistently deliver on your brand promise. Get this right, and you will remain a category leader and win against the global eCommerce giants.

Related: Next Level Digital Marketing

eMarketplace Support

Global B2C eMarketplaces have been getting a lot of traction with consumers and have become a real alternative to physical stores (eBay, Amazon, Kogan, Catch, and TradeMe).

eMarketplaces can create a much larger opportunity for brand marketers to reach new customers and expand into new sales channels. The advent of robust, cloud software makes it possible for companies like Amazon and eBay to scale quickly and at a low-cost.

Before you sign-up to an eMarketplace, it’s essential that you understand how it may impact your existing sales channels? Each eMarketplaces also has a slightly different marketing and distribution process that needs to be aligned with your current approach.

Related: How to Sell Products on eMarketplaces

Invest in Trade Partner Consumer Engagement Portals

Creating a total brand engagement experience is a top focus for retail chains such as Coles, Woolworths, Endeavour Drinks, Bunnings, Myer, Officeworks etc.

These companies have invested large sums of money in improving their online stores and the overall shopping experience and Journey.

The more savvy retailers have built consumer brand engagement portals which now link their store-level promotions and digital marketing together (e.g. how Coles&Co provides an all-in-one cooking portal).

Their goal is to create a sticky brand experience using educational content, recipes, promotional offers etc. This information will connect with the consumer on an emotional and practical level. Doing this will reinforce brand value, build trust, and ultimately retain the customer for longer.

It’s a missed opportunity to not factor these consumer brand portals into your brand launch marketing.

Related: Using Unconventional Marketing

Create Engaging Digital Brand Experiences

Advances in technology can now enrich a brand experience far more than we could in a physical sense.  

We agree that physical contact with a product provides a unique experience to the consumer.

However, these technology advances such as Augmented Reality, Mobile Apps, and Artificial Intelligence can differentiate your brand and make it an unforgettable experience (and separate you from your competitors).

See an example of how we have helped leading brands turn traditional marketing campaigns into a truly outstanding and meaningful brand experience for consumers AND retail buyers.

Related: Creating Unforgettable Brand Experiences

Get the most out of your Retail Trading Partners

Don’t just get some products ranged with your retail trading partners and think the job is done.

If you REALLY want to grow the category and of course boost your sales, you need to be more proactive at using the many marketing and sales tools provided by the retailer.

List your products on Coles Online, Woolworths Shop, Endeavour Marketplace
Provide on-pack panel information about your products e.g Nutritional Panel
Invest in the online search and ‘pay-to-promote’ functions to optimise your online listings
Get your products listed in digital catalogues and email promotional campaigns.

Advance your Business to Consumer (B2C) Channels

Are we not just talking about selling products on your website?
Nope. We are talking about growing your sales through brand loyalty and subscription programs

Leading brands such as Gillette market a subscription model that allows consumers to receive replacement razors for their Gillette branded handles each month – delivered to the door.

This type of direct-to-consumer model exploits the current consumer shopping trends to providing convenience as a value-add.

Consider the use of Mobile Apps

For companies with large communities who deal with them regularly e.g. Australia Post, Ergon Energy, Finance and Insurance etc, Mobile Apps can improve customer engagement and support.

With more and more people accessing the Internet from a mobile device, using a mobile app makes this experience more simple, intuitive, and efficient.

Mobile Apps also have the distinct advantage of being a direct link to your customer – it sits in their pocket EVERY single day. 

By combining innovative marketing tactics with the push-notifications and messaging tools, brands can vastly improve their customer engagement and retention levels.

Allow Data Analytics to be your New Best Friend

As we move further into the digital age, data analytics will become the golden arrow of your program.

While shopper insights information and scan data have been useful for understanding your category and shopper trends, its new tools like Google Analytics can now track your digital customer journey and online behaviours.

FMCG / CPG companies need to look closely at their online sales performance and allow the numbers to dictate marketing budgets per digital channel.  

Take the time to analyse online digital marketing, online traffic, shopping behaviours, digital platform performance, product sales per channel, distribution, and sales margins.

Get the People, Process, Training and Technology RIGHT!

It’s vital to get the organisation and operation right from the beginning to ensure that you can support your new eCommerce sales channels.

The last thing you want is cranky customers from wrong or missing orders.

Ensure that you have the right people in place to support the new process. Provide them training and support, and it a great idea to also measure them on success (KPIs).

You must invest in the right digital technology that can integrate to the existing systems and be simple to use. Having people keying in data, printing off picking slips, or hand-writing customer address labels simply won’t cut it.

Furthermore, ensuring that you meet corporate governance and comply with any industry regulations such as privacy legislation will become critical to upholding brand trust and overall customer satisfaction.

How we help

rev™ Branding help FMCG and CPG companies to identify new growth and revenue opportunities using eCommerce sales channels and digital marketing.  

Using our expert team, we help you to understand the characteristics and challenges of each eCommerce sales channels and then develop different use cases highlighting the business benefits and value.

Our years of experience across Digital Marketing, eCommerce, eMarketplaces, and Consumer Brand Engagement Portals ensures that we create an eCommerce channel strategy that allows you to scale strategically and profitable.

Learn about our eCommerce Digital Channel Services [Learn More]

Start building your eCommerce plan!

*It ALL starts with an eCommerce Channel Plan*
Speak with Robert Durrant, our eCommerce and Digital Specialist about how he helps companies to create a roadmap to help you plan and implement your eCommerce Strategy.

Selling via eMarketplaces
Product ranging on Coles Online, Woolworths Shop and Endeavour Marketplace
Brand Experience Campaigns for Coles&Co, Endeavour Marketplace and Woolworths Branded Store
Understanding your Digital Technology infrastructure (NPC, RangeMe, SmartMedia, SKUvantage etc)
Boosting your Brand Marketing using digital channel marketing.

Robs been working in the food and beverage industry for more than 30+ years and can help you understand which channel best suits your needs. Contact Rob on +61 3 9863-7444 or [email protected]