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To Succeed Online, Retailers Need Brand Partners with Online Infrastructure, says Dominick Gabriel of Gabriel & Co.

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A Google study conducted in 2016 showed that traffic was down in retail outlets by 50 percent, but business was up 21 percent overall. How is this possible? It’s because consumers want to research, but they don’t want to walk into 10 different stores to find what they like. 

As a brand, I need to be frequently visible to consumers online so that they put us on their wish list. If we’re not visibly in front of consumers, they have other options that are visible to them online every day.

The omni-channel experience demands that you broadcast through all media — online and offline — exactly who you are. To be able to do that, you need strong partnerships. A true partnership is only valid if both the brand and the retailer share in the process, resulting in a seamless experience. Online, the retailer should showcase a selection of what is available in-store and then link to a brand for a full brand experience. At Gabriel we have successfully created an embed that we can either provide drop shipment directly to the retailer’s store or to the consumer. And we give the retailer full monetary credit.

My advice is to spend some time evaluating the brands that you are interested in and take a look at what they offer. Are the brands relevant online and in social media? What type of social engagement and brand influence do they have? Are they engaged with their online audience? What type of website do they have? Find partners who have the online influence and website experience consumers want. It’s very hard to update your website on a regular basis with thousands of SKUs. It can be physically impossible to upload it all, manage the prices and remove outdated images. 

The good news is, most retailers we know are already 70 percent there because they offer fantastic service. The experience they give at the store level is phenomenal. When we combine that with the online experience, we have a home run.

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We spend a great deal of time developing marketing strategies and programs with teams dedicated to the website, digital inventory, social channels, retail relations and community management.

Partnerships are the key to growing your business and maximizing your opportunities. Find partners who support what you stand for. That’s what’s going to help you communicate with your customers in the 21st century.


This article originally appeared in the May 2018 edition of INSTORE.     

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