Why You Need a Wholesale Loyalty Program

by: Mark Herbert March 23, 2020

Before you can build customer loyalty, you need a brand that customers can be loyal to. Establishing a brand can be tough for wholesalers and distributors. Often, their sales are indirect and impersonal. In an attempt to maximize their own profitability, wholesale customers often go for the cheapest price and most convenient suppliers. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Wholesale loyalty programs give wholesalers and distributors a way to engage and educate customers and enhance their overall value proposition. Moreover, wholesale loyalty programs give suppliers tools and platforms to collect more complete customer data. Wholesalers can use this data to personalize their marketing and value-adds, inform their product mix, and leverage this data to increase their channel sales.

Benefits of a Wholesale Loyalty Program

Depending on its design, a wholesale loyalty program can provide wholesalers and distributors with a variety of benefits:

  • Create brand preference with retailers, resellers, and other buyers.
  • Differentiate their company from the competition.
  • Enhance data profiles for channel partners.
  • Provide opportunities for online engagement and gamification.
  • Improve the sales claims submission and verification process.
  • Incentivize purchases of specific products in a more margin-friendly way than discounts.
  • Personalize their marketing with more rewarding brand interactions.
  • Capture mindshare with buyers in their channel.
  • Exchange reward-earning opportunities for customer data.
  • Utilize reward-based communication tools for higher engagement rates.
  • Build lasting loyalty with incentive travel and custom reward fulfillment.
  • Use daily trivia to increase ecommerce site visits.
  • Monitor data analytics to spot opportunities for cross-selling, upselling, and reengagement.
  • Cut out the competition and target organizational goals with strategic loyalty promotions.

In short, a wholesale loyalty program can provide a sustainable competitive advantage for wholesalers and distributors.

Industry Challenges Facing Wholesale Distributors

Additionally, a wholesale loyalty program helps wholesale distributors overcome the following industry-wide challenges:

  • Increased competition from cheap offshore suppliers.
  • Disruption from online mega retailers like Amazon Business and Alibaba.
  • The rise of millennials in the B2B marketplace and their increased need for engagement, personalization, and digital interaction.
  • Migration to ecommerce platforms – check out how one wholesale distributor integrated their loyalty program with their ecommerce site for impressive sales growth!

Encourage Your Manufacturer to Sponsor a Loyalty Program

How can a wholesaler get the budget for a loyalty program? The good news is that you might not even have to pay for it! In addition to helping you achieve your goals, a wholesale loyalty program aligns with the goals of your manufacturer.

If you can explain to your manufacturer how a wholesale loyalty program will benefit them (a copy of this e-book might help!), your manufacturer might be willing to pay for your loyalty program! To discuss how we can help you structure MDF or CO-OP funding for your wholesale loyalty program, give us a call!

Wholesale loyalty programs represent the ultimate WIN-WIN-WIN proposition. They provide value to your customers, value to your manufacturers, and value to your wholesale business. What are you waiting for?

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About Mark Herbert

Mark Herbert is President and CEO of Incentive Solutions. He has more than 30 years of experience overseeing business operations within the incentives industry, helping companies increase channel sales, build customer loyalty, motivate employees, and grow their business.