Establishing strong partnerships and meaningful professional relationships are vital if you want to have a thriving online business.
Your relationship with suppliers helps you get reliable deliveries and better rates. Having good ties with your logistics partner is essential to overcoming fulfilment challenges. Another potentially beneficial partnership you might consider is one with resellers.
Authorized resellers can help you increase your:
- customer base
- and customer retention.
Using resellers can be a smart way for growing businesses to expand product availability, with minimal investment and minimal risk.
To understand if that is the best tactic for your business, let’s look at what authorized resellers are and a few common ways companies use them to scale and succeed.
What is an authorized reseller?
An authorized reseller is an entity that has secured the legal rights to resell products or services, from the manufacturer or provider.
This means they are recognized by the brand and are verified by the manufacturer or brand. Goods sold by these resellers also come with the manufacturer’s warranty and similar guarantees. Authorized resellers can be:
- or legal entities.
There are different types of resellers in e-commerce, including affiliate marketers, drop shipping businesses, and consignment or thrift stores.
Affiliate marketers and drop shippers may rely on your business for fulfilling orders, whereas consignment stores generally take care of the process.
Authorized resellers are generally approved by e-commerce brands because they add value to your sales chain.
For example, they may help you reach new markets, create better customer experiences, or collect important feedback.
Think of them as part of your strategy to grow your business. Utilize the feedback they collect for future product development and don’t underestimate their importance for your sales.
Resellers in Business
The ultimate goal of your business is to drive profitable, sustainable growth. Resellers can help you pursue the expansion by helping you with a few important objectives, such as:
- expanding your reach to new customers
- minimizing your costs to serve your customers
- providing a unique, personalized experience to differentiate your brand
- making it easy to assess new products, channels, or strategies.
Brands adopt different approaches to achieve these goals. You might explore methods for reducing fulfilment costs, improving the customer experience, minimizing acquisition costs, or increasing customer retention, among other methods.
Most e-commerce brands leverage a variety of strategies to increase profitability across the board, and resellers are often an easy option to add and boost the success of such efforts.
How smart businesses leverage resellers
You might consider working with resellers to increase outreach, drive sales, or cut your own fulfilment costs down.
Smart businesses work with authorized resellers to grow their brands and improve their offering. Here are four ways you can benefit from working with a legitimate reseller.
1. Grow sales and pursue new audiences
The main reason to consider authorized resellers is that they know their customers well, which means they have an easier time securing sales. If you pick authorized resellers strategically, you can even break into new markets or attract audiences that your brand was struggling to reach.
Authorized resellers could add value to the retail chain and help drive sales. Many affiliate marketers create informational sources and buying guides to help customers purchase products relevant to their needs.
There are more different types of resellers, allowing your products to fit into more places. Some may target cost-conscious customers with a limited selection of your SKUs while others may have a business geared toward a specific hobby, offering a different set of products.
For example, local retailers with a physical store might help you capture a beach vacation audience with a variety of backgrounds, while online travel-focused brands help you capture audiences that want remote beaches, private resorts, and all-inclusive travel where local shops may be unavailable.
2. Increase speed and scalability
Working with resellers increases your operational speed in key domains. You open the gates to faster fulfillment times, quicker outreach, and greater expansion.
Creating a network of authorized resellers means you have active partners distributed across strategic locations. This means customers can buy your products from their nearest reseller, decreasing fulfilment times and improving their experience.
Resellers also help you scale by increasing awareness of your products through their stores and marketing, such as social campaigns. That discovery of the products you make comes without a significant cost investment, allowing you to grow even if current budgets are tight.
This can be especially useful if you’re focused on other aspects of operations, such as tightly controlling the manufacturing of your products, or if you’re a niche brand that’s beginning to grow in certain markets. As your partners grow, so do your sales, but still with significant cost savings.
Moreover, working closely with your reseller network helps promote new products and collect customer feedback quicker. You’ll have a network of independent entities collecting information, as opposed to managing the brunt of it yourself.
3. Save money to pursue different objectives
Smaller profit margins are a significant reason why e-commerce brands think twice before working with authorized resellers. But the trade-off can be worth it if you’re actively looking at new areas of expansion or trying to think of a new opportunity.
Consider exploring innovative strategies like Maverick Trading to optimize profit margins while navigating the challenges associated with authorized reselling.
That’s because authorized resellers can help you address expenses in some typically costly domains, including:
- Marketing and advertising. They shoulder the customer acquisition costs for the sales they bring in, so you make immediate savings here.
- Customer service. Resellers have their own customer service and support teams to manage complaints, saving you time and resources.
- Fulfilment costs. Although some resellers (like drop shippers) might rely on you for the fulfilment, many authorized resellers manage the process themselves, or partner with a 3PL.
So, although you’re not making as much off the sale directly, you’re also saving significantly on operational expenses. Forfeiting customer acquisition costs alone are reason enough to consider authorized resellers.
Your best bet, typically, is to target your reseller relationships. See if they can replace channels you currently manage but don’t have the bandwidth to study effectively.
For example, partnering with a variety of influencers that have followings on TikTok and Instagram can help you tackle social selling, while you pursue other operations. You might then focus on Amazon sales and build those up high enough to eventually hire a social media manager who can support influencers and further expand these channels.
Smart utilization enables your business to grow or adapt as necessary with minimal risk of losing a customer base on any given channel.
4. Retain customers for longer
Resellers are always chasing what’s new and what’s next. So, working with e-commerce-authorized resellers gives you multiple chances to reach out to the same audience.
Between your marketing and their efforts, you’ve got more opportunities to be where your target demographic and best audiences are, no matter how quickly those locations change or where economic forces push them.
Resellers can do a few important duties on your behalf, such as:
- collect valuable customer feedback to improve your products
- create strong relationships with customers, increasing customer loyalty and thus retention for their brand and yours
- have great customer service and provide customer support with your products.
By working closely with authorized resellers, you can also gain meaningful insights into customer sentiments and improve your offering.
Resellers may also add value in novel ways to improve your customer’s experience. For example, it’s not uncommon for resellers to provide customers with memorable unboxing experiences or loyalty benefits to increase retention.
What should you look for in a reseller partner?
If you’re considering partnering with a reseller, it’s crucial to make sure they’re trustworthy and can add value to your brand. Here are some important considerations to account for:
1. Business model
Some reselling partners may rely on your services more than others. For example, drop shipping brands don’t manage their own inventory or fulfilment, so they may depend on your distribution network to fulfil orders.
With that said, you’re well within your rights to ask your reseller partners for help. For example, an EDI 856, a notice that tells the receiving party about the contents inside a shipment, simplifies retail communication instantly. Dropshippers who want to establish life-long relationships with their suppliers should try to make their lives easier, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you need.
So, when you’re choosing reseller partners, it’s important to outline whether offering such services is feasible for your business. Otherwise, you’ll need to find partners that can manage their own logistics and inventory.
Does your prospective reseller have a strong relationship with an audience you’re struggling to reach?
If so, you might benefit from partnering with them. A good example of a mutually beneficial circumstance is partnering with a consignment/thrift brand. These brands may reach customers that your business can’t.
Alternatively, if the potential business partner is marketing to your existing audience, then you might risk hurting your own direct sales.
Authorized resellers represent your brand, so they need to carry your values and vision forward. When evaluating a potential partner, vet them as thoroughly as possible and look out for any red flags. You may also want to assess their business practices and ask yourself questions like:
- Are they adding value?
- Do they have a strong relationship with their customers?
- Is customer experience important to them?
Choosing an authorized reseller is an important decision, so consider them guilty until proven innocent. Give them the green light only if you’re certain that you can trust them.
The last word
Some businesses are hesitant to work with authorized resellers because they’re rightfully concerned about working with third parties. But if you’re careful about greenlighting partners, your business can benefit greatly by working with authorized resellers.
If you pick trustworthy resellers that add value to the sales chain, you can collaborate with them to increase reach and sales, reduce acquisition and operational expenses, and grow your brand.
Staying ahead in the competitive e-commerce landscape is challenging but working with good resellers can help you grow and reach new heights.