Introducing Digital River’s Channel Partner Solution – smartChannel

By: Mike French

Resellers and distributors are an integral part of a merchant’s go-to-market strategy, but finding an efficient way to manage the order lifecycle across these relationships can be nearly impossible. Utilizing separate and out-of-sync ERP, CRM, e-commerce and in-house systems is often burdensome for your staff and causes frustration among your resellers, distributors and end customers. These cobbled-together solutions often provide you only limited visibility into channel performance and little transparency for your partners.

If your business is facing similar challenges, you are not alone. Many of our customers come to us seeking simpler ways to manage their global channel partner relationships – which is exactly why we introduced smartChannelSM, an online channel partner e-commerce solution. It’s designed to help you automate the most resource-intensive aspects of your channel program, strengthen channel relationships, drive sales and increase end-customer satisfaction.

So what does smartChannel do?
At a tactical level, when your customer purchases from your online store, it automatically credits the correct partner for the order, calculates commissions, and pays the partners for their sales and subscription renewals. Your resellers and distributors can monitor their performance in real-time through an integrated partner self-service portal, and your channel team can spend less time tracking orders and handling inquiries, and more time optimizing programs and supporting channel sales. It’s easy, it’s automated, and removes partners’ concerns about channel conflict.

Using smartChannel, you can provide partners with branded, localized promotions they can use online or in email campaigns to drive buyers to your store. Coupled with Digital River’s Channel Lead Management ‘Where to Buy’ solution, smartChannel can send traffic you generate to your partners’ stores.

At a strategic level, smartChannel is about growing your online sales by launching a direct-to-buyer strategy that engages your partners – instead of competing against them. We are seeing more and more merchants with existing reseller channels making B2B a top commerce growth priority. As this trend continues, we believe the most successful companies will create a seamless online buying experience that leverages the reach and capabilities of their reseller channel from buyer engagement to purchase, delivery and support.

In short, smartChannel can help you:

  • Directly integrate your channel sales into your existing online commerce capability;
  • Easily configure and manage complex channel programs;
  • Deploy an integrated partner self-service portal, or use plug-ins for your existing portals;
  • Customize dashboards for specific groups (e.g. channel team, finance, marketing, executives);
  • Create customized commission rules;
  • Commission on lifetime value and subscription renewals;
  • Deploy in any language and pay in any currency; and
  • Leverage real-time program and product eligibility and entitlement validation.

For additional information on the new smartChannel solution, please visit the smartChannel web page.

Could smartChannel help your business? What are the most complicated parts of your channel partner management? Please share your thoughts in the comments field below.

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