The right choice of the most effective sales channels for a company can be a great challenge faced by the manager.
This is because there are several sales channels both online and offline and, through them, the sales team will relate to new potential customers.
To choose assertively, you need to understand the persona of your business, how it consumes information and by what means they are more likely to relate. Furthermore, it is essential to understand the particularities and functioning of each one.
From there, it is easier to create a channel strategy and invest in those that will bring the best results.
In this article, you will:
- Understand what sales channels are;
- Know more details about online and offline sales channels;
- Learn more about choosing the most effective channels for your product or service.
What are sales channels
A sales channel is the means through which a company sells products and services, whether online or offline. Through it, your customer gets in touch with your business and your company attracts a portion of your audience that is not a customer yet, but has an intention to buy. Sales channels also work as a form of advertising to bring your brand to the public, even if it is not yet in the sales stage.
How to choose the best sales channels for your business
With the huge list of available sales channel options, the manager may want to expand his possibilities as much as possible and adopt more channels than the sales team can manage.
It is important to remember that having as many channels as possible does not mean having a well-planned strategy. You need to filter out what works best and has the most impact on your team’s sales.
This choice is not a recipe for a cake: as much as your niche market may point to certain options, it is essential to understand if all of them work well for your business.
When choosing the most appropriate sales channel, take into account two main factors:
1) The means by which you will have more reach and impact on your audience: you need to know your target audience in depth to understand in which sales channels your actions will reach a greater volume of potential buyers.
2) The type of product or service that your company sells: here, it is necessary to assess whether online or offline channels present better results. For cases of products such as clothing, for example, opting for the use of social networks can be a good idea, but having a physical store where the customer can try the pieces can be a more effective means.
Examples of channels
Now that you know what to take into account when choosing which sales channels will be part of your strategy, check out some of the most used options in the market:
Online sales channels
Google Adwords is a digital marketing strategy that consists of buying keywords (such as “birthday party favors” or “office chairs”) to appear as a search result for these terms (which are related to what your company sells) . Typically, sites that use AdWords appear at the top of the site’s search results list.
Adwords is suitable for finding buyers who are already sure of what they want to buy and are actively looking for it.
The e-mail marketing is a way to better customize the message your company wants to go public.
For this channel to be effective, it is necessary that you already have a good base of leads that will receive these emails and segment it according to the moment each one is in the buyer’s journey.
Through e-mails, you can talk about the advantages of your products and services, offer exclusive discounts and even inform your base about news in your product catalog.
On the marketplace, different brands can sell their products, such as Amazon or Mercado Livre, for example.
To do this, companies must comply with the required disclosure and stock demand rules.
The marketplace is a good option to bring more visibility to the brand, especially when it comes to a company that is still small. A presence on a large marketplace website can bring greater credibility.
Marketing your products on a marketplace can also be helpful in scaling your business.
In addition, payment issues and other bureaucracies are the responsibility of the website where the products are sold. The warranty and delivery of the product are duties of the brand that sells the product.
The e-commerce or e-commerce, as it is known, is different from the marketplace by a factor: the virtual store is only one brand.
In e-commerce, the entire site is under the responsibility of the brand that sells the products. The channel becomes more personalized and “the face” of the company.
Here, scaling the business can be more difficult than in the case of marketplaces, so a good strategy to carry out e-commerce operations is essential for its proper functioning.
Affiliates are people who sell third-party products and services on their website and social media. Payment for this sale is usually made through commissions.
The affiliate program is a channel suitable for digital ventures, with low investment and still not very relevant in the market.
Nowadays, social networks like Facebook and Instagram already offer options for selling products and services.
On Facebook, in addition to the company’s own page to publicize what it sells, there is also the marketplace option, which reaches potential buyers who are in the region where your company is located.
Instagram, on the other hand, offers the option to show values for each product in their own photos (when the company has a corporate page).
With just one click, the buyer is taken to the purchase page and can purchase the product they want.
Offline sales channels
Point of sale and physical store
Points of sale (also known as PV) or the company’s own physical store can be a good choice for clothing and shoe brands, for example.
For this type of product, the customer may prefer to experiment before making the purchase and it is interesting to have a space where he can do this.
Points of sale can be divided into three different categories:
- Own store: require a greater investment for opening and maintenance, but can be a good choice in the market. Here, a good marketing strategy is needed to attract customers to the location;
- Franchises : in franchises, the franchisee is authorized to sell products and services of a certain brand, upon payment (which usually includes brand royalties and a percentage of the revenue he earns);
- Distributors: distributors resell third-party products, and act as an intermediary between the product and the final consumer. A good example of this type of channel is car dealerships.
A good tactic is to combine the physical store with social networks such as Instagram, for example, where the brand can show collections and pieces available in the catalog.
Companies such as Natura and Herbalife were well known in Brazil for this type of sale.
Here, the seller’s contact is direct with the end consumer, through visits and showcase presentation, for example.
The team is usually made up of sales representatives, who have no direct employment relationship with the company and receive only a commission on what was sold as a salary.
This way of selling products and services has been a channel used for a long time, mainly by telephone and internet companies.
Through this channel, the seller can either make a sale or schedule a visit to the sales representative.
On the one hand, telemarketing is a more direct and personalized way to get in touch with the customer. On the other hand, it can be considered inconvenient if done wrongly.
Combined channels = greater chances of sales
With so many options available, it is not necessary, as we said, to embrace them all in your strategy. On the other hand, there is no need to choose just one of them, be it online or offline.
The combination of several sales channels can be an interesting strategy when it comes to expanding the target audience.
For a digital venture, for example, it is possible to combine tools such as SEO, AdWords and email marketing to sell your products.
A physical company, on the other hand, can combine offline sales methods, such as physical stores and telemarketing, with online means, such as presence on social networks and the marketplace.
What sales channels does your company use today? Do we leave any media you use out of this list? Share in the comments!