FiberCreme Online Webstore – The Importance of Direct Distribution
This article is a continuation of A Day With Irvan Permana: An Insider’s Guide to Omni-Channel Marketing, published on April 17th, 2020.
The extensive chat between Irvan Permana of Pathfinders and myself on a Tuesday afternoon was still going strong, without any signs of it abating.
Trying to answer my questions on the ins-and-outs and the general complexities of omni-channel marketing, Irvan had already painted a picture of the importance of having integrated and inter-working channels in the ever-increasingly sophisticated and modern world of marketing, we were ready to get deeper.
So Irvan, we’ve discussed how important omni-channel marketing is in getting a brand to fire on all cylinders. Can you give me a real-life example of it in action, so to speak?
A recent and perfect example of this would be our work with FiberCreme. First, let me give the background details.
FiberCreme is in essence a creamer that offers a health-conscious alternative for the consumer’s daily dose of taste and nutrients. It offers high-fibre, low-glucose and lactose-free dairy-free creamer. This product is developed by P.T. Lautan Natural Krimindo and is an ever-increasing vital player in the sugar-replacement industry.
To cut a long story short, Pathfinders are working closely with them to fully develop their already-existing channels of marketing.
So they use multi-channel marketing and not necessarily integrated omni-channel marketing, correct?
Well that was the way in the beginning anyway.
Don’t forget that this term ‘omni-channel’ marketing isn’t that old. Fairly recent actually. It really took off over the last few years, particularly as a result of the ever increasing sophistication and universal application of digital marketing.
One great example of this, which is basically central to the story of FiberCreme, is the use and maximisation of direct online distribution.
You mean web-stores?
Yes, but it’s not actually just about the web-stores on their own as many companies serve this option to customers anyway. And have done for a number of years.
The difference lies in how that web-store is integrated with all the other marketing channels served by the brand. And that includes everything: digital marketing, offline activities & activation, CRM, diversity marketing, etc.
It’s about how direct online distribution is maximised to its fullest potential through its connections with all other marketing tools.
And that’s where it ties in with omni-channel marketing?
Very much so.
When FiberCreme approached us, the initial talks were about how their web-store can be improved. But they were far-sighted enough to see the importance of omni-channel marketing as as and ends to a mean. It’s all very well to make your e-commerce channel state-of-the-art without fully realising its potential.
So let’s talk about this in further detail.
E-commerce on its own is extremely important, and brands sometimes forget this. Many brands would just place their product in a marketplace site (Lazada, Tokopedia, etc.). But what they tend to forget is that competition on these common marketplaces is fierce. You’re vying for attention with potentially thousands of other brands. And one has to pay for the privilege of being on it.
Yet building a fully integrated web-store has its challenges. The warehouse and POS system all need to be connected seamlessly for that wholesome customer experience. In other words: it needs a ‘one-identification of the back end’. The warehouse and POS system needs to be connected in order for both the online store and physical outlets to have a real-time inventory of stock.
In that way, its customers who will feel the benefits.
And that’s what Pathfinders did with FiberCreme?
Indeed, we built a dedicated and fully integrated E-Commerce web-store for FiberCreme.
However, it’s important to remember that it’s a process. We at Pathfinders were lucky enough that explaining the concept to the brand wasn’t as challenging as it could have been.
We pointed out one salient fact: the web-store should be its own-standing channel. All activities the brand does can and must be connected to the online store. Because in essence, an online store is your own dedicated brand page that has a call to action button. All your brand persona is there. The journey can be customised to your specifications. Be it through gimmicks or whatnot.
So how central is an e-commerce store in omni-channel marketing? Can one apply omni-channel marketing without having an online store?
Well it’s very vital.
I predict that dedicated e-commerce stores for brands will become a ‘hygiene’ factor in the next few years. By that I mean that it will be a factor that brands wouldn’t be able to live without. So in these times, social media is a hygiene factor.
And before long, so will personal online stores.
And that, in essence, is what Pathfinders does. We focus on everthing:
Yes it helps for traffic, but they’re not necessarily looking for your brand. From developing a brand from scratch —which we call offline— as well as online e-commerce and everything in between. Our services are complete and wholesome.