Unauthorized Sellers Image

How Brands and Retailers Can Strengthen Their Relationship

Unrequited love is unnerving, but luckily it has no place in the eCommerce industry. Whether it’s between a consumer and a retailer, or between a retailer and their vendor. Feelings should always be mutual between the two parties involved, otherwise business is not going to go smoothly. If a consumer doesn’t care for a retailer, that retailer is losing potential revenue. If a retailer doesn’t care for a manufacturer, that company’s brand and sales could take a major hit.

So how can brands and retailers get along? Each side needs to put in a little bit of effort to treat the other like a partner and not simply a vendor or selling channel. It’s not too difficult, and here’s how:

Assemble Products Accordingly

Offering complementary products can be a serious burden for brick and mortar retailers, especially in the apparel vertical. If a shopper finds a shirt that they like, a lot of the time they want to find other items to complete the outfit. The only problem in a brick and mortar setting is that complementary items are often found on the other side of the store, giving the shopper multiple steps in their shopping journey.

In an eCommerce setting, this isn’t the case. Since there is no physical space in your online store, you can easily recommend a pair of pants that works well with that shirt. As a retailer, you can readily cross-sell an item that only requires a click of a button. By cross-selling, you’re giving an extra brand exposure, so let them know you’re cross-selling them with another manufacturer. A Ben Sherman shirt could go well with a pair of Dockers.

As a manufacturer, you can partner up with competitors selling different products than you and come to retailers with your partnership in mind. Offering an easy way to upsell and cross-sell will be appreciated by retailers, and can strengthen a pre-existing relationship between you and another brand.

Supply Product Ample Information

Retailers know that consumers love product pages with rich, descriptive content. The only problem is that they may not have a total understanding of your product, especially if you’re starting a relationship with them from scratch. Providing rich content to your retailers is a great way to simplify the process and convey everything you want consumers to know about your products.

Go beyond simple product descriptions and offer your product pictures to the retailer. It saves the retailer time and money and can put your product in a better light. You can also make videos of your products, as 57 percent of shoppers who view product videos feel more confident about their purchase decision and are actually 85% more likely to buy, leaving your eCommerce partner coming back for more products.


Have your products featured in your retailers’ advertisements, or go further and start making your own. With the help of social media, reaching out to your consumers should be an easy task.

In your advertisements, you can link to a retailer or list your reseller channels within it. And since Buy Now buttons are becoming more prevalent in the social media experience, you can link those buy buttons to select retailers. Just make sure you link to your reseller network evenly, as too much attention to one retailer can damage a relationship with another.

Come to a Consensus on MAP

Approaching a potential reseller with a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policy is a great way to start the conversation about brand preservation and pricing. Because if both parties can’t agree upon a price, the retailer is more than likely going to violate that price on a consistent basis.

It’s always ok to walk away from a potential relationship if you don’t feel good about it. But if it works, you have to make sure that you as a brand hold your end of the deal. Make sure your MAP is uniform across your entire reseller network, especially if you’re selling your own products as well.

Catching violations in real time can take a lot of pressure off of your reseller network. If one violation goes unnoticed for too long, another retailer may drop their price to match, sparking a network-wide price war that is detrimental to your brand value, and your retailers’ margins. Catching violations can curb price wars, and make the selling environment less tense for all parties involved.

If your selling relationship feels one-sided, it’s probably unhealthy. You have to make sure you and your reseller network can agree on MAP policies, and you have to help each other out. Good relationships will result in fewer MAP violations and strengthen the eCommerce industry as a whole.

If you’re looking for a way to track your MAP policies throughout your network, check out WiseMapper, Wiser’s automated price monitoring solution.

Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the former Director of Marketing at Wiser. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.

Need better data to inform your decisions?

Schedule a Consultation