BrandSource Locked and Loaded for Holiday Season

CMO John White (lower left) led yesterday’s Full Stack attack on Q4.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

BrandSource members are well-positioned to win the holidays with advanced digital tools and compelling consumer finance offers but need to use them to do so.

That was the principal message from AVB Marketing’s leadership team on yesterday’s Full Stack Q4 MarTech Meeting.

The live session, held on the eve of the all-important holiday selling season, kicked off with updates on the tech unit’s latest game-changing innovations, Package Builder and The Hub. According to Tim Hatfield, vice president of engineering and technology, the automated and customizable bundle-configuration tool is now loaded with 300 active product packages across 20 brands and will be updated with additional features by year’s end.

Likewise, the all-encompassing Hub, which ties together members’ POS systems, Alta website, LINQ merchandising platform, digital price tags, in-store kiosks, and more into a central interface, will be enhanced with such new features as search by product attributes; suggested products and add-ons; Package Builder support; and, starting early next year, email and SMS integration.

Hatfield reminded members to make full use of payment gateways, noting that fully half of online shoppers will abandon their carts if their preferred payment option isn’t provided. AVB websites presently offer 17 different options, including credit cards, financing, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apply & Buy through Citi, and cash on delivery, and more are planned for 2022.

On the e-commerce front, marketing general manager Eric Hunter noted that online search and sales trends for appliances and furniture have returned to growth mode following slight year-over-year lulls last spring, and presented four suggested digital marketing budgets ranging from $3,000 to $7,500 or more that target key traffic-generating platforms including Google Search, Facebook and YouTube.

Next up was Grant Hancock, general manager, digital success, who reminded members that “Black November” is the most critical sales month of the year for appliances, when sales are 50 percent higher than other months on average. It’s also the most expensive month for online customer acquisition, as more shoppers take to the web, and requires a 95 percent increase in marketing expenditures to maintain one’s current market share.

Hancock described the higher marketing outlay as a way to also capture first-time and future customers. To that end, he urged dealers to leverage their co-op funds and matching monies from BrandSource to plaster pre-approved vendor messaging across multiple digital platforms, and to tout the group’s “Better Than Black Friday” and “Year-End Savings” promotional events. He reminded members that last year’s campaign resulted in a 112-percent increase in BrandSource dealers’ same-store sales.

Closing out the Full Stack session was AVB merchandising VP Chad Evans, who pointed to BrandSource’s hefty home furnishings and major appliance sales leads over the rest of the industry, and listed group-exclusive product rebates, zero-interest finance offers, and margin enhancements as key differentiators in the fourth-quarter competition.

“Keep your foot on the gas,” he advised dealers, in order to continue driving the group’s 10 percent to 30 percent share gains year over year.

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.