The retail landscape has been dramatically changing in recent years, forcing businesses to accommodate multiple channels when selling to consumers. Although many new product companies are finding success selling on Shopify or Amazon, online sales still only represent 20% of all retail sales, whereas offline channels like brick-and-mortar locations, catalog, TV Shopping and Reward and Incentive markets represent 80%. Finding a way to sell across all channels, is where the concept of omni-channel retailing comes in.
Omni-channel retail is a comprehensive approach to selling goods and services across multiple channels, such as brick-and-mortar stores, online stores, catalog, TV and more. To be competitive in today’s market, brands need to think about how they will drive product sales across all channels, as well as how they will manage customer data and marketing activities. They must also keep in mind the cost associated with setting up multiple storefronts and managing them daily.
When it comes to offline retail sales, one of the most popular retail channels is still brick-and-mortar stores. Retail stores is by far the largest retail market segment at $6.5 Trillion, and selling to stores can be the most lucrative but also the most difficult channel to sell to. Before selling to retailers, product companies need to consider the location of their store, the types of products they carry, and how their product will be merchandised for maximum visibility. Brands also need to think about the level of customer service and how the retail store partner will ensure that good customer support for their product. All retailers are not the same, and a good go-to-market retail store strategy will consider the pros and cons of going with a large retail chain, a regional chain, or a specialty retailer.
A second retail channel product manufacturers should look at is catalog companies. During Covid, catalog companies made an amazing come back and is now a $58 Billion segment. Selling to catalog companies can be a great way for young consumer product companies to generate revenue and grow their business because of their margins are often higher and inventory demand more manageable. Catalogs offer an easy way for customers to browse your products and order them directly from the catalog. It’s important to understand the requirements of each company you want to work with, as well as their ordering process and payment terms. Additionally, you should consider the type of merchandise you want to offer. Sharper Image, Brookstone and Touch of Modern are some well-known catalog companies that carry a wide range of products, from electronics to home décor. Working with these companies can help you reach new customers and expand your business. With proper research, communication, and planning, selling to catalog companies can be a great way to grow your business.
Many companies don’t immediately think about selling to TV shopping networks, but this channel can a great option for brands. Like catalog companies, however, TV shopping has dramatically evolved. Where there was once only one or two channels, with cable there are now over 15 channels selling a broad range of consumer products across the globe. TV shopping networks offer a unique opportunity for companies to showcase their products in front of a large and engaged viewing audience. The interactive nature of these programs allows viewers to engage with the product, ask questions and make purchases quickly and easily. It’s important for businesses to choose the right TV shopping network for their product, as each network has different criteria for what kind of products they are interested in selling. Additionally, businesses must be aware of any rules and regulations that may apply to the airing of their product on a particular network. By doing thorough research and working with an experienced consultant or sales representative, businesses can successfully leverage the power of TV shopping networks to reach a wider audience and increase their profits.
Finally, a little know category called reward and incentive channel is one of the best kept omni-channel retailing secret. Companies like airlines, credit card companies, and casinos provide their customers with points they can redeem for a wide range of consumer products. It is a $3.9 Billion global industry and represent a robust retail channel for increasing sales and brand recognition. This type of market is constantly in search of new, exciting, or exclusive products they can offer their customers. When selling to this market, it’s important to know what types of product rewards create the most engagement. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the products or services you offer align with your target market’s values and desires. By doing this, you can increase the chances of gaining new customers and retaining them for longer periods of time.
Retail is no longer simply online vs stores. Today, retailers need to consider all retail channels when developing their selling strategies. It is important to understand the cost associated with each channel and how they will be able to best serve customers across all channels to ensure success in the competitive retail market. Retailers should also think about how they can use data and analytics to make informed decisions about their retail channels and optimize their customer experience. With careful consideration of all the different retail channels, retailers can create a comprehensive omni-channel approach to selling goods and services that will ensure long-term success.
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