Many shoe retailers and manufacturers work with marketplaces today. However, this cooperation has both its pluses and minuses. One of them is the competition between online and offline assortment, the outflow of real buyers to marketplaces, who come to offline stores only to look at the collection, try on something, touch it, choose a model that they will then buy online. As a result, stores find themselves in an unequal position with marketplaces and fail. Our regular contributor, an expert in sales of children's shoes, the manager of the Mila company, Alexander Borodin, shares his thoughts on how to solve the problem of competition between models and collections of the same brand, presented both on marketplaces and in brand stores*.
In search of a sales market, many manufacturers have turned their attention to online trading. But having come online, they began to make the same mistakes as when promoting goods offline - they began to offer their goods at all levels of distribution of the distribution chain. And if in offline trading they could not catch in any way that an attempt to work at all levels is vicious, then online, due to its openness, immediately made them think. By placing goods on the windows of retail marketplaces, they themselves turned offline stores into fitting rooms.
Obviously, not everyone liked it, because it led to a decrease in sales in real stores, even despite the good performance of marketplaces. In order to somehow maintain sales, some manufacturers have decided to diversify the assortment between online retail and offline. For example, the manufacturer of TM Kakadu went down this path, and this is what he says:
“Surely, you have all heard the news that we have divided our assortment between retail and online sales. That is, the assortment that we offer for retail will not be displayed in marketplaces such as Ozon, Wildberries. What will it give us? Finally, customers will stop coming to you for fitting and ordering Wildberries.”
Such steps are encouraging. We know of a number of other manufacturers who have followed the same path. Moreover, they went further and did not separate the models of one TM, but separated the trademarks themselves. In fact, part of the TM left the marketplaces.
Why is it more efficient than just dividing the assortment between online and offline?
Because if you divide the assortment under one brand (leave some only offline, and put some online), then this will only partially relieve tension: the buyer will still be confused. This is a half measure. But the separation of brands is a complete solution.
How to build work with marketplaces?
It is important to understand that a marketplace is a retail platform - a product is sold to the end consumer. The same goes for retail stores. Both those and others are links of the same level in the commodity distribution chain, which, of course, are competitors. It's normal, it's market! But the brand owner, being both a marketplace retailer and a wholesaler for retail stores, creates a contradiction. In the first case he is a competitor, in the second he is a partner. How to get along with these mutually exclusive concepts? The answer is simple: no way!
And here the brand owner must decide: if he considers his target audience not the end consumer, but retail stores, then he must leave the marketplace, thus freeing up space on the shelves of the marketplace for his partners. This solution allows you to build the most partnerships that significantly increase brand sales.
After all, the Internet is a great invention that, due to its openness, teaches us not to make mistakes that kill our business. I really hope that this understanding will spread to offline retail and, finally, at all levels of distribution, the competition between the seller and the buyer will stop.
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