Marketplaces are a powerful distribution channel for distributors and brands. But being in multiple marketplaces at once while trying to maintain price and brand integrity is extremely time consuming.
And there’s a very good reason why brand distributors get touchy over listing their products on marketplaces. They fear losing control over the brand narrative or commoditizing their brand in a sea of similar products.
JabberKat Distribution Inc., a Canadian consumer electronics wholesale distributor who deals with big box retailers like Best Buy and Costco, is a perfect example.
They wanted to diversify their sales channels, but were concerned over the amount of time and manpower they would need to manage marketplace partnerships.
This said, they decided to test the waters with a partnership with Mike's Computer Shop.
Mike's is a Canadian reseller of electronics and technology products with an ecommerce marketplace as well as 6 in-store locations in Ontario and British Columbia. They use Convictional to manage their B2B seller relationships, including JabberKat.
The partnership has been incredibly successful: The JabberKat team onboarded on to Convictional and connected to Mike's in 2 weeks.
Within 3 months – a period of time when most B2B partnerships are still on the onboarding phase — JabberKat had received and fulfilled $15,000 worth of orders from Mike's.
Today, they’re one of the top sellers on Mike's ecommerce marketplace.
In this article, we talk about how JabberKat forged a successful B2B relationship with Mike's as a boutique brand distributor without compromising on their brands' integrity.
Price & brand integrity: The challenge of multiple marketplaces & B2B relationships
"We can say, 'Don't list these products on this marketplace because the brand doesn't want it,' and make sure that we're maintaining price integrity. That's extremely important and something that we've been able to control with ease." — Rachelle Oakley, Founder & CEO of JabberKat Distribution
Pricing integrity, particularly in the age of commodity marketplaces like Amazon, is a tricky problem to address.
On marketplaces, price undercutting quickly gets out of hand, especially if consumers can find the same product for a lower price somewhere else. Some brands have resorted to logging into brand registries to keep other sellers from listing their products.
To compound this problem, all the products in a marketplace category are listed one after the other, with no way to differentiate one brand from the next. This gives brands no way to differentiate themselves or for customers to understand why one brand costs more than the other.
This ruins the integrity of the pricing for both online and in-store retailers and affects the brand image.
Rachelle Oakley, JabberKat's president and CEO, says, "It's very difficult to go into each individual marketplace site to make sure your prices are up to date and that you're always being competitive. Adding promotions, changing your pricing, bringing on 40 new SKUs or products — that’s a lot to manage."
The JabberKat team manages their big box retail partnerships through a central EDI platform. Their retail partnership with Mike's Computer Shop, however, happens on Convictional.
This software partnership makes it easy to get JabberKat’s products on to marketplaces while giving them full control over the pricing, offering, and partnership listings for each product.
Rachelle says, "We can say, 'Don't list these products on this marketplace because the brand doesn't want it,' and make sure that we're maintaining price integrity. That's extremely important and something that we've been able to control with ease."
Integrating into Convictional cut down the time and people they needed to manage their marketplace relationships and expand to new business partnerships. All they have to do now is update their website.
Convictional: The ultimate seller enablement platform for brand distributors & retailers
"Selling on Mike's with Convictional is like hiring one person to input your inventory on all the different marketplaces and manage them for you." — Rachelle Oakley, Founder & CEO of JabberKat Distribution
JabberKat began by bringing Jaybird headsets to the Canadian market in 2013. The team specializes in building complete go to market strategies for the brands they work with. Today, they sell into household name retailers like Home Hardware, Costco, and Best Buy.
For a distributor like JabberKat who works with the biggest names in Canadian retail, listing in stores like Mike's wouldn't have been worth the time and effort.
JabberKat partners with Convictional to cut down the time and manpower required to manage their marketplace relationships and also expand to new business partnerships. Rachelle says, "Selling on Mike's with Convictional is like hiring one person to input your inventory on all the different marketplaces and manage them for you."
Thanks to the all-in-one nature of Convictional's seller enablement platform, JabberKat can manage their business relationship with Mike's and other retailers from a single place.
Rachelle says, "Convictional is seamless. After onboarding, there was no extra work for any of my warehousing or processing staff to go through other than keeping our own website up to date — which is something we have to do anyway. It's all just one maintenance point and no additional cost. It was just extremely easy and inexpensive."