Lately I’ve been thinking about how to help our retail and brand partners succeed in an omnichannel world.

What’s omnichannel? It’s how the consumer shops — and expects to shop — in today’s always connected world.

For example …

  • Yesterday, I saw a nice scarf in a store window. I was in a rush, so I bought it — online — from my phone, on a train I ran to catch —

    — but not before adding a $12 pair of socks to my order, to qualify for free shipping. 

    (And if I don’t like it, I’ll return it to the store!)

  • On November 11, also known as “singles day” in China – Alibaba sold $2 billion in the first HOUR. That’s billion with a “B”!


  • Checking sales of our own direct-to-consumer Olympia Glove brand last month, I saw that our online sales have tripled in less than a year. 

Today’s consumer shops the way they want, when they want, where they want. 

This means visiting the mall … or avoiding the hassle of parking and expense of gas, and shopping on a tablet while watching The Voice, or on a mobile device from a train.

It’s an omnichannel world …with lots of new challenges for retailers and brands. Are you ready for this? Here’s how your suppliers can HELP.

Glove Company TIps: 4 Ways Your Suppliers Can Help You Win at OmniChannel

With this online tailwind, every brand and retailer should see increased ecommerce sales this season. 

But without proper planning, there can be missed opportunities going forward.

Here are 4 ways to up your game, and how your supply chain can help you take advantage of ecommerce and omnichannel growth.

1. The Right Product, When and Where The Consumer Wants It.



Stores no longer need to be close to consumers. The world is literally your market, not just within your traditional geographical area.


To draw consumers to your website and make the online sale, you’ll want a broad product assortment,  free (or nearly free) shipping, and quick fulfillment and delivery. 


HOW YOUR SUPPLIER CAN HELP: Work with your supplier to make sure product assortment, margins, inventory, and speed to market are in synch with this new model. 



2. Your Consumer Wants More Product Information, Too



E commerce allows for a much better opportunity to explain the benefits of the product. Today’s connected consumer is interested in the details, and they definitely do online research. 



The more product information you can offer, the better.  An example: we get traffic to our gloves ecommerce site daily from category discussions in online forums. Yesterday, a consumer on our Facebook page asked about glove construction and cold weather testing. 


HOW YOUR SUPPLIER CAN HELP:  Make it easy for your customer to learn about and compare products, and to share this product information with others. Add content that explains the product benefits —  Video, text, and images.


From hangtags to educate the consumer at point of purchase to online content, your suppliers can provide detailed product information to satisfy the customer’s need for information.

3. Your Consumer is Checking Product Reviews



Today, no buying decision is complete without checking online reviews. When they are good, it’s the best advertising of all. 



HOW YOUR SUPPLIER CAN HELP:  Work with your supplier to make sure that your product line is well-differentiated, and product performance and quality is second to none.


Enable reviews on your product pages, and offer incentives and reminders to get your customers to leave helpful reviews for others.

And if you’re not getting 5-Star reviews, have a conversation with your supplier ASAP about needed product improvements.

4. Your Product Assortment is No Longer Limited by Space — but speed is of the essence.



Unlike a bricks and mortar world, where we only have so much space, there are no real estate limits online. But you consumer wants and expects fast deliveries.



HOW YOUR SUPPLIER CAN HELP:  Talk to your suppliers about how to support a broader assortment … and consider how adding drop shipping to your partnership can work.  


Look for creative ways to fulfill online demand and ship faster.

Today, product can be shipped from manufacturer to consumer without ever taking inventory ownership. Fast delivery, happy consumers, and retail inventory carrying cost? Zero!

How Else to Drive Omnichannel Performance?  You’ve Got This!

There are probably other ideas we could add to this list —

Let’s start a conversation about collaborative strategies we can all use to increase category revenue, profits, and market share in an omnichannel world.

Are there other ways your supply chain partners can help you respond to the opportunities presented by omnichannel retailing, and ecommerce growth?  

Please leave a comment below —  we’d like to crowdsource many more tips — let’s hear from you!


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