Some time ago I wrote a column about vendors policies and how they might better work with jewelry store owners (http://www.southernjewelrynews.com/columnists/bill-warren/3417-hey-vendor-don-t-forget-we-re-the-customers-here). I got lots of great feedback from that article so here is a continuation of it.
What do I and perhaps other jewelry store owners look for in our vendor partners? Obviously quality product, good pricing, good terms and a fair exchange policy (the subject of my last article.)
One of the most important is how will a vendor help my store sell their merchandise. What support will they and should they provide in the form of marketing on their end? In my humble opinion, here are a few critical things:
1. Social media images that are properly formatted for each medium such as Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest. It helps also to have “Lifestyle” shots along with product imaging. These could be downloaded from a website or included on a disc. These are usually low resolution.
2. High resolution images for newsletter, newspaper & magazine advertising. These could also be downloaded from the vendor’s website or included on a disc.
3. E-mail templates including special collections of their product that retailers could send to their customer e-mail list - you do have a customer e-mail list, don’t you???
4. Newspaper ads & slicks for those who still find it viable.
5. Perhaps a “Bolt On I-Frame” of their product to put on the retailer’s website.
6. “Willingness” to send in product and perhaps even the sales rep to do special events such as a Trunk Show or Anniversary Sale.
Am I asking too much of a vendor? No, I really don’t think so. Why do you ask? I’ll tell you why - as we retailers have had to become more sophisticated in our methods of reaching and marketing to clients, so must the vendor. Vendors simply must devote more time in developing better marketing vehicles for the retailer to use.
Many of my fellow retailers and I pay close attention to these things. We’ve noticed those vendors who have “stepped up their game” so to speak. Those vendors who’ve embraced change and started offering these extras are among the most successful. You’ll find many of those successful vendors in the pages of this publication!
Good luck out there and make the best use of the tools your vendors offer that help you sell more product. It does no one any good, vendor or retailer, if you just let the tools sit in the toolbox unused!