If you cast your mind to a time before digital, the ultimate aim for any FMCG product was to appear on supermarket shelves...
In the past, we may have come across a little harsh on the wholesale marketplace, but the kicker is, they are critical to our success. Wholesale’s mass reach plays out well for our best-selling products. They can lift, stack, shift and repeat, and it has cemented a place with our household brands.
We simply need to supply the wholesale business with our best sellers, and they will do the rest for us – which is no bad thing. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to work for most of the new products heading to the market and even those being produced by the most prominent brands don’t have automatic confirmation they’ll be listed or sold.
Instead, we need to find a way of nurturing our relationship with the wholesale model and getting the most out of them, not just skimming off our best sellers.
Across every marketplace such as Food & Bev, Electronics and Tool Manufacturing, we can use our direct relationship with stockists to launch new products faster and cheaper. By going straight to them, we can get immediate feedback from different audiences and avoid relying on the wholesale model.
Some manufacturers go as far as having premium stockists, where they get new products first. By shifting this relationship and therefore, the online behaviour, we can use the data to see who is ordering more product and extending their usual basket spend.
Ultimately, it’s always about the numbers you’re already delivering, or the amounts you’re willing to pay for the wholesaler to list you. By engaging your target audience, you can build these numbers up successfully knowing you have backing from those who believe in your brand.
Going digital allows you to bolster your metrics more than ever before. From page views, product views, popularity, sales growth and more, your digital footprint gives you significantly more data to work with. These figures can strengthen your decision to keep growing directly – or leverage the wholesale partnership.
Now, we’re not saying ditch the wholesalers entirely, just leave them with your top 20%, they’ll get you results. However, the other 80% of your goods is filled with brands in their infancy, new products or slow-moving stock, and it’s these which will be moved through a direct relationship with your stockist.
By taking advantage of both relationships, you’ll find value in abundance.