An eCommerce platform is no longer a nice-to-have for multinational corporations, it is a business necessity. The same business case for eCommerce applies whether you’re Amazon or an SME with a branded merchandise program. Switching to digital merchandising allows you to tell your brand story in the most consistent, cost-efficient, and time-effective way.
A McKinsey&Company report quotes Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces, one of the world’s largest online markets, as saying, “We’ve hit an inflection point where technology is now so pervasive and so useful that we’re past the tipping point. And the world of e-commerce and commerce are now seamlessly merged. They’ve just come together, the on- and the offline. Now, every merchant, every retailer must have an omnichannel strategy or they won’t survive. That’s very different than even just 24 months ago.”
Companies need every bit of information about their branded merchandise program at their fingertips. Without this, it becomes impossible to report with the sort of accuracy needed to make the right forecasts and decisions. This will have an effect on the way company revenue is spent on branded merchandise, and the effect on the brand itself.
Since every aspect of digital merchandising runs through your online company store, the guesswork is taken out of reporting and results in improved merchandise ROI measurement and justification of program spend. Reporting dashboards and customizable reports put the marketing professional in control of a digital merchandising program in a way that offline programs never could.
There are many reasons for running a branded merchandise program. These usually include: rewarding or motivating employees, spreading your brand message, engaging with customers, and reaching new customers.
The last thing your program should include is; distorted or discoloured logos, inferior quality merchandise, or confusion around suppliers and supplier agreements. Gone are the days of your logo being delivered red when it’s really orange, or carefully designed artwork disappearing with the first wash.
Your online company store platform streamlines the branding process, giving all stakeholders access to your logo, color scheme, and corporate identity guide in a secure online artwork library.
Is it any wonder that things get out of control quickly when hundreds of employees across the country need to be kitted out with branded apparel and office supplies. Then there are your lines of promotional items, meant to be in ready supply for gifting to clients or conference attendees.
Messes happen only too easily when each company location is working with their own vendors, over or under ordering, unmindful of spend or brand inconsistency.
An online company store centralizes pre-approved suppliers, real-time item inventory, and order authorization. The typical result of a centralized digital merchandising system is shortened ordering times, which results in time savings that when multiplied across your organization becomes a significant reduction in procurement costs.
It’s easy to blow the budget on a branded merchandise program that has a confused or clumsy workflow system, and no pre-approved suppliers in place that are bound by service level agreements. It becomes an ongoing and frustrating challenge to keep all your offices on track when there really is no clear path to follow.
A digital merchandising program sets out a clear workflow which means employees know exactly when to place orders, how to get the right authorization, and which suppliers are on the approved list.
Workflows and various touch-of-a-button features, help to keep your budget under tight control because branded merchandise is no longer over or under ordered, and the clarity the system brings to your program means labor costs are reduced, as employees spend significantly less time managing the program.
The fact is, branded merchandise programs can no longer run efficiently using clipboard stock takes, frantic last-minute phone calls, and Excel spreadsheets. And why struggle when so many of the technological breakthroughs of recent years can now be brought together in an online company store, to work for you in the most hassle-free and cost-effective way possible?
Proforma Durkee are the online company store experts. Their best-in-class workflow technology platform and more than 500 contracted partners, continue to ensure that 40,000+ online company stores get the most out of their branded merchandise programs for as little time and money as possible. If you’re ready to discuss creating an online store for your company, please contact us and let's chat.
For more information about the benefits on an online company store, you can download our handy infographic, The future of corporate branding is digital.
Topics: branded merchandise