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CEO CORNER: Unrequited Love and the Consumer Scavenger Hunt

 Unrequited Love and Consumer Scavenger Hunt BLOG size

They say if you find true love, you should hold on to it. Unfortunately, some specialist brands don’t know how to treat their most loyal consumers.

I’ve seen firsthand how much care specialist brands put into their products. Their work is a labor of love, and their ideas only sprout into game-changing products after painstaking research, planning, prototyping and refinement.

It might be hard work, but the payoff can be special. Whether it’s a revolutionary take on ski boots, a hand-crafted solid-body electric guitar, or a state-of-the-art graphite tennis racket, there’s nothing like the endorphin rush of finally seeing the product in the hands of consumers.

These consumers are often highly loyal to the brand and can’t wait to get their hands on its new products, so this really should be a match made in heaven. The problem is, time and time again, brands are making the same mistake of pushing consumers away — without even realizing they’re doing it.

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Even if there’s a direct path from brand to consumer, the situation can get as complicated as a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. The thing is, whether it’s due to warehouse logistics, financial limitations, product complexities, stockouts, or something else entirely, not all brands can continuously offer their products direct-to-consumer (D2C). So what do they do? They just place a “store locator” (sometimes referred to as a “product locator” or “store finder”) on their website and hope for the best.

At its root, a store locator is designed to show consumers where they can buy the brand’s products. But when you look a little closer you’ll see it can be a significant obstacle to getting these products to the consumers who just want to show some love. And that’s when the consumer scavenger hunt begins.

The Hunt

First, brands are pushing consumers from their websites at the moment of maximum intent and interest. They’re now out in the world, all alone. Love can be fickle — who’s to say they’ll be quite as interested by the time they visit a store (brick-and-mortar or online), or whether they’ll even arrive there at all? 

Secondly, the ones who do make it to the retailers are being pushed into an environment full of the competitors’ products — without any reassurances about their commitment. Over 50% of consumers directed away from a brand’s website ultimately purchase a competitor’s product from the retailer. It’s finders keepers, but with increasing regularity, consumers are finding other brands’ products. 

Into Your Competitors’ Arms

Too many specialist brands are laying a trail of rose petals directly to their main rivals — who have every reason to be quietly smug. Without any marketing spend at all, these competitors have full wallets and wandering eyes on their products.

By not sealing the deal at the moment of maximum interest, you’re opening the playing field when it should be game over for everyone else. 

Jealousy doesn’t look good on anybody — loathing the lotharios who are taking advantage of your sloppiness is frankly, a waste of energy. We all make mistakes, but how many of us work hard to ensure they aren’t repeated?

Happily Ever After

I told you that product locators were a problem, right? Well, not if they’re done right. Still, a product locator should be a last resort — aimed at consumers who insist on going in-store before making a purchase. A better strategy is to give consumers desirable options to buy on the brand’s website, there and then.

Some of these popular fulfillment options include Ship-from-Store and BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store). BOPIS rose to prominence during the pandemic and isn’t showing any signs of letting up. More than 59% of consumers will go elsewhere if BOPIS isn’t offered, making it a true modern-day essential.

But how do you offer fulfillment options like Ship-from-Store and BOPIS without breaking the bank or your sanity? It’s simple really — by connecting with others. The retailers that stock your products are an untapped resource that can handle the dirty work of fulfillment while you reap the rewards.

In the event of a retailer stockout, it’s still possible to save your consumers from a confusing scavenger hunt by utilizing a Ship-to-Store service. This modern fulfillment option banishes channel conflict and gives retailers the opportunity to cross-sell, upsell and offer set-up and installation. 

Is thinking about the logistics of all of this a little overwhelming? Relax, Quivers makes it easy. Our specialty is connecting specialty brands, retailers and consumers for mutually beneficial arrangements — you could call us the commerce cupid. Our sophisticated omnichannel toolkit helps you satisfy the 88% of consumers who prefer to buy directly from their favorite brands, make more sales, and take full control over your commerce operations.

Quivers helps specialty brands get the “I do” at the moment of maximum interest, and also reinforces long-term relationships with consumers and retailers. Forget about the ones who got away, link with Quivers and rediscover your passion for commerce.