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Sales channels: Between customer demands and strategy

Reading time: 8 minutes

Multichannel operations require in-depth analysis of consumer profiles and a lot of planning to deliver experiences personalized, compatible with the buyer’s journey.

From physical establishments to e-com merce, there are several points of contact that brands can consolidate with its audiences, enabling new sales channels that go beyond physical or virtual stores, such as applications, marketplaces, social networks and even through
messaging (the best known of them is WhatsApp). on all these fronts it is possible to sell products and services, but is it necessary to be in all? The answer is “it depends”, as it will depend on what makes sense. for customers and for the company.
The doctor in communication, specialist in digital media and postgraduate professor at ESPM, Alexandre Marquesi, argues that one should not start from the assumption that it is necessary to be in all channels. This definition must be made considering the user journey, a process that covers the entire purchase journey, from need identification from acquiring a product or service to after-sales.

“By observing the user journey, it is possible to understand which channel or which
channels it demands”. It is in them that the brand must be present. In the omnichannel (multichannel) context, the same consumer can interact with the
brand in different channels, manifesting different behaviors: he can test the product in the physical store and buy it on the website or, still, get to know the product on the website, check recommendations from other buyers, but buy at the point of sale. In this scenario of multiple possibilities, Marquesi highlights that “the important thing is to understand the channel, to know where in the journey it fits and what is the function of that channel along the journey”. Based on this understanding, it is possible to start planning operations in the chosen channels, considering the financial viability of the projects and the business strategies.
“The digital environment is very simple – make it simple”, advises Marquesi. “Start and don’t be afraid to make mistakes”..

Strategy as a whole

The director of e-commerce and e-business at 360 Varejo Consultores & Associados, Daniel Zeferino Dias, observes that consumers are already multichannel and that requires brands to be too. “Being present on different channels is not a fad or trend, it is a reality”. The big question is how to do this transition effectively.

During the pandemic, many companies joined the new channels because of the situation. Zeferino evaluates that the major flaw in this process, and which is commonly committed in the transition to multiple channels, is not considering the business strategy as one all. “If we are talking about the consumer being multichannel, the company must also see itself and its structures as multichannel”.
The effort to position, publicize and strengthen the brand in digital, for example, will result in
in better results also in face-to-face sales. Thus, it makes no sense to work the channels as
isolated business fronts. “The vision of omnichannel has to be within the strategy”.

This perspective favors planning, avoiding distorted analyzes and enabling the identification of new opportunities. Develop actions that integrate economic agents (such as suppliers and distributors) with whom the brand relates illustrates this well. “The great insight of new digital companies is to bring all these economic agents into the business”,
says Zeferino. “The vision today is not just to develop other sales channels, but mainly to consolidate other of revenue, generating wealth for all the economic agents involved in the chain of this company, this brand”, he ponders. “Many industries are selling directly to the final consumer and we also see retail becoming an industry through own brand. It is a very complex game that the market is currently playing”. Strategic planning must map these opportunities, but it is essential that the company clearly identify your competitive differentials to highlight them in your online actions.

Good Habits

In the context of digital transformation, micro and small companies are challenged to improve processes and management. To help them overcome these challenges, the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI) prepared the Guide to digital best practices for improving productivity. (Click here).

“We have gathered a set of 25 good practices distributed in five axes: connecting and engaging customers; generate more value for customers; it is laying new foundations for competition; build an organization oriented to Dice; and innovate faster and collaboratively”, contextualizes the analyst ABDI’s productivity and innovation, Karen Leal

The new sales channels are about connection and engagement of customers. And the entire strategy must be developed according to the profile of the consumer, explains Leal. “A good practice is to develop an omnichannel experience for customers, but, before that, it is necessary to know what the profile of this consumer is and how the sales channels will work”, he guides. All channels have to function perfectly and in harmony with each other.
In practice, the company needs to standardize its service and ensure that at all points of contact the information provided is the same. “The choice between having a single channel or working with multiple channels sales depends on the market in which the company operates and the customer it intends to reach”, he explains. “If for For some reason the brand decides to be in two or three different channels, they need to be interrelated. A physical store clerk does not may bring different information from the website, which also cannot be different from that presented in the app or chatbot”.

Personalization is another point to consider in strategies. “My perception is that the consumer, today, want to have a personalized experience. For this, the company needs to understand what it is looking for and what are your preferences”, emphasizes Leal. “Personalizing the sale generates value for the customer, so the choice of channel must also assess which one favors a personalized experience, more interesting for the customer”.

Fonte: Revista Conmax ( Fev/Mar 2022 )

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