Your own website
Selling through your own website can follow the same strategies employed to gain customers to a bricks and mortar establishment.
Essentially you are looking to drive traffic and then convert that traffic into sales.
How you drive traffic to your site and how successful those channels will be for you will vary but here’s the basics. (We will build out on these basics over time)
- must be optimised for search
- must be easily navigable by your prospective customers
- must have clear call to actions and each page carry a purpose to take your prospective customers through a simple purchasing journey
Sales channels for your website
These are our favourite revenue streams for on-demand delivery and direct to consumer channels
- On-demand delivery
- This can be achieved by adding a last mile delivery partner to your business.
- Take a look at Stuart as an example of a last mile operator that can be plugged into your website journey to delivery your products in under an hour. Their services work best at roughly a 2mile reach but they operate out further (at additional costs)
- Scheduled delivery
- If you have product such as meal kits, or products that can be ordered ahead of time for delivery on a particular date then take advantage of the huge growth in this market.
- Scheduled delivery can work for meal kits, occasions based selling, subscriptions services, B2B
- Click & Collect
- This channel can fluctuate in importance to the market, but if a customer has an important “must have occasion” in mind then Click and Collect services can provide a really valuable service and therefore sales stream. Click and collect services rise in popularity around seasonal events like Christmas – when customers absolutely must have something. It’s also cheaper than having it delivered. I’m a massive fan of delivery (of course!) but I would still prefer to have customers come to my place of business so that I can give them a direct customer service experience.
- Order ahead
- Order ahead apps and services have really come of age during 2020 and will definitely be here to stay due to all the benefits they bring the customer and the operator. Allow your customers to order across multiple channels through your website and own branded apps. Keep the customer on your platform and collect that customer data.
- Curbside collection
- Curbside collection is an extension to click and collect or order ahead. It’s a service that’s huge in the other parts of the World and beginning to grow rapidly in the UK. McDonalds, Dominoes, Curry’s and others now all provide this service. Allow your customers to order ahead, to select curbside as a collection method then use tech like iAmHere to turn your busness effectively into a drive through. As long as there’s parking you don’t even need a car park of your won.
- Gift cards
- We love gift cards and so do customers. It’s a huge £7bn industry and offering gift cards can open up such as an easy and valuable sales channel for you. Gift cards have moved beyond physical with e-gifting enabling immediate transactions that’ll put money in your bank ahead of cost as well as build loyalty and an open channel to communicate with your customers. You can drive volume promotions, create bounce backs, enable customer service goodwill gestures, sell to B2B & B2B2C markets, get into gifting, open up partnerships – the opportunities are vast. Take a look at industry leader Toggle who, at the time of writing, also have a free period to get you up and running. Their site is full of case studies and you’ll see the vast array of well known brands who are on the platform. For B2B & B2B2C you’ll want to check out Tillo (who are beneficially integrated into Toggle). Tillo is a market leader in serving rewards and employee benefits via digital codes – so you can sell via a huge market place seamlessly. You’ll need postal product or a large UK network of stores to benefit from Tillo though.
- We’ve been involved in creating merchandise for companies like Krispy Kreme UK & Ghetto Golf. Selling merchandise can be tricky so whoever you use, we’d recommend you find someone with a track record of success. Selling merchandise on-line is definitely not going to create an early retirement channel but if you’ve got in in store already then its worth considering. Check out Sortd.uk who can help and at least talk you though the considerations in more detail. In our experience you’re looking at a 1% to 3% of retail sales that can be generated through merch and variable margins but 40% is a guide.
Partnerships for growth / external growth channels
- Third party delivery apps.
- We have loads of detail throughout the site here so just follow the links to that detail. Get this channel right and the opportunities to create real value are there. Get it wrong and you’ll join the crowd who sell through these channels and then say “I bloody hate Deliveroo or Uber EATS or JustEAT”. Don’t hate a sales channels. Do it right or don’t do it.
- B2B market places
- Traditionally set up as market place ordering platforms, these services act similarly to the likes of Uber EATS and the like, in that they provide a market place for customers to choose food and drink brands. The key difference being you’re selling to businesses not individuals. So orders are larger but less frequent. Pre-covid these orders we’re going to offices and events but at the moment it’s more to businesses clients and employees at home, so you’ll need to have a logistics solution for either parcels (see Trukl) or courier (like Gophr or City Sprint).
- Partnerships for growth
- Identifying strategic partners for growth would be one of my top recommendations for rapidly growing any sales channel. I love a good contra deal where you find a partner who loves what you do as much as you love what they do. I say this from a business and a customer perspective as the partnership needs to fit from both those groups. Benefit from shared experiences, PR, marketing, cross selling, web traffic, social media, brand association, cross channel selling. There’s huge benefit to be had here and it doesn’t need to be costly – in fact if you get the right partner it can be one of the most cost effective ways to grow.
- What strategies, channels, businesses, partnerships etc would you recommend. If you’ve found this useful send one idea, suggestion or piece of feedback to us here.