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Why Retail Disruption is Strengthening the Brand-Retailer Bond

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Megan KesslerChief of Integrated Marketing & Strategy

An Interview with NuORDER’s SVP Marketing, Danny Essner

As brands and retailers prepare for the hottest shopping season of the year, PAN sat down with Danny Essner, SVP of Marketing for NuORDER to discuss the evolving retail landscape and how legacy wholesale buying models are changing to accommodate shifting behaviors of omnichannel shoppers.

How does NuORDER help brands and retailers to stay competitive as they embrace omnichannel commerce?

NuORDER provides retail buyers a central place to browse brands’ catalogs and products, access up-to-the-minute sales and inventory data, and place orders from their computers or our mobile app. Today, we power B2B eCommerce sites for more than 900 brands and 400,000 retail buyers, fostering an online community where brands and retailers can find one another and do business in-the-moment. Whether selling designer jeans, sneakers or beauty products, brands can tap into NuORDER’s rich feature suite to help them get in front of retailers and transact anytime, anywhere.

Want more on integrated marketing for B2B tech brands? Read, ‘Defining Your B2B Tech Integrated Communications Strategy’.

What are some of the more prominent challenges your customers are grappling with amid retail transformation?

The evolving retail landscape has put new pressures on the traditional wholesale model, impacting both brands and the retailers they sell through. Most prominent among brand challenges is competition from retailers who are creating their own white-labeled brands. Similarly, retailers feel threatened by brands’ increased focus on direct-to-consumer sales. But, while one would assume this is driving a wedge between them, the opposite is happening. Brands and retailers are getting creative in the ways they work together to evolve their offerings for consumers, driving deeper partnerships and greater collaboration that is ultimately strengthening their relationship.

What are some of the strategies brands are using to stay competitive?

Brands understand they need to adapt to compete in this quickly-changing retail environment. As such, they’re focused on cultivating a portfolio of specialty retailers, working to sell wider and deeper into existing accounts, and supporting retailers with more incentives, tools and data. Our research shows that nearly one-third of brands are focusing on retailers who employ new business models – subscriptions, personal shopping, and daily deals – as their top priority this year. Subscription services, including Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, provide brands a great way to generate awareness among consumers while offering a fresh approach to eCommerce.

With all the news of store closures and reduced retail footprints, are brands walking away from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers?

Absolutely not. While brands are diversifying their distribution channels, they are not giving up on big box and department stores. Despite the reduction in square footage, these retailers are still hugely important to brands. Our research found that over one-third of brands are focused on maximizing merchandizing efforts within remaining retail footprints, while only one-fifth are focused on expanding their dealings with internet retailers or growing their own B2C sales channels. If anything, brands are focused on building deeper relationships with their retail partners, with over half offering incentive discounts, performance rewards and other benefits to help drive sell-through.

What are some of the more surprising trends you’ve seen amongst brands and retailers this year?

Despite all that’s happening in retail, brands are not shying away from their retail partners. In fact, brands are highly optimistic about the positive impacts of retail transformation, with 83 percent agreeing that eCommerce provides “endless opportunities” to get their products in front of customers. The brand-retailer relationship is evolving, however, requiring deeper collaboration between the two. For example, brands are pivoting their manufacturing priorities to better accommodate in-season orders, with 26 percent citing that they are now primarily focused in this area versus their legacy focus on pre-season orders. To that end, brands who leverage B2B eCommerce to drive more real-time collaboration with retailers are reaping the benefits, with nearly one-third reporting that their average order values are up by 40 percent or more.

To learn more about how brands are partnering with retailers to drive retail transformation, check out NuORDER’s latest eBook, The State of Wholesale.

An image of PAN's Brand Experience Report on the Potentials and pitfalls of AI for marketers

In our annual Brand Experience Report, we asked marketers and customers how they are using and experiencing AI to better understand how the technology is changing that relationship.