As the whole world shifts online (even more than before) wholesaling has been turned upside down. Long gone are the trade shows and face to face contact so how is it possible for retailers to get in front of stockists at the moment?
I recently spoke with Sophie from Sophie Home and Stand Twelve - A new online trade show marketplace for wholesale about why it’s important to start building relationships on these types of platforms but to remember still outreach to new stockists in the old fashioned way.
My main point today is that any third-party marketplace platform or online trade shows are a complement to your efforts already and they don’t replace your outreach. They should not take away from your sales efforts and you need to still stay proactive with your sales. They should be seen as an additional way to reach buyers and try not to put all of your eggs in one basket.
For example, for your retail sales, you might sell on Etsy, then you sell on your own website, you might do a market (online or in-person) and you might even be on NOTHS. Similarly, for your wholesale you might be on these platforms, you might do trade shows when they are back up and running and you might also sell directly to retailers, people you have built up great relationships with.
Keeping up with the times
As all trade shows for 2020 have been cancelled and many moved online you may be curious as to how you can get in front of buyers and I understand this might feel like a daunting process if you are used to meeting regular customers at trade shows or if you were excited about your first trade show and had high hopes for it but don’t panic!
Have you ever thought about joining an online wholesale platform? You may have come across a few during your journey but haven’t needed them or didn’t understand them but as previously mentioned you should be utilising them as an additional way to make sales and reach buyers that you can’t reach face to face right now.
Sophie first came up with the idea of StandTwelve back in January 2020 (Pre Covid!) as she felt as though there was a gap in the market to make retailers' and buyers' lives easier by bringing them together on one marketplace.
After months of hard work and dedication alongside running Sophie Home and looking after two young boys, she launched Stand Twelve, and ironically her first sign-ups were Sophie Home stockists that have been supportive of her since the start. Things came into fruition as soon as Covid hit and she realised that retailers and buyers needed the platform more than ever with shops being shut all over the country.
The platform works on a commission basis and the buyers sign up for free so they really have nothing to lose! You manage your own storefront and you are basically becoming part of a big online community - take a look for yourself and see what you think.
Outreach is still key
Although online marketplaces can save a lot of time and are easy to set up/use these platforms shouldn’t replace your usual outreach. Why don’t you take some time this week to create a stockist hitlist? Write down 10-20 ideal stockists and then spend time reaching out - what have you got to lose?
Wholesale can really help to keep the business ticking over so it's definitely a long game, and you have to make yourself visible including outreach. If you send another email to the buyer who never replies, why does it matter? If they aren’t interested, they aren’t interested but you are trying your best and another stockist will love your products!
When trade shows are back up and running this outreach will also be crucial as excited buyers are more than likely to walk past your stand and recognise your name already so it’s never too early to be prepared for the day they open again.
Whilst we still can’t go to trade fairs or think about the next one, take some time out to look at the online options alongside your normal outreach and see if it makes a difference. You have the ability to sell your brand from your sofa instead of a freezing cold (and expensive) trade fair so take the opportunity and seize the day.
I’ve even made the work easy for you and I’ve created a handy 3rd party marketplace guide with Catherine from Resilient retail for you to download for free here - https://view.flodesk.com/pages/5fb79b9a7f165b7bc9615f03. Enjoy!
As a small business you already have the products and the knowledge of your brand but could you be doing more to grow? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a helping hand, somebody to help streamline your processes and save you time in the long run? My expertise as a mentor is in helping businesses like yours gain the confidence to sell, be more profitable, feel comfortable with your pricing strategy and be the business owner you dreamed of when you started your journey!
By working with me you will learn how to be more profitable and be a proud business owner at the same time!
Let’s have a chat today, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you personally.
Eager to know more? Have a read of my ebook with a 15% discount when you sign up to my newsletter alongside hints and tips on how to grow your business - https://view.flodesk.com/pages/5df908bbf68c9d00263c9c21