This is an excerpt from our free Brand College download, “Best Practices For In-season Retail Support And Replenishment”. You can download the entire guide for even more information here.
Retailers know their shops. They’re also incredibly busy. Your goal as a brand is to make it easier for them to sell your products. Giving your retailers the best tools to get those products on the shelf, along with access to education about your brand, means better sell-through.
Here are a few of the essential ways you can support your retailers so they can knock it out of the park all season long.
One of the most repeated comments in the Envoy B2B Specialty Retailer Research is that buyers need visibility into a brands’ inventory. More importantly – they need visibility into accurate inventory levels.
The fact that retailers are asking for accurate inventory levels means they currently don’t have access to that information. Giving your retailers up-to-date, real-time inventory, to support their ordering, is an immediate way to stand out and a simple way to drive more sales.
Break Down Barriers to Re-orders
At larger stores, buyers may be able to keep good tabs on what is running low so they can take action and do a quick reorder. That’s one of their main priorities. However, at a smaller shop, where the owners are running the business AND buying the goods, it can be hard to track what needs to be purchased.
Ease of getting products is key. If retailers can’t get what they want from your brand, there’s definitely something else on the market they can get.
These specialty shops might not realize right away that one of their best moving products is almost out of stock, which means they need to take action fairly quickly. Having a quick and easy way to reorder, through a 24/7 digital experience, without needing to involve and wait on a busy rep, is essential.
Boost Foot Traffic And Collab Marketing
A good brand that supports their retailers should be doing what they can to help get customers in the door. It doesn’t mean cold calling local consumers and putting up signs directing them to the store. What it means is not competing with them for that foot traffic and sales.
DON’T put a lower price up on your website or at a big box retailer that pulls the consumer away from the store
DO give that retailer some great marketing collaboration options, or help them merchandise the product to make it really standout to the consumer.
One of the biggest frustrations retailers face is when brands aggressively compete with their stores. Offering better prices online, or free shipping, jeopardizes the success of your retail partners, and forces them to move away from carrying your brand in favor of others who help bolster their success instead of undermining it.
Support Your Reps
Contrary to some of the narratives over the past few years, sales reps play a critical role in the specialty retail world. And especially now, as hybrid models become more and more prominent, reps are a critical interface point for your retailers, and they need strong tools and support to succeed. But they are also the human face of your brand – shaking hands and building real relationships with your retailers. Your reps deliver the human touch that makes retailers love your brand.
While making occasional drop-ins, or even a phone call to see what the store needs is a welcome effort. Retailers are really looking for a dedicated rep that understands their business, communicates frequently, and schedules regular in-store visits. 80% of retailers need their reps’ assistance in learning about a brand’s products in order to better sell them.
Reps are uniquely positioned to offer valuable insights based on their knowledge of the store, and access to analytics and insights inside your B2B. Staying close to each store and helping them track trends allows the rep to offer a change of course if needed, or brainstorm ideas on how to get that product out the door.
In short, retailers buy from brands that provide actively engaged sales reps working for the success of the store.
Did you know that 66% of your specialty retailers carry more than 20+ brands? And 97% of them use more than 5 B2B platforms daily? They’re busy. They’ll gravitate to brands that make it easy and support their success. Download our free guide on how to offer the best in-season support, and become one of those brands that retailers want to work with.