Outsourcing supports multichannel sales
The development of technology and evolving consumer shopping behaviour are the reason behind companies using more and more different sales channels in an attempt to effectively reach their target groups. Outsourcing solutions available on the market enable to diversify commercial operations in a short period of time and without incurring significant investment costs.
The growing popularity of online shopping makes more and more companies and chains of high street stores want to open an online sales channel. Such activities are undertaken by entities so far not associated with commerce, e.g. energy providers, museums or airlines. At the same time, we hear about the opening of traditional points of sale by the largest brands that have been so far present solely online. This decision has already been made by Amazon, Google and recently Zalando, which decided to open a pop-up store for five days in Warsaw in November.
Multichannel sales enables to seek optimal ways to reach the customer, which often allows for increasing profits and avoiding losses which might be caused e.g. by the ROPO effect, i.e. researching online and purchasing offline. Today’s consumers are skilled in navigating various channels and use more advanced tools to do that. Meeting these demands currently presents a business necessity for a growing number of companies.
What is the easy way to enter e-commerce market?
The development of a new channel to reach customers requires not only investment to create it, but also funds to provide further operation and marketing services. Companies entering the e-commerce market are facing the challenge to build a website that is not only attractive visually, but also useful. The next step includes acquisition of users and convincing them to make the transaction. The existing customers should be provided with a certain level of service – an easy way to contact, comfortable purchase and then fast and cheap delivery.
The business services offer available on the market enables delegating all of these processes outside. Within this model, the outsourcer can build a website, take care of the selection, description and display of products and provide activities related to e-marketing, logistics and customer service. The company that outsources the service gains access to the knowledge, resources and technology necessary to execute online sales and maintain quality standards. It also uses the economies of scale, i.e. lower prices of the warehousing area, courier shipments or specific operations like picking packages or hotline operation.
Online to offline
Completely different challenges are related to expanding sales activities conducted solely online to include traditional points of sale. Online stores which decide to offer products offline must ensure proper display of goods on shelves, manufacturing and distribution of POS materials and organisation of promotional campaigns. Depending on the specific product, it might be useful to think about trade consultants available on the premises to provide information and help customers make a choice. The service of all sales supporting processes for a company debuting in an offline sales channel means not only costs, but also time required to learn the characteristics of the market segment, hire staff and purchase appropriate infrastructure such as cars for example.
All this is available from outsourcing companies which specialise in sales support services. The companies have field forces to execute merchandising, promotion, auditing or promotional materials services in all the areas of Poland. The use of new technologies enables to provide detailed reports on activities even in real time. Thanks to the co-shared model, one person can work for a number of clients, thus optimising the cost of the service.
Everything in one place
An external company can simultaneously support the service of all B2C and B2B sales channels and not only in traditional stores and online, but also via phone or direct model (door to door). In each of the scenarios, the added value of cooperation with an outsourcer lies in the flexible adjustment of resources to sales flow in a given moment. This eliminates the necessity to employ additional staff or rent larger warehouse space, e.g. in the holiday period or when introducing promotional campaigns.
There is more to creating new sales channels and their integration than simply meeting the customers’ expectations. It also includes acquiring valuable data on their shopping habits. An external company may not only provide help in analysing such information, but based on it, the outsourcer may also advise on the type of marketing operations worth to consider to reach the target group even more efficiently. The organisation and management of promotions, competitions, events or loyalty programmes can be conducted by the company itself, but this again requires knowledge, time and adequate resources. If you want to successfully compete on an ever-demanding market, think about optimising all operations which influence the success of your business. In particular those that can be easily outsourced.
Artur Wojtaszek, President of the Management Board of Cursor