Third-Party Retail: The Value of Monitoring How Your Product Is Being Sold
Third party retail is increasing in relevance among organizations, but how effective are products being sold across locations?
For many brands, the majority of their income is based around the ability to sell their product within another organization’s brick-and-mortar store. This is an extremely competitive field, because the third-party brands that stock these products are not going to do your brand any favors in terms of the shelving, displays and sales of your product, because they simply want ship out as many different products as possible. If your brand is not selling, it will quickly be pushed out of the way for the next experiment, which could result as an impactful hit on your organization’s bottom line. Implement mystery shopping programs to monitor the way these third-party retailers are selling your product within their different store locations.
When entering into this partnership, it is important to understand how the third-party retailer plans on displaying your product. Ensuring that you get a prime position within their store layout can be the difference between hitting your sales goal or ending up operating at a loss. Ideally, you can establish specific parameters that the third-party agrees to, but to be confident that they are following the proposal, it is necessary to employ a measurement system. Make sure to include instructions so that evaluators within a mystery shopping program are taking pictures of your product, so you can get exact knowledge as to how your product is being shown to customers in-store.
The next aspect to focus a third-party retail measurement programs is employee knowledge. A lot of these organizations will stock so many different kinds of product that it is a common occurrence for sales floor employees to lack the ability to answer customer questions to complete a sale. This can hurt your organization because if customers are not supremely confident about a product, they will most likely move on to the next part of the store. To further inspire this level of purchasing confidence, figure out what customers value about the product you are selling in these stores and instruct evaluators to ask about these specific aspects to determine whether or not these third-party employees are positively or negatively influencing sales.
Beyond the physical display of your product and employee knowledge surrounding it, another aspect to measure in these third-party retail evaluations is product availability, both in-store and online. Customers will be perturbed if they go into a store specifically looking for your product and there is no longer anything available. This is especially true if that product is listed online. While this is a partially good scenario, because it means that you have sold out of all available products, it can also negatively impact individual interactions which can have a domino effect ultimately resulting in a trove of dissatisfied customers. Make sure that the mystery shoppers are asking about product availability during the evaluation, so you can be sure that the third-party retailer is not turning away any potential customers, which can tarnished your brand’s reputation.
Ultimately, selling your products to be sold within another organization’s store can be extremely positive for your brand’s bottom line. However, it is important that the third-party is displaying, selling and stocking your product correctly, otherwise it can have a negative net impact. Implement mystery shopping programs to evaluate the your product within these brick-and-mortar locations to guarantee that the partnership is fruitful for both parties.
Second To None empowers customer-centric brands to deliver consistent, intentional and authentic consumer experiences.
We adeptly design and manage mystery shopping, compliance, engagement and voice of customer solutions grounded in strategic relevance, program integrity and actionable insights. Our solutions are developed on the basis of solid research and statistical science. We achieve success through a relentless focus on quality and innovation, consultative relationships and a talented team of professional associates.