Online Retailers Becoming Online Agencies

For most big brands their largest distribution channel is still through retail stores (WalMart, Target, Best Buy, etc.). Once the brand sells their products to the retailer its up to the retailer to sell it through. The brands then go to work building buzz in the marketplace in hopes that they will drive people to the retailers that have their product stocked.

Retailers have their work cut out for them but one area that they can shine in is becoming an online agency for the brands products that they sell. Since ecommerce retailers already have the expertise of selling all of the merchandise they buy from brands, why not also work as the agency for those brands?

For example, let’s say that Orvis brand fly fishing equipment wants to promote their latest fly rod. They could go to a traditional agency but the agency will charge a markup on all the media they purchase. Or they could go to a retailer like Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops ecommerce team, who is already selling their fly rods on their site, and give them their budget in the form of co-op advertising dollars. 100% of the co-op dollars will go towards the media, no markups, and the retailer also has more skin in the game – the better the media budget is spent the more money they make.

Brands are used to do broad mass marketing but its becoming less effective and retailers are becoming experts and driving sales online. Combine the two and you can get closer to the opportunity in between mass marketing and direct response.

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