According to McKinsey, 75% of Americans have changed their shopping behavior during the pandemic, with product shortages ushering in a willingness to try new brands. Retailers can capitalize on the moment by fostering relationships with new suppliers, sellers, and brands for their drop ship / marketplace programs, opening an endless aisle of inventory that offers consumers a wider variety of the products they need.
The vendors you approach stand to benefit from more sales and exposure on various retail channels, but it’s still important to offer an attractive program. Here are our top three tips for building a positive vendor community.
1. Easy Onboarding
When onboarding is easy, vendors are more likely to complete the onboarding process and go live faster, enabling both parties to quickly realize value. Having appropriate tools in place, including Learning Management Systems (LMS) and flexible integration options, can help simplify the onboarding process.
A good LMS will offer a guided, thorough walkthrough of each step of the onboarding process, with a clear outline, FAQs, and videos to aid in each step. Additional modules can help vendors learn how to use business-critical tools and make the best use of the platform going forward.
Offering a variety of integration options helps vendors select the method that works best for them. Each vendor team will have different internal strengths, so while some may have the capabilities to tackle EDI integrations or API, many may only be able to support a web-based portal. By electing to not impose a “one-size fits all” integration approach, you maximize the potential number of partners you can work with, while taking a vendor-first approach.
Another key part of that vendor first principle is being upfront about any program costs and requirements. Some drop ship platforms charge both the retailer and supplier trading partners. To maximize vendor opportunities, choose a provider that doesn’t pass on extra fees to your vendors. By doing so, you can build a program that’s risk-free and attractive to vendors—which equals limitless potential for your business.
Robust reporting capabilities for vendors also sweetens the deal. At a base level, both vendors and retailers should have the ability to monitor orders, shipments, and any issues or errors. Vendor scorecards take visibility to the next level, enabling both parties to monitor SLAs. When information is easily accessible, errors are more likely to be resolved, and relationships between vendors and retailers are stronger as a result.
It’s also business-critical to have up-to-date product information. Making it easy for vendors to upload product data encourages frequent updates, safeguarding against accidental sales of out-of-stock items and fostering better customer and business relationships.
62 percent of customers say they prefer to resolve issues with a company over the phone.-Zendesk.com
Good support is a critical piece of all B2B relationships, including those between retailers and vendors. Knowledgebases and FAQs are a good first line of defense, but 62 percent of customers say they prefer to resolve issues with a company over the phone (Zendesk.com).
Ideally, your drop ship/marketplace partner should offer multiple live support options for vendors— phone, live chat, and email—so they can use whichever mode of communication they prefer. By providing robust support, you give vendors the power to troubleshoot any issues and ensure orders are flowing seamlessly.
The One-Stop Shop
At Logicbroker, we built a business model that empowers our retailer customers to create a powerful and attractive vendor experience. With the ability to create B2B integrations via EDI, API, web portal, and more, vendors can easily connect with your site via the method that works best for them—without any additional contracts or program fees. With excellent customer support and insights into program performance, vendors can experience the tangible value of selling through your site.
Logicbroker is dedicated to helping retailers and brands grow a positive and productive vendor network through easy onboarding, comprehensive tools, and top-notch support. Ready to learn more? Chat with a member of our team today.