Let’s talk about the key considerations for brands looking to sell direct to consumers, and the benefits of a platform approach. We’ll discuss;
- Key retail channels, and seller requirements
- Learn how marketplaces help a company go fast and scale
- Platform management technology can help companies scale
- Platform strategy can make international markets easier to enter (particularly in Europe) and accelerate brand growth
There weren’t many options for a start-ups lifestyle or fashion brand 20 years ago. They either opened a boutique or sold wholesale to retailers – and that’s just an oversimplification!
In today’s market, eCommerce is a given — a mobile-first website with compelling product pages, with high-quality photography, and a simple payment process are a must.
Selling directly to consumers is something most brands already get – most are building, or already have, a healthy revenue stream doing just that.
Most people don’t know the opportunities that lie just a step further – scalable digital commerce channels they can activate with little more than a click of a button, using their existing fulfilment infrastructure in many cases.
The world of Retailers, Marketplaces, and Platforms
It’s hard to sell to retailers. Finding the right contacts, pitching to different buyers, running a sales team, and everything in between. Even for those who are successful, dealing with retailers can be challenging – maintaining relationships, introducing new products, negotiating stock movements with merchandisers – all time consuming, expensive, and opaque.
That’s where platforms and marketplaces come in. In case you’re not familiar, platforms and marketplaces are digital shops where brands can list their products. The difference between a marketplace and a platform is hard to define – they do the same thing when it comes to retail experiences for customers, but if they handle the payment, they’re a marketplace, or if they hand off to a brand for the final transaction, they’re a platform. To keep things simple, we’ll use them interchangeably.
In short, each platform provides an instant-on direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel – which brands can take advantage of.
The process of dealing directly with an ecommerce marketplace can be difficult. An ecommerce platform and the marketplace of choice will inevitably require integration (or development) for brands. They will need to consider how updates or new products are synchronized with the marketplace, how to establish pricing strategies, and much more – resulting in spreadsheets, outdated information, pricing discrepancies, out-of-stock issues, and a host of other factors that must be considered.
Complications of this kind often call for a resource-intensive approach, involving specialists and consultants. These integrations require specialized skills to manage on a day-to-day basis – and that’s just for one marketplace!
In order to overcome these challenges, brands must invest in technology that is appropriate for the task. One integration can open up many channels with specialist vendors such as Tradebyte, reducing time-to-market and ongoing complexity dramatically.
How do you choose the right platforms for your brand?
In addition to the usual suspects, such as ebay, amazon and rakuten, there are hundreds of ecommerce platforms, each with a unique audience, cost/benefit profile, and set of services.
It’s important to consider what’s important for your brand beyond audience size and cost-per-sale.
Whether it is homeware, technology, or even baby and toys, specialty platforms cater to specific markets with unique offerings. unique services.
The fashion industry will be pleased to learn that there are many strong competitors in this field, with well-known multinational examples such as Zalando, Asos, and The Very Group.
Gaining Brand Growth Fast
Therefore, whether you’re a giant fashion house or a fledgling shoemaker, adding D2C channels can be transformational. Working with the right technology partner makes it relatively simple to add multiple channels and gain access to new markets, so you can reach new customers, drive revenue, and grow your brand.