Multi-channel distribution is the backbone of many successful companies. McDonald’s are not only found in most American towns and cities, but in airports as well. The same can be said for Starbucks — the true MVP for red-eye passengers everywhere.
But there is more to multi-channel distribution than simply setting up shop on as many street corners, airports, and malls you can find.
We’re going to breakdown what makes a good multi-channel distribution strategy and share some key tips and tricks for fleshing your own strategy out. But first, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of this type of distribution.
Your customers love your products and/or services. If they had the chance, they would purchase something from you every month, week, or day.
By incorporating multiple channels into your distribution, you can give your loyal customers the chance to buy from you more often. This leads directly into the next benefit...
You can also reach new customers in new places. For example, if you support e-commerce through your website, you can reach potential customers who are not close enough to one of your brick and mortars.
Or, if you don’t have the budget to open up a full-fledged shop somewhere, opening up a pop-up shop for a temporary period of time can help bring your brand in front of new eyes.
Both of these benefits obviously help with the main pro of multi-channel distribution — increasing your sales.
By opening up more avenues for your services or products to be available for purchase, you’re going to see more purchases at a higher frequency. In the end, this is the main goal of your distribution strategy, and multi-channel strategies will help you get there.
In order to nail your multi-channel distribution strategy, keep these tips in mind.
product or service online is a fantastic way to reach people who don’t have the transportation, time, or simply aren’t close enough to be able to go through a brick and mortar.
Instead of spending resources to expand the physical locations of your business, consider revamping or creating a user-friendly online channel.
You can also create an app, or if you’re in the restaurant business, consider partnering with an app like GrubHub, Door Dash, or Postmates.
One issue you may come across when it comes to multi-channel distribution is cannibalization on some of your locations.
For example, if Starbucks had a coffee shop on one block, then opened up another one a few blocks away, they don’t exactly stand to increase their revenue by much, if at all. Instead, they will simply split their usual customers in two and double their operating expenses. Therefore, you have to be strategic with every distribution location.
While it might seem like Starbucks has a shop on every street corner, their locations have been carefully planned to avoid cannibalizing on one another.
Whether it’s a website or a physical shop, the user experience and messaging should be consistent.
There are software solutions that can help keep your multi-channel distribution strategies consistent. One foundational solution is a digital asset management (DAM) system like MediaBeacon. With a DAM, you can easily re-use images and assets since they are in a single, accessible, searchable solution. Instead of combing through desktops, hard drives, physical files, and multiple storage systems, you can simply search your DAM.
A multi-channel distribution strategy can have a huge impact on sales for organizations. Do the research to find the different areas where you can engage new and existing customers and then build your strategy using the tips and tricks mentioned.