A channel partner helps a business to drive sales, typically through a co-branding relationship. It’s vital to engage with them at all levels and build a healthy working relationship, but before that can happen, you first need to choose your partner carefully. As Business2Community states: ‘The right channel partners have the market knowledge, distribution channels, sales expertise and customer relationships to successfully sell your products and/or services.’
We’ll look at the different types of channel partnerships that exist in the world of e-commerce and how working with them can drive your business forward.
Choose the right type of channel partner
Broadly speaking, channel partners fall under three main categories and it’s important to choose the right one for your specific business needs:
Resellers specialise in selling products developed by other companies, purchasing them at a discounted rate and then selling them to customers for a higher cost, while keeping the difference.
Value-Added Resellers add features or services to your products, which they then sell to customers in a bundled offering. This practice occurs commonly in the electronics or IT industry.
Affiliates use their own websites to market your products and services. These affiliates are given a percentage of revenue from each sale they generate. A good example of an affiliate is Groupon, a lifestyle platform that exposes business-to-business partners to a huge audience base, promising better discoverability, increased profit and repeat custom.
Within the three categories of channel partners above, there are more specific partners, such as consultants, distributors, co-retailers, systems integrators and vendors.
The benefits of working with a channel partner
Channel partnerships have seen their role grow significantly in recent years. Today’s channel partners provide great flexibility, high responsiveness and excellent business strategy so you can achieve good levels of success.
There are many key benefits that the modern channel partner offers:
- Increased sales
This is the most obvious advantage, as your partner(s) invest time, energy and capital into pushing your products and services for you. Furthermore, you could view it as a way of outsourcing sales and avoiding the costs involved in developing your own internal staff.
- Increased exposure
Channel partners not only boost your sales but increase brand awareness too while strengthening your market penetration. Ultimately, spreading your brand around channel partners gets your business out there in front of consumers.
- Industry expertise
Your partners will most likely have spent a long time building their online marketing knowledge in their respective industries. They will be able to provide valuable feedback on how you can tailor your solutions to the needs and wants of the market.
- Access to international markets
Global channel partners provide a vital gateway to international audiences on the lookout for new brands to experience.
Working with channel partners can take your brand to the next level but it’s essential, like any other partnership, to put the work into nurturing a productive, long-term business relationship.
Make sure you are open with your information, strategies and key updates. As Accenture found in a recent study: ‘Companies that help their channel partners share customer data and generate leads are 63% more likely to exceed their revenue goals through channel partner networks.’ Always remember that a channel partner works with your brand, not for it.
If you want an ideal partner for all your e-commerce logistics, mailing, distribution, warehousing and fulfilment needs, then contact Sprint Logistics. We aim to be the best provider of smart supply chain solutions to clients locally, nationally and internationally – taking care of the hard work for you so you can focus on growing your business.