What are channel sales?
Channel sales is the process of including third parties to bring your products to the end customer. Those third parties can be in-house sales teams, agents, resellers, etc.
In this article, we’ll be talking about how you can properly utilize your channel sales and revolutionize the way you sell your products.
How does online shopping tie in with channel sales?
Online consumption and the necessity for a no-contact buying experience have increased substantially. The world has as many as 12-24 million online or eCommerce stores today. According to Statista, the forecasted number of online shoppers in 2021 is 2.14 billion and an astounding 71% of buyers reach vendor selection after a digital-only journey!
Buyers increasingly avoid talking to salespeople, relying instead on their own research skills and other buyers’ reviews to get convinced. Naturally, brands are wising up to it and taking their sales online in the easiest way possible.
Where are channel sales in all of this?
Even though up to 70% of global revenue comes from third-party channels, many vendors don’t seem to know that a great partner experience equals an even better customer experience. As a result, 73% of partners say working with vendors is too complex.
The entire management process usually requires a lot of back-and-forth between vendors, resellers, distributors, and/or system integrators, be it via emails, phone calls, or even fax.
Vendors are still using complex spreadsheets to track their product distribution and are being held back by drawn-out sales meetings and slow feedback cycles. Add the pandemic to this mix and many businesses are out of the game.
But what if you combine digitalization and channel sales? You get a high-level way of increasing efficiency:
Online Channel Sales Consolidation
By moving online, vendors can consolidate all channel sales in one centralized location, and agents, resellers, and distributors are under one transparent umbrella.
This empowers vendors to speed up sales through automation and unification.
By onboarding their reseller and distributor network to a fitting online platform, the back-and-forth it takes to communicate changes in stock, orders, and refunds is replaced with automated inventory management and order fulfillment, and real-time sales monitoring.
This leads to quicker feedback cycles and increased efficiency, which can be improved even further with the right platform integrations.
Subsequently, vendors get boosted business performance in three different ways:
1. Seamless Reseller Management
Having the entire channel sales network gathered in one place is of enormous help when it comes to keeping track of individual resellers. Vendors can monitor every order detail online and the commission is automatically sent to the reseller after they make a sale.
Ideally, a good platform enables resellers to have their own online stores under the wing of the vendor’s main store. This way, the vendor has everything under control and the partners are all literally part of a unified network.
The UCX Virtual Channel is a solution that offers all these automation opportunities and can be easily integrated with Shopify so all channel sales are directly consolidated to the vendor’s Shopify account.
It guarantees no multichannel mishaps as orders and inventory are synced in real-time on both platforms.
2. Reduced Oversight
It might sound counterintuitive to rely on channel sales for cost-effectiveness, as adding more layers to your business means paying commission to more individual resellers and distributors. But it all comes down to the future-proof nature of online consolidation.
- Vendors create price books for their resellers and distributors.
- They assign commissions and automate the commission payout process.
- They monitor all sales activity in real time.
- There’s no more overselling and inventory mismanagement.
- They get faster sales at a lower cost.
3. Instant Reach and Quick Data Collection
With every agent, reseller, or distributor who joins the sales network, vendors gain access to an untapped market.
Resellers that are trusted and valued by their customers add extra value to the brand and to the original product by repackaging the offer for their specific audience. Multiply this effect by numerous resellers and you get a great way to enter new regions and markets with just a few clicks.
Having the opportunity to capture and sync data on sales, reseller performance, and buyer details in real-time makes it super easy for vendors to plan their next steps. They’re able to analyze and compare reseller popularity, the regions they are mostly established in, and their customer profiles.
This enables vendors to have a closer look at their market possibilities and to create new effective digital marketing strategies.
The pandemic era has clearly demonstrated that businesses need to adapt, whatever industry they operate in.
Online channel sales consolidation is a prime example of how virtualizing your sales process doesn’t only serve as a means to an end, but offers a solution for sustainable business growth through:
- Task Automatization
- Channel unification
- Seamless partner collaboration
If you’d like to get a centralized location to manage your channel sales online, book a demo with us and we’ll introduce you to the UCX Virtual Channel!