Digital Retailing: Making Sure Your Brand is Represented Online

We’ve written before about how manufacturers need to take control in store. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, taking control at retail may be more difficult — or even impossible due to internal regulations.

That said, many retailers have begun offering increased e-commerce services to keep up with demand.

According to Canadian Grocer, Instacart, which offers delivery for Loblaw, Walmart, and Costco in Canada, reported that demand was up 300% year-over-year and in the second week of April it had grown its active shoppers from 200,000 to 350,000.

The Globe and Mail reported that PC Express business has more than doubled in recent weeks.

The increase in e-commerce is predicted to last for the long-term, too.

The same Canadian Grocer article reported that in 2019, a survey from Dalhousie University found that merely 4% of Canadians were considering buying food online. However, as of April 8, 22% are thinking of buying food online regularly, even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Even if you can’t take control physically in store, you can still do so online. Read on for how to make this happen…

1. Verify Product Information on Retailer Sites

Retailers’ websites act as the online storefront — and just as you would make certain that your product prices and descriptions are accurate in-store, it is equally important to do the same online.

In-store, customers can see and touch your physical product or ask a clerk for help. Online, however, all they have to base their decision is what is shown to them. However, this offers opportunities.

  • Ensure all pricing is corrected and descriptions are compelling.
  • Provide high-quality images and/or videos, if appropriate and the site allows.
  • Share customer testimonials, if possible.
  • If the retailer site allows for more multimedia, you could also go even further by providing recipes for food manufacturers, images of your products in a home (such as with online hardware — like wallpaper and paint colours), and more added value content.

2. Manage Supply and Inventory for Online Orders

With omnichannel selling on the rise, many retailers are becoming micro-fulfillment centres — and if their inventory systems are not set up for it, there could be issues.

Canadian Grocer recently reported on the persistent problem of out-of-stocks, and how part of it has to do with the rise of e-commerce.

“Many retailers have very old systems and the way they built [omnichannel] is to have two systems somewhat combined on the back end, but not really integrated on the front,” Prakash Tilwani, executive vice-president of supply chain and media solutions at IRI Worldwide, told Canadian Grocer.

“What ends up happening is the e-commerce system doesn’t have a clear view into the inventory and they just don’t understand how much supply they have to create demand.”

Shoppers, too, don’t have an accurate picture of how much inventory is in stock when they are placing their order — and might not receive their order in full.

This also makes it harder to manage inventory levels because inventory is being used for multiple purposes — in-store stock, online orders, and home delivery — and retail staff have more to do — and potentially less time to fill shelves or update systems.

By keeping a close eye and open communication with retailers, suppliers can help manage out-of-stock issues and prevent missed or delayed orders.

3. Share Any Promotions/News with Retailers

Brands managing their promotions, launching new products, hosting events, and more should share the news on their own social media — and share it with partners, such as retailers.

Even during a pandemic, such as COVID-19, many brands gave back to their communities. Good news, added value content (such as recipes), high-quality images and videos, and more can be shared by your retailer partners.

With good communications, brands can also promote retailer promotions, in-store events, online specials, and more, creating an aligned experience for the customer.

Even if you can’t physically be in the store right now, brands can still take control of their online presence — both during the COVID-19 pandemic and after.

Storesupport Canada can help elevate your brand online and in-store. Contact us today for more about our digital retailing solutions. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit

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