Seventy-three percent of consumers use multiple channels during their shopping journey. To maximize visibility, it makes sense for your brand to be represented on many of them, including online retail channels.

As your retail network grows, keeping a consistent strategy and brand presentation can only be achieved through healthy and productive relationships with your retailers. Otherwise, you’re running the risk of presenting an inconsistent image and confusing your shoppers.

Building and nurturing meaningful and productive relationships with your retailers has many upsides. Here are a few benefits of having a strong relationship with your retailers: 

  1. Smother restocking and stable stock availability: If you are in a better relationship with your retailers, you’ll have an easier time triggering new orders if they like you and your products. Thus, you’ll sell more.
  2. Free digital activation and stronger online presence: As your brand products generate good revenue for your retailers, a fruitful relationship can help you get some free promotion through their marketing channels (e.g., homepage presence, newsletter mentions).
  3. Potentially prolong your products’ lifecycle: All products have a limited lifetime, but relentless price aggression can sometimes make it even shorter. With a good relationship with your buyers, your brand could avoid the risk of intrabrand price wars and keep products profitable longer.

So what can you do to ensure you are nurturing strong and healthy relationships with your retailers? Focus on actions that will benefit both of you and can ease their workload. Here are some strategic tactics that we often share with our brand clients: 

  1. Respond quickly to out-of-stocks: When your high-demand SKUs are out of stock on retailers’ pages, try to notify them and facilitate reorders. This saves them time and drives business for both of you.
  2. Synchronize promotions and improve engagement with your buyers: When you plan brand-level promotions, watch closely which vendors have registered and which have not. Those who did not may be in need of a little relationship nurturing.
  3. Stay on top of overpriced products (especially when the product is reaching its end of life): If some of your retailers are still offering older products at the maximum price, you could recommend a new discounted price to help them phase out their remaining stock. This can help avoid any frustration the retailer may feel about being stuck with leftover inventory.
  4. Help retailers with a benchmark of their performance: Comparing your retailers’ performance indicators such as availability rate or share of search can prove valuable to your business partners. It helps ground your relationship on data and facts.
  5. Actively track unauthorized sellers and detect distribution leakages early: Grey market products can pose a threat of unfair competition to your retailers. Regularly monitor the market to detect suspicious activity and take firm action if necessary. Your retailers will thank you for evenly enforcing your distribution policy.
  6. Create a where to buy experience on your website: Endorse your retailers by sending high-quality, purchase-ready traffic from your brand’s website. Driving traffic to their sites is one of your retailers’ top challenges; they’ll thank you for the help.
  7. Feature your retailers in your brand’s marketing strategy: Directly incorporate retailers as part of your direct-marketing demand generation strategy. This can help you transform the sales funnel for your retailers, creating a win-win scenario.
  8. Co-fund ads to drive traffic to your retailers: You could co-fund and host advertising campaigns for the benefit of your retailers. You are in the best position to help your retailers provide a great brand experience for consumers.
  9. Reward your retailers: Rewards don’t necessarily have to involve sacrificing your margin. For example, as a brand or manufacturer, you can prioritize referral traffic from a where to buy module or social campaign to retailers who best represent your brand, in terms of shopping experience and product page content. 

Maintaining good relationships with retailers involves good strategies. These actionable tactics have proven to be effective. Watch this webinar to see these tactics in action at major client brands from ChannelAdvisor. 

Since 2001, ChannelAdvisor has been the industry’s most trusted e-commerce solution, from effectively monitoring your brand’s online distribution channels with Brand Analytics to keeping interested consumers on their path to purchase with Shoppable Media, we are here to help elevate your brand’s e-commerce distribution. Reach out to ChannelAdvisor today.

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