2021 presents a new challenge for brands.
How can they empower their reps to deliver that human experience and build strong relationships with their retailers, so that retailers can find ways to connect to their consumers in the same way? Brands that understand this challenge, and support their retailers in delivering that human touch, will be the strongest partners.
We surveyed over 6,500 retailers for our latest report, deliberately reaching out to the same group of retailers from our last report. The goal was to compare and contrast how the challenges of today’s market, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic changed their opinions. This data gives brands insight into how they can best support their retailers in today’s market climate and beyond.
What did we learn?
There are some big takeaways to be found in our report.
#1 - Retailers Are Flooded With Digital Tools
Without the ability to do business face-to-face, brands and retailers were forced to find new, digital methods of continuing to work together. This high demand for digital tools resulted in a secondary problem of overwhelming retailers with huge systems to work across in order to manage their stores.
#2 - Digital Trade Shows Didn’t Cut it
The current climate demands that we be separated from each other while we try and do business. This works on a smaller scale for brand-led digital sell-in events and seasonal launches. But for retailers, the idea of a large scale digital “trade show” was a bust. More than anything, retailers want face-to-face interactions with a supportive rep.
#3 - 2020 Wasn’t Actually A Disaster For Many
While there were certainly challenges to be surmounted, and it wasn’t roses all around, many stores found ways to thrive and even put up some record months. And looking forward to the year ahead, retailers are actively looking to grow their stores by adding new brands. So, it will be critical for brands to align themselves with retailer needs and place themselves where retailers are looking to find new opportunities.
The Human Connection
It’s clear that the human connection between brands and retailers matters. Retailers aren’t looking for brands to replace those face-to-face experiences with fully digital interactions. There are a number of tools that have risen up to allow brands to continue to do business and deliver sell-in experiences to their retailers. These tools have been a boon to the outdoor industry, but brands need to be careful not to rely on them at the expense of their retailer’s needs.
This is just a small piece of what retailers reported. Download the entire Envoy B2B 2021 Retailer’s Challenge Report for more data, analysis, and insights into how your brand can best support your retailers.
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