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Wholesale is an excellent way to reach out to a large consumer base and build a strong brand. Brands often find that they are able to sell products in bulk thereby benefiting from economies of scale. Presenting to buyers from retail chains and industry professionals provides early feedback on the merchandise assortment. Plus, brands are able to reach out to many customers at once without huge investments in retail locations or fit-outs.
The process of starting a B2B channel can be daunting, but it is well worth the effort and investment of time, capital and resources.
The first thing you should do when starting your wholesale business is to make sure that you are clear on the brand story and customer segmentation. Multi brand stores are a great way to reach new customers and tell your product story, but if you don't have a clear picture of who your brand is and what it's about then how will you be able to communicate that to the retailer and ultimately their customers? Refine your retailer selection based on their consumer profile and keep visual merchandise outcomes in mind while planning the assortment.
Secondly, you'll want to make sure that your product offering is well curated and cohesive. Retailers are looking for brands that have a strong point of view and can offer them something unique. For them, buying a collection that is on-trend and can sell at full-price within a season is crucial. Research the retailer's customer base, primary price points and genre of differentiation to define the offer, a select set of styles that suits their audience segment and would bring them more customers.
Another thing to keep in mind when starting your wholesale business is inventory. You want to make sure that you are not overstocked or under stocked on key items. A really good way to plan your forecast is to take pre-orders or advance orders for the upcoming season. This will help you to get a good idea of what items might generate additional demand and how much inventory you will need. Match that approach with a lean demand-supply cycle and a good warehouse management software for efficient working capital management.
You should also make sure that your pricing is in line with the market. If your discount on RRP is too low, retailers won't be interested, but if you give away a large chunk, then you may not be making enough profit. It's important to plan your retail pricing in a way that budgets for a profitable wholesale play. When launching a new product or introducing your brand in a new retail location, it is recommended to plan for investments into marketing and point of sale support.
Above all, it is important to be strategic in your choice of stockists and retailers. You want to make sure that you are selling in stores that also align with your brand's values and ethos. This will help ensure repeat purchases from loyal customers and create positive word of mouth marketing!
Finally, focus on building long term relationships and win-win partnerships with your retailers. By providing them with exclusive styles, marketing support and more, you will be able to create a fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship.
Though selling to retailers may seem like the logical next step for D2C brands, it's not always that simple.
Building a strong network requires extensive resources, capital and networks that smaller businesses can't afford or build in a short period of time. That's where Andisor helps - we're a B2B marketplace that helps fashion and lifestyle brands access a large network of buyers across multiple categories of products instantly, matches them to relevant retailers and showcases their product. Andisor is purpose-built for fashion, enabling various facets of your launch and growth strategy easily on one platform. We help brands harness the power of technology to drive growth and efficiency in their wholesale business, so they can focus on what they do best: making great products.
We hope that this gives you a good starting point to plan a winning B2B strategy! What strategies have you used to engage retailers? Let us know in the comments!
If you have any questions or want some advice, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com, or book free office hours with our leadership team!
This article was first published on the Vonto blog.