5 Ways Your Brand Protection Strategy Drives Customer Experience
Blogs | December 22, 2020
When building your brand protection strategy, do you think of your brand first or your customers first? The answer is likely your brand! Many brands spend so much time focused on how third-party sellers are representing their products online that they might forget about the impact on their customers. Here are some things to consider.
Supports a Positive Brand Reputation
Nothing frustrates brands more than seeing negative online reviews about one of their products that was sold by an unauthorized third-party (3P) seller. If your customers have grown accustomed to great experiences from your brand and they do not receive that from a rogue seller, it, unfortunately, reflects poorly on your brand and not the actual seller themselves. The average consumer might not even be aware that they are buying from a 3P seller versus directly from your brand. To help drive trust, marketplaces like Amazon, are trying to help consumers by flagging products as “bestseller” or “Amazon’s Choice”. These products come highly rated, are usually well-priced and well-reviewed, and have a strong track record of being delivered on time without returns. A recent poll showed that 92% of buyers trust peer recommendations. One bad experience for a customer, whether sold by a rogue seller or your brand directly, could lead to lost revenue for your brand simply through association.
Encourages Customer Loyalty
We need to remember that customer loyalty and brand love are outcomes of doing a million tiny things right. A big component of that is trust. Customers appreciate trustworthy relationships with the brands they support. They feel good about spending money on products that come from companies that care about quality and fair prices. If third-party sellers are sending your products to the end-user in poor condition at inflated prices, that reflects poorly on your brand and damages your relationship with the consumer. You should also be monitoring what marketing messages are being promised by a third-party. If things like return policy differ from your brand to a 3P seller, it will cause confusion and frustration by the buyer leading to hesitation for repeat business. Ensuring that the customer has the same great buying experience they’ve always had from your brand is crucial. How you handle these things is what customers will remember and ultimately turn them into repeat customers.
Represents Reliable Pricing
Price wars are more aggressive than ever, especially on marketplaces. While consumers still value quality and not just the cheapest product available, many digital platforms take it a step further by comparing a group of similar products side-by-side. Brands should be constantly monitoring parallel products in their category to remain competitive. In a perfect world, all retailers would sell products at the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) or shelf price. However, if a customer sees the same product advertised elsewhere with a price that is way above MSRP, they will start to question the value of that product. They might wonder if the product is counterfeit or even worse, sourced by illegal means. On the other hand, if the product is priced far below MSRP, consumers will question the quality of the product for similar reasons. Supply and demand often drive price fluctuations which can be particularly noticeable during the holiday season. Having access to MSRP price data is important to help brands understand the market.
Another issue with commodity products is that they’re more likely to be targeted for counterfeiting. With the influx of products and sellers online, brands are trying to educate their customers on how to spot fraudulent activity. Take these three simple examples from leading brands. They educate their customers on what to look for to ensure they’re getting the best product and experience possible.
Reinforced Trust With Shoppers With Content
Tracking seller third-party seller behavior and knowing how they are sourcing and selling your products is key to protecting customers from buying bogus (and potentially dangerous) products. POTOO’s Violation Reporting helps eliminate counterfeit sellers from the marketplace.
Delivers Safe Products
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) monitors products, medicine, and foods that affect public health. This includes all products sold on Amazon. Brands must comply with strict guidelines to keep consumers safe. This is extremely important for items in the consumables and cosmetics category (or other products applied to the skin). We’ve seen all kinds of alarming examples of products coming from rogue sellers that violate FDA regulations. From spoiled and melted food to nearly expired medication and supplements. We conduct test buys on behalf of our clients to help brands monitor third-party seller behavior to keep customers safe. This could be why more 3P sellers are choosing Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) options instead of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Not only is the cost significantly lower, but FBM also cuts down on transit time. Deliveries can bypass Amazon’s fulfillment center allowing fewer opportunities for damaged or spoiled goods. Overall, merchants have more control over the timing and quality of their deliveries by choosing FBM.
With the increase of new sellers and new products on the marketplace, rogue sellers are getting more sophisticated and can wreak havoc on your brand. We help clients monitor bad seller behavior and stop it before it has the chance to impact customers. There are so many things to consider when setting up an online storefront and we realize it can be overwhelming for brands to tackle on their own. Our team is well-versed in the many nuances of online marketplaces. We are constantly improving our Dashboard features to provide the data and resources necessary for brands to be successful.
We urge you to embed at least one customer-experience KPI or Metric into your brand protection program in 2021.
To speak with one of our experts today visit: www.potoosolutions.com/contact-us.