Businesses and brands have many options for getting their products to their customers. Some choose extensive dealer networks of brick-and-mortar shops, big-box retail, or purely online through e-commerce stores.
Your dealer network can play a significant role in the success of your business, making goal alignment and frequent communication between partners crucial to the success of your brand.
Many successful brands, such as Magnum Bikes, have created a strong dealer network using some of the tips and tricks we will outline in this article.
What is a dealer network?
A brand’s dealer network can be understood as a roster of partners and other stores that sell its products to consumers.
For example, a popular brand like Nike would have a large dealer network of suppliers besides their stores that sell the brand’s products, whereas a smaller brand might only have a few brick-and-mortar stores that sell the product.
Creating strong relationships and maintaining active communication with your dealer network is important to ensure your brand is appropriately represented and marketed.
Strategies for improving your dealer network
Here are 5 tips for strengthening your e-commerce brand’s dealer network that may help boost sales, increase brand consistency, and facilitate healthy communication amongst your network.
Maintain Active Communication:
You will likely need to send information to your dealer network for product adjustments, marketing materials, or other administrative and promotional tasks. What’s important is that communication is not a one-way street, but you are accessible to your network for questions or concerns they may want to discuss.
Here are some tips to improve communication:
- Attach contact information to any emails sent
- Add contact information to promotional materials shared
- Condense important information into easy-to-read bullet points
- Share videos and pictures when explaining or asking for complex requests
- Find effective channels for maintaining contact, i.e. emails, webinars, newsletters
- Try and make your messaging personal and customized to the dealer you’re engaging with
How you communicate with your dealer network may vary based on your brands’ needs and wants, but it remains important to be easily contactable and responsive when answering questions and engaging with your distributors and dealers.
When it comes to effective communication, it’s important not to overwhelm your dealers with too much information or content all at once– break it down into manageable pieces. For example, craft emails that are easy to read, not overly text-heavy, and concisely highlight important information.
Ask for feedback & apply it
Local and long-term dealers often become valued community members who know more about the company than the global brand. Your team can strengthen relationships, gain valuable insight, and tackle challenges your dealers might face by collecting input to identify pain points that need solving and enacting change.
Dealers represent your brand, and you should be on the same page regarding how that representation will look and if it properly reflects your values. Here are a few techniques for collecting feedback from your dealer network.
- Online surveys
- Input sessions
- Suggestion boards
- SMS surveys
- Phone call interviews
Collecting feedback tackles one piece of the puzzle– next is finding ways of initiating it and helping to solve some of the issues that might be present within your dealer network.
Provide education & training
Your dealer network should constantly improve and grow to meet customers’ demands and needs. We recommend creating useful guides and offering training opportunities for dealers to get up-to-date product information and further education on your brand.
Find ways to make the educational process interactive and engaging to keep dealers attentive and dedicated to the success of your brand and its products. Here are some methods you could choose to provide education:
- Educational webinars
- Online classes and instructional videos
- In-person training sessions
- Coaching calls
- Podcasts or YouTube videos
Building a 250+ Dealer Network: A Look Into The Success of Magnum Bikes
Magnum Bikes is an example of a brand that has created a strong dealer network, resulting in over 250 locations across the United States and internationally. Here are some tips we gathered from their success:
Prioritize Education & Experience
Magnum Bikes ensures its dealers, whether a local independent e-bike shop or a company-owned store, have access to the information they need to understand their products.
Ensuring support is available
Magnum Bikes makes it simple and easy to contact one of its highly trained remotely or from one of its many store locations, allowing dealers to come to them with questions or concerns and receive assistance in real-time.
As a result, Magnum Bikes has expanded enormously and retains a strong brand reputation among its customers and competitors.
Do you need a dealer network?
Dealer networks can be a valuable asset to your brand, but it is not always the best option. Ultimately, the goal of a business is generally to build brand awareness, acquire loyal customers, and sell its products.
Moast offers e-commerce brands the opportunity to build a community of like-minded individuals around those that have already come to love and trust their brand. With Moast, existing customers are onboarded as Hosts who act as brand representatives, speaking with other prospective customers interested in purchasing its product.
Clients can communicate with Hosts in their local area via an interactive map posted on the company website and schedule times to meet up and inspect the product in person. For example, Oru Kayak used the Moast platform to create a community of 100+ kayakers that actively interact with prospective customers interested in learning more about their kayaks.