Who doesn’t love shopping at a one-stop-shop reseller with all your favorite brands? As a consumer, it simplifies shopping. But as an e-commerce retailer, it doesn’t simplify your paid search competition.
While it’s important to maintain a healthy relationship with your top resellers, the increased search competition increases CPCs, making it more difficult to grow revenue and profitability. Despite the challenge of search competition, paid search is essential to every brand retailer’s e-commerce for four reasons.
1. Own your consumer data
Owning consumer data is vital in today’s digital world. Advertisers need consumer data to build profiles, expand reach and increase the pool of potential loyal purchasers. Building audiences has been a top focus in Search recently, so it’s important to identify opportunities to expand reach using insights from existing audience lists within the search engines. But if you don’t implement search campaigns, you won’t own much of an existing audience list to build from—instead, a large portion of traffic that would come directly to your website will be rerouted to a reseller, leaving all the valuable consumer data in their hands, not yours. Run a paid search campaign driving consumers to your site so you can gather the data you need.
2. Provide more options
You know your reseller’s inventory isn’t the same as your direct inventory, but your customers don’t always know that. With size and selection availability lower on resellers’ sites versus a direct brand site, consumers don’t know all their options if they only visit a reseller. If you’re not serving PPC ads on the SERPs, loyal customers that navigate to resellers’ websites may miss out on a particular size or style they want, meaning you ultimately lose out on that sale. This also holds true for products sold exclusively on your site. Use paid search to make a concerted effort to show your loyal customers everything your brand’s site has to offer.
3. Secure brand loyalty
We know consumers can have an affinity for resellers like Nordstrom or Macy’s, but beyond that it’s difficult to know that they will purchase your brand’s products. There’s no guarantee a click on a reseller’s site will result in a purchase for your brand since other brands are also on the same site. If a similar brand or option is available at a better price point or with a special offer, it might sway consumers away from your brand’s merchandise. But when a searcher clicks on a brand retailer’s ad, they have a higher propensity to purchase that brand. A paid search campaign for the brand retailer will lead them to do just that.
4. Reduce returns
Lastly, evaluating the return rates on a reseller site versus a brand retailer is also worth considering. A reseller sells multiple brands, each with a slightly different size chart, making it hard for a customer to know exactly what size of your product will fit them best. However, a customer loyal to your brand knows what size, fit or style works best for their body type, and newer customers can make a more educated size selection when purchasing directly from your site.
Partnerships with reseller sites are valuable, as are paid search campaigns to lead consumers directly to the brand retailer site, so how do we make this a win-win situation? Work together with wholesalers and reseller teams to ensure the competitive landscape remains manageable. Provide strict guidelines for each reseller, as well as any new ones that may also start appearing on the SERPs. As you work together, learn and adjust to find the right mix for you.