For many small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), attracting new retail partners is a continuous goal. Numerous strategies exist to gain new relationships, but one of the best ways to garner attention from a retailer is by equipping your business with a retail merchandising software solution. Using a mobile platform for field operations will attract retailers for these three reasons:
1. Eases Purchase Orders:
Since one of the main responsibilities of field reps is to place purchase orders, prospective retailers want to know your business has an efficient system to do so. Ordering too much product can cause stocking problems for the retailer, and insufficient product will shrink sales. When competing for retail space, it is important to pitch how you will perform purchase orders with greater efficiency.
By leveraging a mobile solution like retail merchandising software, field teams can digitally place orders via their phones or tablets. This allows the rep to fill out and send purchase orders while they are standing in the retail store. To ensure a higher level of accuracy, reps can be required by the back-office to capture an e-signature before sending the order. This gives retailers confidence in the speed and correctness of orders, while also offering them some amount of control over the process. Being able to offer a simplified version of one of the most common retailer-rep interactions will give you a big advantage when meeting with prospective retailers.
2. Keeps Merchandising Honest:
When product is not properly merchandised, OOS (out-of-stock) instances and Product Voids can happen. In a many cases, vendors and retailers share the responsibility of properly merchandising product. That means that retailers want a system of accountability to ensure that their vendors are performing the duties outlined in the partnership agreement. Without tangible evidence of merchandising activities, it can be difficult to identify the source of a problem and can result in tension between the retailer and vendor.
With a retail merchandising software solution, accountability is easy to track. As an example, many retail merchandising software tools are enabled with a geo-tagged photo feature. This allows reps to report to the back office about where and when they performed merchandising activities. That way, stocking issues can be dealt with more professionally and efficiently. Offering prospective retailers the peace of mind that comes with employee accountability can be a major advantage for any SMB.
3. Provides Data for Negotiations:
When retailers are considering teaming up with a vendor, they want to know they’re making an intelligent choice. In many industries, such as consumer packaged goods (CPG), high competition means that retailers have an almost endless choice of vendors. Young and growing SMBs need to be prepared to prove their brand and company will be a better choice than the next. One unique way to do this is by presenting compelling data to prospective retailers.
When field reps are enabled with a retail merchandising software tool, they can collect a host of important data. By using customizable forms, back-office managers can create a template for information like current retail partner satisfaction. Additionally, many retail merchandising software solutions provide managers and field reps with client information. With a prospective retailer, comparing their store with your current nearby locations, or stores that sell similar products, you can draw reasonable conclusions about your success at the new location.
Scoring a new retail partnership can be easier when businesses are creative with their resources. Aside from an attractive product with thoughtful design, retailers want to know how efficient and professional your business will be. With a retail merchandising software solution, you can offer a retailer streamlined operations, focused reps, and the track record to prove it.
Erin P. Friar
Erin Friar is a Content Marketing Journalist Intern at Repsly, Inc. and is completing a Journalism degree at Suffolk University. She is a master of grammar and is passionate about creating fresh content to help foster efficiency and overall success in small businesses.