Diversifying Sales Channels to Overcome Covid-19

Aqilah Zailan
Aqilah Zailan
March 26, 2020
August 13, 2021
Diversifying Sales Channels to Overcome Covid-19
Diversifying Sales Channels to Overcome Covid-19

The Covid-19 outbreak continues to engulf the fashion industry with disorder - forcing fashion brands and retailers to look into other sales channels to off-set the impact of the crisis on traditional brick-and-mortar retail.

In an effort to contain the pandemic, governments are implementing lockdowns and issuing restricted movement orders in several countries. Consequently, mandatory non-essential store closures have severed a crucial sales channel for fashion brands and retailers.

Retailers have had to explore other sales avenues to ensure continuity. With the majority of populations staying home, consumers are turning to the internet for consumption. In fact, some retailers are reaping the benefits, achieving higher sell-throughs online. 

Moving all stock online is the key to strengthening and securing sales at this stage. However, as more brands flood the market, saturation is a threat. Finding the right channel becomes imperative - there is little room for error.

To maximise potential for success, brands have to diversify their distribution channels. Exhaust every available option, including marketplaces and social media e-stores. Recently, Prada expanded its product allocation beyond its website by joining Tmall, in addition to marketplaces Secoo and JD.com. 

Optimise allocations based on where your consumers are moving to. To do so, an extensive analysis of marketplace performance is necessary. The Omnilytics dashboard can facilitate that process.

#1 In-depth Comparison of Sales Channels

To identify the most suitable marketplace to partner with, brands and retailers require deep insights into the performance of all sales channels, namely marketplaces and e-commerce sites.

This information is at your fingertips with the Competitor Benchmarking tool on the Omnilytics dashboard. Retailers can filter the data based on several factors - markets, retailers, brands, timelines and categories. 

For example, retailers that wish to evaluate the impact of Covid-19 on a particular marketplace can set the timeline from January to March 2020.

As you see above, comparing the performance of different marketplaces based on their total sell-out rates, full-price contribution, discount rates and assortment size is simple. Consequently, brands can assess the performance of marketplaces broadly and are able to dive deep to see the best-selling items within a specific list.

In this example, it is clear that the marketplace Tokopedia is a safer bet to allocate women’s tops - the category fared better here than on Shopee.

#2 Tailor Your Assortment Allocation to Market Demand

Conducting market-level analysis is crucial to spot opportunities and risks across distribution channels. To maximise profitability, it is important to allocate assortments to channels where similar products have fared well. 

Take advantage of e-commerce websites that are established as the go-to hub for a particular category. For instance, sneakers and activewear would be better suited to a platform like JD Sports where the demand is strong.

Meet current demands with supply by optimising your allocations. This is where the Omnilytics dashboard comes in to simplify the process. Particularly, gaps in the market are easily spotted based on the breakdown of assortment by gender, categories, styles, sizes, colours and prices.

In this case, we can see the most replenished colours for women’s tops on Tokopedia and Shopee. Retailers can better gauge the best-selling colours on these channels and swiftly direct stock to the right platform.

#3 Rigorous Monitoring of Performance

One of the benefits of real-time data is the speed and accuracy it provides retailers. In a progressively volatile industry, it is essential to have full visibility into brand performance.

Retailers can deduce product performance by closely monitoring replenishment and restock levels. Visibility into a product’s size status is useful when finalising future allocations and can help mitigate losses.

Additionally, price history and product timeline further clarify the profitability of SKUs. This information ensures that retailers can remain nimble and adjust efforts in different channels based on results.

Maximise Margins with a Strong Action Plan

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple the fashion industry, retailers must look into expanding their distribution channels to align with post-Covid-19 consumerism. However, it is only a small aspect of a comprehensive action plan needed to overcome the impact of Covid-19.

Download our latest report, Fashion Retail & The Covid-19 Crisis, for more valuable insights and action points to guide you through safeguarding your business during these challenging times

About the Author

Aqilah Zailan
Aqilah Zailan
Before her current fashion content writer role at Omnilytics, Aqilah Zailan was already decoding trends in the retail space. She now produces articles for Omnilytics’ blog and continues to keep a keen eye on shifting trends in the fashion industry.