You’ve probably heard of cross-selling and up-selling. You’ve most likely been hearing buzzwords like omni-channel retail and multi-channel marketing, without any real and concrete way of accomplishing these vague strategies. That’s where Cross-Store Selling is different.
What is Cross-Store Selling?
Cross-Store Selling is a collaborative marketing strategy where DTC brands partner to sell or supply their products without a traditional wholesaling relationship. The cross-store sales platform syncs the inventory management, sales transactions, and fulfillment between stores in real-time so that brands can sell more together without inventory risk or commitments.
If you have experience with selling on other channels like Facebook or Amazon, then imagine if that success was multiplied exponentially on stores across the interwebs.
Leverage a partner’s traffic, storefront, products, and audience to sell more!
When two brands partner together, this collaborative marketing strategy allows the brand to leverage a partner’s traffic, storefront, and overlapping audience to sell more products. There is the supplier who provides the products, and the retail who sells the products on their site. Both brands share the profits and first-party customer data from these sales. While the supplier is responsible for fulfilling the order of the products sold, the retailer is responsible for the marketing and promotion of these products. Partnering brands can create unique co-branded products, and co-market their partnership to maximize their results.
Cross-store selling enables brands to directly sell their products on other storefronts. Cross-store brand partners are complementary brands and like-minded sellers who can retail your products among their other products and collections in order to drive mutual sales.
Out With The Old, In With The New
In many ways, cross-store selling is similar to old-fashioned drop-shipping or wholesaling, but is better in a few key ways. When something sold through drop-shipping, you simply fulfilled the order for that brand and the brand paid you a cut. With wholesaling, you’d pass off inventory of your products to the retailer and didn’t have any control over the future sales and results.
With cross-store selling, your brand can use each sale as a growth opportunity for your store. Working with similar brands exposes you to a new audience, expands your leads that feed into your marketing channels, and you have your first touchpoint with each new customer. Cross-store selling offers you valuable opportunities that you won’t get with drop-shipping, wholesaling, or affiliate marketing.
The Benefits of Cross-Store Selling
Cross-store selling is all about capitalizing on the opportunity of each sale and potential buyer, whether it’s on your store or someone else’s. Every time one of your products sells on any web store, you have the ability to turn that new customer into a loyal member of your fan base.
You may have talked in the past with executives at your company about drop-shipping and wholesaling and opted not to take that step for a myriad of reasons. However, cross-store selling is the next generation of these antiquated ideas and provide you with growth opportunities that you may not have thought of.
1. Increase sales with no additional marketing costs
When you sell through your own site, you have marketing costs associated with driving traffic to your site. You may have paid social ads, email marketing costs, or search ads billed every month. These expenses come out of the profit from each product sold.
However, when you sell through a cross-store sales channel, your partner store covers the cost of selling these products. They pay the costs associated with getting potential customers to their site, whether that’s through social advertising or other methods. The partner store spends typically 20% or more of their total profits on marketing costs in order to make each sale.
Without spending an additional dime on advertising, you’re able to sell more products with a cross-store sales channel. With this method, you can also get the most out of your retargeting, while letting your partner stores generate more new customers to fill the top of your sales funnel. This also lowers your overall cost per acquisition.
2. Leverage other brands and their customers to sell your products
Audience building can be one of the most difficult tasks for any business to accomplish. The need to constantly be generating new leads and potential customers can exhaust resources and prevent brands from succeeding. Instead of constantly having to increase your efforts to build your audience, what if you were able to spend more time on research and development on new products? What if your partner brands helped you increase your leads so that you could scale your audience?
With cross-store selling, you can leverage other brand’s audiences to make sales. As in the previous step, these brands that are selling your products will work to market your products to their customers and will draw in leads to their site so that they can convert. When a purchase is made, you’ll receive the customer’s information so that you can ship their products to them. This is an opportunity for new audiences to experience your products and become loyal fans.
In addition to the sale made through this brand partner, there is also an opportunity to remarket to these new customers with retargeting ads, emails, and marketing materials. Drop a flyer into each package advertising a Facebook giveaway or letting them know how they can get rewards for posting about your products on Instagram. When they engage directly with your brand, you’re one step close to having repeat purchases from that customer, all without any acquisition costs incurred with your brand.
3. Expand your business with less risk
As a retailer, it can be expensive to test new categories and products, only to find that your customers aren’t interested. For many retailers, this risk prevents them from expanding, and their brands eventually stagnate. Don’t get stuck in a product rut! With Brand Partnerships, you can expand your catalog, test new products, and see what works for your audience!
In order to make data-driven purchasing decisions, you can start by partnering with brands who sell the products you’d like to carry. When you add them to your store, you can see what your audience gravitates toward naturally.
In addition to this experimentation, you can also become a one-stop shop for your category. Fill out your product offerings so that your customers have choices and can complete their entire buyer’s journey in one spot. You can become the best marketplace for your niche without any inventory commitments or upfront costs.
As a supplier, have you ever wondered if your products would succeed with a different demographic? It can be difficult to pivot your store to service new demographics when your existing customers are still your loyal, profit-producing, original demographic.
Instead of having to take a hard left turn away from your loyal customers, you can see if your products will succeed with another demographic on a different store. They can market your products according to their existing demographics, and you’ll get the data you’ll need to determine if there are new markets where your products will succeed.
Once you have a strong hold on that demographic through sales on other stores, you can capitalize on this new name recognition and begin marketing through your own store to reach this demographic on your own turf and replicate the success that you experience on your partner’s store.
4. Take the first step in omni-channel retail by offering your product where your customers are
Omni-channel marketing is customer-focused and is a strategy where you offer your product and brand wherever your customers already are. An omni-channel retail strategy involves uniting the sales and marketing of your products into a fully-integrated shopping experience by uniting the different user experiences across all your channels. For example, Target and Walmart recently started logging in-store purchases in their app, so that customers could use the app to manage receipts, returns, or customer inquiries. Shopping directly on Instagram is another example of omni-channel marketing because customers already on Instagram can continue their journey without having to navigate outside the platform they prefer.
Cross-store selling allows you to begin optimizing for omni-channel retail by making your products available on the stores where your customers already shop. Instead of navigating to multiple stores, customers can complete their entire purchase at the store they are already at, whether that’s your store or your partner’s store. You are positioning your products and brand throughout the entire buyer’s journey, instead of only reaching them through your own website.
5. Capitalize on multi-channel marketing with new lead opportunities
Treating cross-store selling as a lead generation tool is a great way to turn new customers into loyal customers. When a purchase is made on your partner’s store, it should be funneled into your marketing efforts the same way that purchases made directly from you are. That way, you’re capturing and remarketing to each new lead in the hopes of creating repeat purchases.
In many ways, this tactic allows you to make each partner store a part of your multi-channel marketing. You’ll build relationships with your audience through these partner stores that can be turned into future sales increasing the customer lifetime value.
6. Build name recognition and public awareness
Many wholesalers are well-known because of their branded packaging. While you may go to a big box store like Target or Walmart, you seek out the brands that you are familiar with and that you enjoy.
Selling on other storefronts can allow you to build the same type of name recognition that larger brands enjoy with retailers. You’ll create positive buzz around your products and your brand so that the next time they need to make a purchase, they’ll think of you. They may go back to that retailer looking for your products, or they may seek out a direct-to-consumer experience from your site.
There is already a streamlined, automated solution to cross-store selling — Carro’s Brand Partnerships.
With Carro’s Brand Partnerships, you can sell your products on other top-performing Shopify stores and then fulfill the orders directly when a sale is made on one of these partner stores.
With each partner, they’ll be able to choose the products they like and add them to their store in just a few clicks. Your product description and images are automatically imported so that they have all the information they need to start selling.
When a product sells on a partner’s store, you’ll receive a wholesale order within Shopify automatically and can fulfill it according to your normal processes. No hassle, no additional paperwork, just a streamlined order fulfillment process!
Automatically sync your products to your partners’ stores
You decide your revenue splits with your partner
Fulfill orders through your normal processes
Generate new leads without any additional marketing costs
Effortlessly expand your product catalog
Test new categories
No inventory costs
No risk to stock new products
Supplier fulfills the order, so you don’t have to!
Setting Up and Optimizing Your Cross-Store Sales Channel
Setting up your cross-store sales channel is easiest with Carro’s Brand Partnerships. You’ll be listed in our Directory so that other brands can find your products and add them to their store.
To set up Brand Partnerships, you’ll need to install Carro and complete supplier onboarding. From there, you can wait for retailers to reach out to you and show interest in carrying your products, or you can implement strategies to grow your sales channel proactively.
Strategy #1: Reach Out to Like-Minded Brands
Reaching out to like-minded brands who can benefit from your products is the quickest way to start generating sales from your partnerships. Find brands that are already selling within your category or niche, but who are lacking in your specific products.
For example, Thousand Helmets found out that there was a readily available market for helmets with bike shops. These bicycle manufacturers did bikes best, so they were thrilled to offer helmets to their customers from a reputable supplier. Therefore, Thousand Helmets reached out to bike manufacturers that they found through the Directory and were able to start supplying them right away. They’re now selling Thousand Helmets on several bicycle websites successfully.
Strategy #2: Convert Your Wholesale & Drop-Shipping Stores into Cross-Store Sales Opportunities
Already doing wholesale or drop-shipping? Wholesale sites are an added expense to maintain and drop-shipping can involve clunky integrations that are full of inefficiencies.
Instead, Carro’s Brand Partnerships can help you accomplish the same sales on your retailer’s sites, with less paperwork and administration required. Sending an email asking if they’d like to participate in Carro’s Brand Partnerships can be a quick way to bring all your retailers under one system together.
Strategy #3: Create Co-Branding and Co-Marketing with Your Retail Partners
The best way to capitalize on the name recognition of your partners is to co-brand and co-market with your partners. If you have a retail partner that is excelling at moving your merchandise and has proven to be successful, then you should reach out to see if you can take your relationship to the next level.
You could create a gift bundle that includes both brands’ products, or you could manufacture a product exclusively for your partner. Either way, you can benefit from the public awareness surrounding both brands by letting your collaboration take center stage.
For example, Vanity Planet partnered with Glow Recipe to create a holiday gift bundle that was a smashing success. Instead of focusing on the beauty masks and facial steamer within the bundle, they focused on the brands because they knew that their customers would recognize the quality and value of these brands. More on gift bundles below!
Co-marketing can help you share audiences so that both brands benefit too. Instead of thinking of your retailers as just storefronts, you should start to think strategically about how you can both grow together through ads, email marketing, and other promotions that support each brands’ efforts.
Using Your Cross-Store Sales Channel to Grow Your Store
While the strategies above were focused primarily on your role as a supplier, retailers can also use Carro’s Brand Partnerships strategically to grow their audiences and drives sales to their site.
Brand Partnerships allows you to add products to your store, but positioning these products within your store’s infrastructure can help you gain additional benefits. Here’s a few ways to maximize the impact of your added products.
Strategy #1: Cross-Selling
We’ve found that cross-selling is the best way to increase your average order value and promote the products from partners on your site. Cross-selling using an app like BOLD can allow you to recommend related products whenever an action is taken on your site.
For example, when a customer adds a bicycle to their cart on State Bicycle’s site, they get a recommendation for helmets. These helmets are added from Thousand Helmets and have proven to be a popular item, since customers typically need a helmet to go with their new bike.
Strategy #2: Creating Gift Bundles and Sets
Gift bundles and sets have a two-fold benefit for your site. First, they are providing an all-in-one solution for your customers, and secondly, they can help you sell your own products with your partners’ products.
You can use an app to assemble your gift bundles and keep track of the skus involved with each one. Then you can offer customers a mix of your products and your partner’s products.
Vanity Planet successfully created a gift bundle for the holiday season that included their facial steamer and two products from Glow Recipe. This all-in-one spa day gift bundle was really appealing to their customers as a holiday gift and it not only drove revenue for Vanity Planet through partners products, but they were also able to move more than $20,000 in facial steamers by pairing them with other products.
Strategy #3: Expand Your Product Catalog and Test New Categories
Have you been toying with the idea of reaching new demographics or expanding into new categories? Try it out without the risk through Carro’s Brand Partnerships. You can test the appeal of products by adding them from a partner and see if your existing audiences likes these products.
Without having to purchase any inventory, you can start expanding your catalog and testing new products to see what works for your brand. You’ll then have the data you need to impact your inventory purchasing decisions. This valuable sales data is a lot more reliable than trend analyses because it presents the products directly to your audience to see how they’ll react. You can start to build your retailing strategy once you see what works for your audience.
Getting Started with Cross-Store Selling
Cross-store selling is relatively new in the ecosystem of ecommerce. Trying it out as an early adopter could give you the advantage as more stores begin to adopt this strategy. The future of ecommerce is firmly rooted in brands cooperating with each other and sharing audiences in order to drive sales and traffic.
Ecommerce trends are leaning toward marketplaces, omni-channel retail, and diversified sales channels, so Carro’s Brand Partnerships could be the game-changing tool that you need to start growing your brand and providing your customers with the products they want.