Brand Source’s Lawrence: Consumers Still Crave the In-Store Experience
• iBeacon: This retail tracking technology which, when a customer downloads an Android or iOS app, broadcasts data to the customer’s mobile device that includes retailer-specific information, demo videos and information on special deals or particular SKUs in a store, is being adopted for Brand Source members. “This will change POP materials forever,” he said.
• Expert Reviews: The program permits is a service that monitors and helps dealers to manage their online reviews, in addition to scanning 19 review sites to check whether there are reviews in existence there. Lawrence said 86 percent of customers use online ratings, and there is an 84 percent likelihood a customer will initiate business with a seller who has a five-star review rating.
• The Brand Source App: An in-store experience enhancement that lets the salesperson stay in front of a customer while accessing comparative product specs and other information. “You’re now a problem-solver, not a salesperson,” with the app, he said.
• A series of 100-plus downloadable educational segments in the works for sales and delivery staff, each of which will have a test tacked on at the end; initially there will be 15 15-minute sessions available on delivery and warehousing.
• Brand Source Loyalty Program: Includes gift cards and trip rewards for Wyndham Hotels and Norwegian Cruise lines.
• Help with web site and social media development.
• Expert Warehouse: Lawrence touted superior logistics and just-in-time delivery.
He urged members to seize their opportunities by taking advantage of categories with great margin potential such as outdoor furniture, mattresses and bedding, 4K UHD TV and connected home products.
“People want that in-store experience, and we’re in an enviable position to give it to them. There’s never been a better time to be an independent,” he said.