If your company is a major consumer products manufacturer, do you sell your goods through just one retail channel? Unlikely! Your products are out there in various brick-and-mortar stores, on your own Web site, and quite possibly via online marketplaces. You sell your products where your customers want to shop, right?
That’s exactly our philosophy at SAP Digital. Where SAP once sold its products through direct sales, then augmented our teams with a robust partner ecosystem, later added online channels, and in 2015, launched SAPStore.com – now we’ve taken the next step with Amazon.
Yes, you read that correctly. As of this writing, SAP Digital offers three product families on Amazon: SAP Crystal Reports, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira, and SAP SQL Anywhere, with more to come.
Surprised? What about SAP Store? Well, SAP Store is our primary online channel for trying and buying SAP and third-party offerings. But we are expanding our horizons. In truth, Amazon is a well-known e-commerce channel with 183 million unique visitors every month. Shoppers are familiar with the process and buy all kinds of things with confidence.
If you look at it that way, it’s a no-brainer. Plus, selling on other online marketplaces opens up additional opportunities for our customers and for SAP. They may have a customer base in a region that we want to target, for instance, or the infrastructure to offer an alternate type of payment that we wouldn’t create. Here are a couple of good examples.
It turns out that there’s a huge demand in India for SAP BusinessObjects Lumira. In fact, India is one of our largest markets for this popular data visualization software, second only to the U.S. In India, people often prefer to pay cash or use a debit card rather than a credit card for their purchases. Another marketplace might offer a cash-on-delivery option or accept bank checks or other innovative modes of payment to suit local users.
Meanwhile, SAP Digital is also using Amazon to test the market potential of new offerings, like SAP BusinessObjects Lumira, server version for teams, which is now available in more than 200 countries and territories via multiple Amazon storefronts. It’s a complementary product to the standard edition that enables users to share insights with team members and manage viewing rights. Because Amazon is purpose-built to make it very easy to onboard a new product, we can use the site to gauge demand without a large investment, and properly prioritize the resources we devote to SAP Store.
Any good marketer knows that its primary mission is to help people solve a problem, and that’s what we aim to do at SAP Digital. Whether they are shopping on another site or one of our own properties, we want to offer them personalized recommendations and make it easy to buy and realize immediate value.
And our strategy doesn’t stop here. In the future, SAP Digital plans to broaden our reach to other online marketplaces where we can target small and midsize enterprises that need our cloud-based offerings, such as SAP Digital CRM.
After all, why not go where our customers are? Please comment below to let me know what you think.