The advent of eCommerce is blurring the lines between selling your own product online versus selling through a third-party retailer. The upside is that it is easier than ever to sell directly to your customers. The downside is that it is also easy to step on the toes of retailers you have a business relationship with.

How can you compete with other brands online without also competing with your own business partners?

Attack Competitors Directly

The brand that you are competing against is probably not spending as much on Google ad traffic as your retailers are. With that in mind, making Google your sole online ad placement is a bad idea because you compete with yourself more than with other brands. It is important to find better places to spend ad dollars where you will be able to compete directly with other brands.

Redirecting Search Traffic to Retailers

One way to get around this dilemma is to target your search and social ads to drive traffic to your product on a retailer’s site rather than your own eCommerce site. Now you can still compete with other brands for ad spots without hurting the retailers that drive the majority of your product sales. Plus, many retailers track that traffic, making you a more valuable partner—versus being a competing online site.

Focus on Retailer Advertising

Another great way to team up with retailers is to spend your ad dollars in the retail world. Placing an ad directly on a retailer’s site puts you in competition only with other brands, and not with the retailer. Plus, you get another advantage of going where the consumers are. After all, research shows that about 2 out of 3 shoppers go straight to a retail site like Amazon or Walmart to start a product search, rather than a site like Google.

When you take the attention off driving traffic to your site, and place it on driving traffic toward your product, you cease to compete with the retailers who help mass-sell your product. Now you are placing the focus of your marketing back where it should be—beating out competing brands for a sale.