As we strive to build the best software possible, we relentlessly pursue a deeper understanding of what specialty retailers want from the brands they work with.  It’s a moving target, which means it’s important to keep having that conversation.

We all know that adapting is necessary, especially this year. Our industry has had to react and create new business models due to the market changes brought on by COVID-19, but it’s essential that brands work to protect the core needs of their retailers  

We surveyed 6,500 specialty retailers regarding their opinion of the importance of physical trade shows and what their recent experience has been with digital or virtual stand-in events.  

Here are some key takeaways from that research.

Entirely Digital Shows Did Not Leave Retailers Satisfied

The experience that retailers have at entirely digital shows leaves something to be desired.  They missed the ability to see and feel the product in person, and felt that too few of the brands participated.

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“Nothing is like a real show. Virtual does not let you see and touch and feel.”

See The Research.

Retailers Want Physical Contact With Your Products During The Buying Process

Retailers find it harder to make buying decisions without being able to physically interact with the product.  It’s difficult to get a feel for an item without being able to touch it and see it in person.

“I love to touch what a product feels like and how it hangs on a body and what the actual color is.”

See The Research.

Retailers Want Continued Participation By Brands At Trade Shows

Brands are currently driven to go virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s still critical that they show up.  And as we eventually shift back to a more in-person model again, retailer’s are going to want to see their brands face-to-face on the show floor.

See The Research.

Specialty Retailers Are All In On Physical Trade Shows

We aren’t there yet, but most retailers have stated that they look forward to the return of physical trade shows, and plan on attending to the same degree they did before the pandemic.

So while we’ve all had to adapt our strategies and come up with new best practices as we navigate a largely virtual world, it’s going to be key to not lose sight of what your retailer’s want in the future.  The solution to today’s challenges will create an opportunity to integrate new technologies into the sell-in process, but ultimately shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for the kind of relationships that can be built by attending in person trade shows.  And in the meantime, find ways to get your physical product in front of your buyer’s during sell-in.  It’ll make your brand stand out even more.

Want to know more?  Click here to download the complete research!

 

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