Much like gravity and the other fundamental forces, there are some laws of nature brands have to follow to build a successful wholesale channel. More than just best practices, these are fundamental to supporting success with specialty retailers each season.
Fundamental #1. Buyer Self-Serve
A comprehensive buyer self-service strategy looks like this: buyers can merchandise orders for best fit pre-books, get educated on the latest brand or product story, find and download marketing assets, and have easy access to replenishment needs anytime.
In a recent survey we conducted, we heard loud and clear that buyers prefer brands with a B2B destination because it gives them constant access to act on their needs. It’s that simple.
Brands should consider how they can elevate the way they think and support their retailers to the same level of care they give to their consumer channel.
Fundamental #2. Content & Commerce
Brand needs to put content and commerce side by side. Buyers should be able to learn, buy, and be supported at sell thru - all in one place. We know from talking to buyers that they are more successful with the brands they are well educated on. When brands provide their vision and educational opportunities all season long, it means buyers will be ordering products they believe in, understand, and will promote to their customers.
Specialty retailers work with many brands each season. Brands should be obsessed with creating a simple and exciting seasonal journey for their buyers. It’s time to shift from an approach in providing a team with order capture software, to providing a destination that supports the wholesale channel.
Fundamental #3. Enablement Focused Reps
The best reps assist retailers all season long, on every step of their seasonal pre-book journey, and at sell-thru. Reps need to be out in the field supporting retailers with education, marketing content, product assortment suggestions, and order recommendations.
It’s fantastic to see that retailers want to be supported by reps to build a collaborative successful season. No retailer in our survey said they want a rep that just captures orders. Rather, we heard loud and clear that brands with reps that work hard to support retailers are the brands that the retailer works harder to have success with in their store.
Activate the Fundamentals
There is an awesome network of specialty retailers out there that can ignite a brand. By successfully supporting these retailers, brands will raise their value exponentially. However, this channel can’t be serviced with a one size fits all approach. What makes each of these retailers a great partner is that they are setup to uniquely support their local market. Brands that understand this fact and build it into their strategy to support their retailers will have the most success.
Brands need to enable retailers to react to their needs as they have them, support them with all of their seasonal demands in one location, and move their reps into an enablement mindset that shows their brands heart.
Brands, I encourage you to listen to your retailers needs. Collaborate with your retailers on your next go to market. Start by thinking through the fundamentals, they hold the keys to the future of adapting and modernizing your wholesale channel.
We launched #thefundamentals from our conference room with a quick little video from myself, check it out.