July 27, 2011, 1:36 PM

Brands that sell directly to online shoppers risk losing business from retailers

A Shopatron survey says 64% of retailers would change their brand buying habits.

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Retailers don’t take kindly to competition from brands and manufacturers, according to new survey results from Shopatron Inc.

The e-commerce technology and services provider found that 64% of retailers would reduce buying products from brands, or stop those purchases altogether, if those brands began selling items directly to consumers over the web.

Shopatron based its finding on a survey of 958 retailer clients conducted between April 14 and May 16.

Were a brand stocked by retailers to start selling goods directly to online shoppers, the survey says that:

• 11% of retailers would stop buying from that brand;

• 19% would buy as little as possible from that brand;

• 34% would reduce their buying from the brand;

•13% would not change their buying habits.

Additionally, 23% of respondents were unsure what they would do.

A similar survey from 2009 showed that 51% of retailers would buy less from brands that began selling over the web, says Shopatron, which attributes the increase in potential retailer annoyance to the growth in the number of brands selling directly to online shoppers.

“Not every retailer has the luxury of dropping brands completely when they go direct,” says Ed Stevens, founders and CEO of Shopatron. “Still, as this survey clearly shows, brands lose sales with retailers when they go direct-to-consumer.”

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