Content & Commerce. Sounds like a simple concept at first, right? Put two things together, done. But it’s one of the fundamentals of building a strong wholesale channel, so let’s unpack it to see what value it holds for your brand.
To start with, we need to understand what it is. Put simply, content & commerce is exactly the act of putting two things together: order capture tools alongside educational, marketing, and other digital assets.
Okay, that’s simple enough. But why would a brand want to do that?
The idea is to support your buyers through their seasonal journey, all in one easy spot. No rifling through print materials, or searching through emails, or logging into a separate digital storage space.
One location for everything. Retailers can easily find everything they need and now have a simple, powerful workflow from education, to selection, to ordering.
A good content & commerce system will mirror your brand’s relationship with your retailers, multiplying your efforts and supporting the retailers your brand relies on. You aren’t trying to replace real interactions, or the need for reps (because enabled reps are also one of the fundamentals!).
But why would you need a Content & Commerce strategy? The simple answer is: You need it because your retailers need it
Retailers are busy. 66% of your specialty retailers carry more than 20 brands. 97% of them use more than 5 B2B portals every day. Your brands need to be delivering an efficient system that supports your retailer’s success, that they want to use.
Expecting retailers to search around and hop between printed catalogs, emails, spreadsheets, PDFs, and a website is not a winning strategy. In fact, it’s the opposite of one. 90% of buyers we surveyed said they would drop a brand if these valuable tools were not provided.
Additionally, a retailer that understands and believes in your products will be more effective in selling them in-store. Teach them about your product, and give them a chance to fall in love with. In a recent survey, every buyer we talked to said they sell more of the products they are educated on.
So how do you harness the power of a Content & Commerce strategy?
1. Move to a digital first strategy. Going digital first means a couple things for you brand. It’s a huge effort saver, reducing time and cost. Also, it means you can rapidly and easily communicate with your buyers because your assets are simple to update and distribute. Bonus points: printing less is better for the environment.
2. Line your content up with the buyer journey. The marketing and content you put out should be built around the timeline of the season. During preseason, educate the buyer on the upcoming product line. During sell-in, empower your retailer to build the smartest order possible. Finally, during sell-thru, build up product knowledge and create experts at retail.
In the end Content & Commerce is about building stronger relationships with your retailers. The more they understand your products and the more they feel supported by your brand, the more passion they will bring to their showroom.
Content & Commerce is about giving retailers what they need to succeed, because your success is mutual.