In a world where digital revolution is accelerating, an exponential rise of eCommerce forces brands to adapt their strategy to reach business success. At a time when digital technology has become their main pillar of development, leveraging existing channels to distribute their products online, managing their brand image and engaging in an eRetail transformation is not only inevitable but also crucial for any multinational company wishing to perform online.
Brand positioning has been defined by Kotler as “the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market”. In other words, brand positioning has become as important as products performance to sit in customers’ minds and stand-out from competition in the online market.
What digital transformation strategy can be adopted in a fast-moving market? How to monitor brand positioning and product performance online to reach business success?
1. An unprecedent eCommerce and digital technology expansion
An ecommerce expansion has been noted over the recent years. Ecommerce reached 90 billion sales in 2018 in France, as evidenced by the Journal du Net. French e-commerce turnover increased by 15% in the third quarter of 2018, with online sales reaching, according to Fevad, €22.3 billion over this period.
In this context, eRetail represents a strategic matter to address, meeting all consumer expectations. Integrating with success this sales channel into a global strategy could have a huge business impact:
- The potential reach is enormous: 85% of researches on services and products are made online.
- Consumer intelligence is another main advantage. eRetail allows you to engage in genuine dialogue with consumers.
- eRetail is also a great land for innovation. Innovative digital services can be built around existing products.
- Finally, embracing eRetail is an opportunity to reduce the budget needed for the sales force expansion.
To reach these objectives, digital technology appears as the major lever to activate. By multiplying the possibilities, in terms of cost and new consumption patterns, digital technology has an impact on all sectors, especially eCommerce and eRetail. As a real business accelerator, digital technology allows every multinational company to rebrand itself, to manage its eretailers and reclaim an influence on consumers.
How to use this powerful lever and monitor brand positioning and product performance online to set apart from competitors and reach business success?
2. A pragmatic approach to monitor brand positioning and product performance online
When addressing eRetail transformation, focusing on its execution is essential. It plays a critical role in the purchasing decision making process and has to be managed with pinpoint accuracy. Controlling this execution is often underestimated whereas this is a fundamental source of value. Enhancing the brand & products execution, and the shopper experience, is one of the key sources of mutual actions to be engaged with eretailers. How to do so?
Through our own experience, using digital technology and applying a structured methodology with key steps is the way to success: Define the picture of success, assess eretailers and roll-out action plans.
a. eRetail brand and product execution picture of success
Defining the reference brand and products execution at eretailer point of sale is the first step.
b. Monitoring eretailers execution
Then, it is about evaluating and monitoring eretailers execution against the defined picture of success, measuring gaps and monitoring over time.
c. Action planning & eretailers engagement
Finally, defining action plans to be engaged with eretailers is another essential step:
- Prioritize & organize actions
- Engage the eretailer
- Keep the ball rolling, measure & capitalize
Success will come from a regular monitoring and update of these action plans.
In this demanding space, it is critical for success to constitute a set of reference key beliefs, proven with data and analytics, that will be shared across product lines and geographies to accelerate the eretailer execution performance. These key beliefs will continuously update and improve your eRetail execution picture of success.
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3. Success story
Aware that monitoring its brand positioning and products performance online lead to success, some multinational companies quickly reached their objectives. Let us focus on the true story of a world largest tire manufacturer’s. To become an essential eRetail player in Europe, Russia and Canada, managing its brand image online and driving sales conversion were some of its top priorities. To succeed and activate their eretailers, they needed a global solution.
Thanks to a platform for eretail distribution monitoring, strategic action plan execution and an efficient governance, this tire manufacturer’s succeeded in having a clear and comparable vision through eretailers touchpoint and in deploying actions plans :
- With its 100+ criteria tailored to this tire manufacturer’s expectations, a model was implemented on a digital platform. It has improved awareness among all local teams on the importance of key areas of execution.
- The methodology used has brought all local teams a simple framework to process what could be improved on their customers websites and plan actions.
- The first action plans were a success in France, pilot country, with very promising results in 2 months. They were then deployed in Canada and Russia.
- The digital solution also helped different services such as marketing and sales to work together to tackle execution issues. This has been a major step change for all teams which have gained in efficiency and confidence in dealing with eretailers.
- Results of actions have been positive across the board, most eretailers have understood how mutual value can be created from these actions.
Outcomes: By using digital technology and focusing on selective distribution, they have defined global to local strategies and ambitions in terms of brand & product positioning for each customer segment, driven cross-market action plans from data compiled on the markets to drive change at all levels of the organization. In only few month, they have noted progress: +5% eretailer compliance score and +10% issues resolved.
Negotiating with its eretailers and managing them in a structured way to create superior value is now a reality for this tire manufacturer’s. It can move forward and deploy the platform in the entire organization to maintain its competitive advantage.
To sum up, monitoring its brand positioning and products performance online thanks to a pragmatic approach leads multinational companies to business success.
Through our own experience, using a powerful lever, digital technology, and applying key steps is the way to success: Define the picture of success, assess eretailers execution, identify & prioritize required improvements, transform in action plans & implement with customers and track results.