A Quick Guide to Online Channel Management
The common goal of every company is to drive more sales. But in a world of heavily-crowded online businesses, it is important to have a channel management strategy in place that will support your company’s bottom line.
This article will outline the benefits of channel management and what you need to do to make your chosen channels work for you.
What is channel management?
Channel Management (CM) is the process of managing the distribution and marketing of a company’s product or service.
It involves all of your marketing channels, including online and offline marketing, as well as other third parties to sell your products.
Channel management includes understanding how each channel performs for different types of customers and audiences, then using that information to optimize your marketing strategy accordingly.
A company can deliver its messages across traditional tactics like a billboard or radio. But more often than not, companies have adopted digital channels that include social media, websites, online videos, and other digital communications.
However, channel management is not just about advertising and being seen on the frontline. It also includes functions like logistics, payments, and inventory management.
To put it simply, channel management means managing the platforms that you use to reach and communicate with your target market. These channels are used as an outlet to sell your products or services to your consumers.
5 benefits of channel management
Strategic channel management allows a business to have more time to devote to its main objectives. Here are more of the benefits that you will gain:
- Enhance communication between you and your customers
- Save time by focusing on the right platforms
- Get better leads
- Increase conversion and satisfaction rate
- Streamline the workflow
- Increase efficiency and productivity
How to maximize channel management?
To get the most of each channel that you’re eyeing, it’s best to develop a plan and set a clear goal for each of them. After all, they each have their own sets of strengths.
That said, what should you be doing for each channel?
- Determine what you want out of the channel
- Establish the target audience and the products suitable for the channel
- Develop procedures on how the channels should be managed
The goal is to know whether the channel works and if it does, is it really beneficial in the long run?
For instance, if you know that your market is always on the internet, then you can look up online channels where you can sell your products. The popular channel for e-commerce, for example, is Shopify or Facebook Marketplace.
However, one thing that you should not overlook is that good channel management needs a skilled channel manager. Even if the channel is the best in the market, you need someone to handle and manage it to reach its full potential.
There are companies that may need indirect channel partners to help run the gears of business. There are retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and brokers that make it possible for businesses to connect with their customers.
On the other hand, some companies sell directly to their customers with no middle-man. The only channels to manage in this case are its store or online store.
Examples of channels that you may need
Selling your products and services involves multiple layers of channels to go through. Before your customer sees your product by their doorstep, you have to prepare the transactions and logistics involved.
Transaction Channels – These are the channels you use to pay and get paid.
Marketing Channels – This involves advertisement, online platforms, word-of-mouth marketing, and other ways to promote your business.
Logistics Channels – The logistics channel is the one responsible for distributing, storing, and transporting your products.
Customer Satisfaction Channels – Channels that help you deal with customers and provide support. It can also be a way to gather information on how best you can improve your product or service.
Channel Management is essentially managing distribution channels to help you get your word out and provide satisfaction to your consumers. In the business world, channel management is a key practice that is used to manage every form of communication that occurs between stakeholders and customers.
With all that being said, the key thing to remember is the main goal of why channel management is important. It will always be to boost your sales.
If you need help with channel management, book a free 20 min consultation from our expert business consultants here.