BrandSource Coronavirus Initiatives Include COVID Info Hub
The AVB/BrandSource buying organization for independent dealers has harnessed its resources to help guide its members and industry partners through the challenging environment of the coronavirus outbreak. To share the latest tools, news and best practices for contending with the health crisis, BrandSource has created a live microsite, the COVID Info Hub, which is an extension of the group’s YourSourceNews site, and which serves as an up-to-the-minute repository of critical, must-have information.
There, members, vendors and suppliers can find crucial communications from AVB’s Leadership and Marketing teams including:
- Webinars on navigating the government’s assistance programs and addressing COVID-related HR issues;
- State-by-state updates and “essential” store classifications;
- Bi-weekly webcasts on digital marketing tools and vendor merchandising programs;
- A dedicated section for custom integration affiliate ProSource; and
- Links to key documents, application forms and government and industry resources.
The COVID Info Hub also features TV spots, social media messaging, delivery and store sanitation procedures, and other best practices as shared by the members themselves, with updates distributed daily via the YourSourceNews e-newsletter.
Beyond the website, BrandSource is regularly conducting regional virtual meetings with its dealers and support staff across the country— as well as category-specific call-ins for its CE and other specialty dealers — to troubleshoot any immediate issues facing their businesses.
“We are doing everything conceivable, and then some, to help our members navigate through these unprecedented times,” said Jim Ristow, CEO of AVB Inc.
After keeping their families, staff and customers safe, Ristow said the most important advice he can impart to members is to galvanize their websites with AVB Marketing’s vast e-commerce toolbox, as this is how consumers have shopped, and will continue to shop — before, during and long after the crisis has passed.
For members who’ve leveraged the group’s live chat, payment gateway, online merchandising, customer communications and other digital assets, the effort has paid off in spades. According to AVB Marketing, BrandSource websites have experienced a 300 percent increase in online order counts over the preceding weeks, with chat engagement up by a factor of 60.
For those without transactional websites, AVB can now implement full ecommerce functionality in seven days, up from the industry’s typical turnaround time of one month or more. The cost to members starts at $499 per month, which includes access to hundreds of brands, managed product pricing, live chat, and in-stock management and POS integration.
“Transactional websites with chat are a necessity today,” Ristow said, “and we’re here to help our members get there in seven days or less.”