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What makes a good retail partner?
What makes a good retail partner?

Evaluating retailers for inclusion in a Where to Buy program

Bryan Nye avatar
Written by Bryan Nye
Updated over a week ago

When choosing to link to another retailer for Buy Online (or offline) participation in your Where to Buy tool, annual sales isn't the only measure you should consider.  Of course they should have a good reputation, rating, customer service experience, but what makes a good Where to Buy partner?  A good retail partner should have the following features that are specific to a Where to Buy tool:

  • Good Web data or API: Leveraging automation requires that a retailer properly represent the product on their Website or API. Choosing retail partners that properly display a reliable key in their API or Website makes the matching process more reliable.

  • A mature affiliate program:  MetaLocator collects confirmed conversion data by back-filling sales data provided by the retail partner affiliate program.  Absent a special relationship, this is the only way to confirm that a given product has been purchased after the consumer clicks "Buy" on the Where to Buy tool.  The retail partner must allow for SKU-level reporting on sales to allow our staff to back-fill the product sale into the analytics platform.  For example, Amazon's Advertising Affiliate reporting tool provides for the export of data via CSV, which can then be easily imported to show conversions in MetaLocator.

  • Store-level inventory data:  Many retailers do not have a good way to show whether a given product is at a given location.  When you call a store to check, some retailers must physically confirm the stock visually.  However, other retailers have inventory checking tools on their Website or an API which allows for the automated checking of the stock status of a given SKU.

  • Large product inventory:  Retailers that cover a larger portion of product inventory present leads to more buying options for customers and make the best use of the effort to onboard the retailer.

  • Cooperative Terms of Use(TOU): Some retailers may specifically prohibit the use of their data in Where to Buy solutions.  Sometimes, a large manufacturer can leverage a relationship to obtain a TOU exception which can override that TOU for their specific use case.  The TOU exception can be saved in the retailer configuration for record-keeping purposes.

The list above is written from the perspective of how completely a given retailer can be integrated into our Where to Buy solution.  Your organization's rules, preferences and priorities may outweigh the above.

Once selected, you can add a retailer in the MetaLocator control panel by clicking Retailers > New.  Complete the required fields and provide any supporting information in the fields provided.

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