6 Steps to Make a Retail Partnership Work
Retail partnerships can greatly boost profits and propel business growth. For this reason, many brands collaborate with other businesses who they believe can help them reach their goals faster.
But before you reap the advantages of entering a retail partnership, you must understand the things you need to do to make the relationship work.
1) Know your partner
Before signing a deal, research your potential business partner first. Know how they operate, look into their performance over the past years, and study their target market.
Make sure everything jives with your business and branding to make the collaboration successful. As a retailer, you should look for simple but intuitive programs mutually beneficial to all parties involved.
In 2015, Starbucks partnered with Spotify to create a digital ecosystem mutually beneficial to both companies and their respective customers. The coffee company is known for its curated in-store music which highlights a diverse mix of musical genres from different geographies. It seemed obvious for them to partner up with a company that provides an immersive mobile music experience.
2) Capitalize on strengths
Each retailer has its problems to solve. Partnering with another retailer shouldn’t compound the present issues but instead, bring aboard solutions that will increase the chances of success for both companies.
Consider the strategy Walmart took in improving its home delivery service.
With more consumers preferring the convenience of having their groceries delivered at home, many retailers are facing the challenge of finding a reliable logistics provider. The retail behemoth Walmart is no exception, which is why they’ve partnered with several companies offering delivery services.
Walmart has expanded its operation with the addition of Point Pickup, Skipcart, AxleHire, and Roadie to provide better delivery in branches spread across 4 states. Point Pickup, AxleHire, and Roadie offer same-day delivery services while Skipcart uses crowdsourced labor to bring grocery items straight to the customer’s doorstep within an hour.
Walmart’s strength is its wide selection of goods while their delivery partners specialize in mobility and quick service. By combining their capabilities, they’re able to improve overall customer service and achieve their goals toward further business growth.
3) Know their customers
You may have a good grasp of who your customers are and the areas where you can play your strengths best. Partnering with another retailer requires you to study more about the other company and its customers.
Understanding the needs and preferences of their customers gives you leverage in creating better marketing strategies. There should be a common denominator on what both audiences look for to make the partnership effective and worthwhile.
4) Define your roles
Overlapping roles not only creates confusion between partners but also wastes the time and effort of both parties; missing a task because a partner thought it’s the responsibility of the other is just as debilitating to the business.
Before starting a partnership, make sure every responsibility is detailed on the contract. Put everything into writing and ensure that both parties agree to it. Any changes moving forward should be brought upfront to avoid conflicts on how things should be done.
Defining roles help identify boundaries in responsibilities. A team effort needs the participation of each member and they’re to be held accountable for the success of the tasks assigned to them. If any of the partners make a mistake, it’s best to quickly admit the error so both of parties can immediately find solutions and move on.
When you enter our True Partnership program, you don’t have to worry about marketing our products displayed in your store. You can leave the arrangement of the product display and the online advertisement to the assigned marketing team. All you need is to provide us space where our products can be placed and the security to ensure the items remain safe and sound.
Of course, you can still help in promoting the products to further boost sales. We’ll both profit from the sale, so it’s best if we both work on enticing customers to make the purchase.
5) Maintain communication
Maintaining communication is a seemingly obvious piece of advice and yet many entrepreneurs fail to recognize its importance. People avoid asking questions or clarifying decisions for fear appearing dumb or naïve to their retail partners. The result is almost always a catastrophe that hurts both businesses.
When running a business, making decisions based on assumptions and ambiguous information can lead to unsound results. The risk is doubled when you are in a partnership since both of your businesses are on the line. It’s always better to communicate with your retail partner, especially on decisions that can affect both parties.
Create a line of communication where you can easily get a hold of each other. If this is not possible, set a regular schedule for a touch base meeting so you can both track the progress of the collaboration. Regular communication also allows quick problem resolution before they escalate and affect sales, or worse, brand perception.
Emailing is the most convenient method to communicate concerns. However, its tone and intention can be easily misinterpreted. Phone calls would be better but face-to-face communication is still the best method for discussing issues.
When in doubt, check in with your retail partner before taking any action. This will eliminate uncertainties which may negatively affect the partnership.
6) Respect your differences
Partnering with another business means more than just signing a contract. It involves accepting their values and style. You’ll most likely have differences in opinions and strategies, so you should be prepared to respect them and address any issues that may arise.
If you think you wouldn’t be able to respect your retail partner’s business style, it’s better to just reject the partnership offer altogether. It’s toxic and unproductive to team up with a retailer that differs too much from the business culture you uphold.
The success of any business partnership lies in the ability of both parties to forge a meaningful and lasting relationship. It requires significant effort and sincere desire from both parties to get closer to their shared goals. If done right, retail partnerships can bring in more traffic to stores, a wider customer reach, and increased profits.
Trueform True Partnership
Trueform offers partnership programs that will boost foot traffic in your store. Providing us space, where we can display our handpicked products, is enough to attract the attention of potential customers.
Our marketing team will be responsible for customizing ads and signages to fit in your store. We’ll also refresh the displayed items from time to time to make sure we’re showing only the hottest and in-demand products.
In addition to these, we’ll also provide a POS system from Square so you won’t have to make drastic adjustments to any existing application you’re using. The Square POS system allows you to track sales and inventory items with ease, saving you from the trouble of making a separate record for managing our products.
You’ll also get access to our True Analytics platform which gives you a report on sales performance. This will allow you to adjust strategies accordingly and maximize the advantages of our partnership.
As part of our True Partnership program, we’ll put an interactive device in front of each merchandise. These devices are installed with our Trueform app which provides a self-guided experience to customers. Videos, images, and other digital content will be featured on the devices to serve as the primary point of contact for customers who want to know more about the products on display.
There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain from our True Partnership program. If you’re interested in boosting your store traffic, just send us a message on our website.