6/23/09

Getting better at getting the goods from suppliers

There are proactive steps web merchants can take to build their relationships with key suppliers, 1st in Video-Music World president Dennis Boudreau told IRCE attendees in Boston last week. Chief among them: Showcase authorized manufacturer seals.

Mark Brohan , Research Director

Whether new to online retailing or an established company looking to build market share in another niche, there are proactive steps web merchants can take to build up their relationships with key suppliers.

“E-commerce has been around for more than a decade, but for many companies sourcing and finding reliable suppliers online is still new,” Dennis Boudreau, president of 1st in Video-Music World Inc., told session attendees last week at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Boston.

To build solid relationships with suppliers, web retailers first must show manufacturers their depth as a company. “Build a case for why the manufacturer should do business with you,” Boudreau said.

On each of its various e-commerce sites, 1st in Video-Music World, No. 442 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, posts content that highlights the company’s 34 years in business and various awards. 1st in Video-Music World, which owns and operates 4ElectronicWarehouse.com, DiscountGolfWorld.com and 4DiscountTravel.com, also prominently displays its authorized manufacturer seals on the home page and on customer service pages. “You have to educate your suppliers about you,” said Boudreau who spoke at a session titled “Getting the Goods: Convincing Suppliers That You’re in the Game to Stay.”

Another way online retailers can convince skeptical manufacturers to certify them as authorized dealers or distributors is to become proactive. In presentations to new suppliers, 1st in Video-Music World will showcase its customer service center, which has trained reps assigned to support designated manufacturers. 1st in Video-Music World also holds an annual conference for its suppliers that features prominent guest speakers and roundtable discussions. “Show suppliers you are not just driven by price,” Boudreau said. “By building relationships and sharing knowledge, you are also building trust.”

Topics:

business, Electronic commerce, Entertainment Culture, Online shopping, Technology

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