A problem shared is a problem halved, so the saying goes. When it comes to marketing your business, the same is true.
In order to get ahead in the hyper-competitive world of e-commerce, more and more brands are looking to find an edge to get ahead of the pack. A growing number of them have found the answer: it’s not to beat the competition, but to join them.
By collaborating, brands are coming together and pooling their resources for mutual gain, and are doing better than ever before.
This is called co-marketing, a form of relationship between like-minded brands to help them share resources, skills and audiences so they can both grow more than they ever could alone.
Instead of starting from scratch, partnering up allows brands to build on the strengths they already have to increase their exposure, pull off bigger marketing campaigns, and boost their sales.
The benefits of partnering up with other brands and working together are numerous, and include:
- Driving sales through Cross-Store Selling
- Sharing lists of existing customers and potential leads to reduce acquisition costs
- Saving money and being more efficient with marketing or inventory resources by pooling resources
- Reaching a much wider audience and driving more sales thanks to shared marketing techniques
- Fostering a much closer, long-term relationship
- Creating exclusive collaborations and items with partner brands to give back to customers
The benefits of brand partnerships are enough to make anyone want to give it a try, but the challenge is finding the right partner to work with. You can’t just start collaborating with any old brand; you have to find one that matches your own.
Here are a few key things to consider when choosing a partner:
- Their product lines complement your own stock
- You have similar brand values or goals
- They are a similar size to you and you will be able to support each other’s growth equally
- They have a good-sized audience and leads database
Normally with brand partnerships, you’d have to go through the long and impractical hassle of individually and manually researching brands and reaching out to them via email.
The chances of rejection would be high if you even managed to get a reply. However, with the CrossMystore brands directory, we make things easy for you to find your perfect partner and start working with them right away.
Brand partnership using CrossMystore
Through our software, brands can upload their products to our directory with just a couple of clicks, and browse through the list of potential partners with ease.
Once they have found a business they want to collaborate with, they send a request through our system and the automated software does the rest, informing the potential partner and letting them accept or reject the request right from within our built-in inbox system.
It’s completely instant and automated, and the brands can immediately begin to work together, sell each other’s products, and drive profits.
Once you’ve found your partner, you need to work out how you will work together, what each of your roles will be, and how you will both benefit. The key is reciprocity: making sure you both benefit from the partnership.
You have to ask, what’s in it for you both? It’s important to balance the benefits for each brand so that there is an equal exchange – one brand should not be reaping the rewards while the other is doing all the hard work.
If you get it right, partnering up can be the perfect way to cut costs, gain new customers, and drive sales.
The exchange could be based on:
- Cross-Store Selling through the CrossMystore platform – one brand lists their items in the storefront of the other for them to sell for them. The retailer covers the marketing costs, exposing their partner’s products to their existing audience and taking commission, while the supplier covers delivery and inventory management costs
- Driving sales by having your partner sell your products to their audience
- Increasing your average order value by integrating your partner’s products into your store
- Leveraging your partner’s existing audience and sharing customer data to add to your other marketing channels
- Mentioning each other in your ad campaigns and social media channels, engaging in co-marketing to harness the reputation of your partner and bring in new customers
- Creating unique, co-branded products to cement your relationship and give back to your loyal customers with more of what they love
This last point is key because the effects of the partnership should not only be felt by the brands, but also by your customers.
As a business, no amount of successful partnerships will save you if you don’t engage and give back to your customers, so make sure they benefit from your successes as well.
Give back to them with exclusive co-branded items, discount codes for both brands, and unique bundles including products from you and your partner.
There are many ways to capitalize on your partnerships so you get the maximum possible impact. Here are a few examples for getting started collaborating with your partner stores on Shopify.
- Cross-Store Sell:
As I’ve explained in another article, Cross-Store Selling is the perfect way to engage with your partner for mutual benefit. Whether you’re acting as a supplier and giving them your products to sell for you, acting as a retailer and integrating their items into your store to drive your average order value, or acting as both simultaneously, Cross-Store Selling is the most effective way to increase sales, expose your brand to new audiences, and cut acquisition costs.
- New customers gained
Include your new customers in your marketing strategies and turn them into fans of your brand. When a customer buys a product of your brand in your partner’s online store, you have access to their information.
- Send samples of your partner’s products within your customers’ orders:
This is the perfect way to introduce your audience to your new partner. Everyone loves a freebie, and sending out little gifts from your partner alongside your other products will please your customers, encourage them to check out their store, and elevate your brand partnership. If they reciprocate the gesture with samples from you, it’s the perfect way to gain access to a whole new audience of interested customers.
- Create bundles including items from both stores:
This takes the original idea of sending samples from your partner, and takes it to the next level. By combining your products into unique bundles you’ll be able to drive your profits and increase your average order value because your customers will be encouraged to buy these larger, multi-product bundles in one go. This is perfect for brands which offer complementary products since they can easily be combined into one balanced bundle that provides everything the customer needs all in one place.
- Launch co-branded products:
Team up to create a new, unique item which combines aspects from both brands. This is one of the most direct partnerships you can create and, as I said above, it is the perfect way to reward the loyal fans of both brands with an item incorporating everything they love. This is an excellent choice for brands which appeal to similar demographics as it guarantees good reception amongst both of their audiences.
- Run co-marketed ad campaigns:
Working together to promote both of your brands is the perfect way to reach a much wider audience than would be possible on your own. Promoting each other online and through social media is a very useful way to expose your brand to whole other audiences. You could even collaborate on contests online, drawing in customers from both brands with the promise of winning some of your items. This will create social media engagement with both brands, generate interest in your products, capture email leads and get your products out there to the winners.
Brand partnerships can be the perfect answer to getting ahead of the competition in this new world of online shopping.
Whether you’re a big brand with money to spend, or a start-up just finding your place online, partnering up will help you reach new audiences and save on resources.
To find out more about how you can find your partners, pool your resources and join forces for mutual benefit, click here!