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Do you have the right partners?

A lot can be said about picking the right partners in business, it is one of the most important decisions you can make.

As no one person can know everything, it's very important to work with like-minded people and companies. I could focus on the passion and industry experience that Citrus-Lime share with our customers, but today I would like to focus on the relationship between retailer and supplier (brands, distributors and manufacturers).

Picking the right brands to work with can increase profit of the business. They

They have spent time, money and effort building the brand so it can command a higher margin and thus be desirable for both retailer and consumers alike. However, picking the right brands is becoming ever more difficult, there are more challenges to overcome and things to consider.

Retail is changing and the way brands are managed is also changing.

"I think we all know that retail is changing and we all need to change with it in order to stay relevant and valuable to our customers. The changes are being driven by consumer demand and the likes of Amazon and other big retailers have changed the landscape."

Grant Hadwin   |   Head of Sales & Marketing

The customer expectation is now that they can have their stuff delivered to them at their convenience. This may mean 1 hour delivery, or picking it up from the store just minutes after ordering it.

These services exist, so how do we as independent retailers compete? Well number 1 is that we need to make our own retail outlet cater to the convenience of all potential customers, offering in-store purchases, ecommerce orders with flexible delivery options, and Click & Collect.

What are suppliers/brands doing?

We are seeing a general move towards a B2C model, which unfortunately does not support the independent model. What we need to be seeing is brands creating Click & Collect websites and pushing orders to their dealers, thus creating a sustainable business model for both brands and retailers, giving the consumer the shopping experience they want and now expect.

I do not want to go into the technicalities of how this all works, but fair to say that Citrus-Lime is one of the only retail system providers that can facilitate this whole scenario. We can build the Click & Collect ecommerce sites for the Brands / Suppliers, or we can just do the 'plumbing' and push retailer stock positions up to suppliers so they can display what is in stock at each retailer as ready to Click & Collect right now.

We see this as the future of brand retail, supporting the dealer network and driving not only brand value but improving consumer experience: winning all round.

So, pick your partners wisely and make sure you are open to all methods of acquiring new sales.

Related to this article ...

Grant H, Jul 2018. How do you rate an Ecommerce site as successful?

Grant H, June 2018. The Importance of Click & Collect.

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