GROVARA GUIDE: Boost Your B2B Sales By Refining Your E-Commerce Sales Channel Mix
Fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on?
When it comes to how your wellness brand can grow by getting serious about going global with B2B eCommerce sales, there are only four channels you’ll want to tune into.
With the global B2B market approaching $1 trillion — about four times as big as B2C — digital maturity is a must for companies playing the long game.
Grovara has built the American wellness industry’s first Global B2B eCommerce Marketplace, and provides a clear path to overseas success that reduces risk and targets the most ripe international markets. Even if you’re already part of the global Grovara family, the only way to fully establish your brand’s e-commerce sales is crafting a plan for your e-commerce sales mix. This will be the basis for your eCommerce Sales Channel Marketing Strategy and determine how you build your website content, blog, engage on social media, and conduct direct/indirect marketing.
Using best practices, provided mostly by the eCommerce Innovation Lab, we take a quick look at how you can get the most from taking your B2B eCommerce sales global.
TYPES OF E-COMMERCE SALES CHANNELS
There exists a fearsome foursome of eCommerce sales channels, all of which have benefits and challenges.
Your Website: This gives you ownership of your data and design and you can maintain total control of content and pricing. This ownership also comes with a price tag and extra responsibility, like doing your own SEO and finding and vetting a slew of logistics service providers. With this sales channel, SEO and content strategy development are your keys to long-term success.
Your Social Media: When it comes to building your brand’s following and connecting directly with customers, social is the most efficient path forward. Your brand can also promote thought leadership and boost its website’s SEO by sharing the right links. For as quickly as social can take off, it can also quickly stifle efforts if your brand is not paying attention. That’s why it’s necessary to constantly monitor your social. For best results, a local or industry-seasoned social media consultant should lead your efforts.
Online Marketplace: The modern eCommerce marketplace packs the most power in the most convenient package. You will reach more consumers, boost your SEO, and gain a stronger foothold in targeted overseas markets. Grovara’s Global B2B eCommerce Marketplace curates the most promising American wellness brands and products and global retailers while streamlining and automating the processes and workflows that make exporting such a headache. Online marketplaces also make receiving payments more secure, which is one of the biggest potential frauds faced by first-time exporters. Of course, you’ll need to make sure your online marketplace has top-tier customer service to negotiate logistics and handle returns/disputes.
Third-Party, In-Country Distributors: The barrier to entry here is low if you can find an interested one, and you’ll get some benefit in SEO, but you’ll have to find and vet honest, well-connected and online-savvy distributors, which don’t exactly grow on trees in your backyard. You’ll also still have to handle much of the logistics and compliance yourself, resulting in smaller margins.
KNOWING YOUR CUSTOMERS, INDUSTRY & TARGET MARKETS
Your products and services will go a long way in helping determine the right eCommerce sales channel mix for your brand. Understanding what you are selling, and to whom, will feed your digital strategy and be the backbone for your eCommerce efforts. Look at what others in your industry are selling via eCommerce and whether it’s on their sites, social or marketplaces. An international trade specialist from export.gov’s Trade Information Center or eCommerce Export Resource Center can conduct a Website Globalization Review gap analysis to optimize your international presence. Also, Google’s Market Finder can help translate your search terms to your target market’s native language.
More than anything, you want to step into your customers’ shoes, and that takes a little help when going overseas. Consider a Customer Persona Analysis that identifies buying patterns.
You should also assess whether a third party should represent your brand overseas. You want a marketplace or distributor who knows your product and industry. Moreover, you need someone you can trust to represent your brand like they are part of the family.
By the time your products are made, shipped and stocked on overseas shelves, you should be maximizing your ROI, with the ability to create budgets and forecasts for your new sales channel(s) and strategies for overseas sales.
We advise developing a long-term plan with clear, short-term objectives that are affordable and manageable. And we call it a “sales channel mix” because you need more than one way to move the ball forward for your company and employees, so be sure you are not too heavy or light in one of these areas.