Mirror Your Website In-Store

July 27, 2021

Mirror Your Website In-Store

Expert Warehouse Delivers the Goods

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

As we emerge from the pandemic it is clear that the pandemic has dramatically accelerated e-commerce adoption, however shoppers still crave the personal attention of the in-store visit. AVB Marketing — the digital arm of BrandSource’s not-for-profit parent company AVB Inc. — has developed a solution that bridges the digital and physical channels, and addresses consumer demand for a seamless shopping experience across both.

The new touchscreen interface, called KIOSQ, is synched to AVB’s exclusive online inventory management tool LINQ, bringing an “endless aisle” of product offerings to sales associates and customers on the sales floor. Users can access the program via iPads or a 55-inch monitor provided by AVB to peruse thousands of SKUs from members’ e-commerce catalogs.

As a mirror of a member’s website, the in-store KIOSQ display allows visitors to view promotions, best-sellers and in-stock items with a sales associate or on their own while awaiting one. Customers can even place an order and get approved for BrandSource financing through the interactive panel.

Why KIOSQ? As AVB’s Chief Marketing Officer John White explains, now that AVB has harnessed the Internet with industry-leading websites and e-commerce services, the group is aiming its technical prowess at stores. “We’re bringing the same online experience to showrooms,” he said. “It’s just the beginning of how we’re implementing technology solutions inside the store.”

To learn more about bringing the power of the Internet inside your store, along with the many other benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

July 20, 2021

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall.

The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers. Also known as multi-tier financing, the service — offered to all BrandSource members through our partnership with ChargeAfter — uses a growing network of lenders to achieve an 85 percent approval rate across every credit class.

This is especially critical today as consumers face escalating decline rates and restrictive financing offers, and fully 63 percent of millennials and Gen Zers don’t even own a credit card! What’s more, denying a shopper access to financing at checkout can result in abandoned shopping carts, poor conversion rates, and can even impact customer loyalty.

With ChargeAfter’s waterfall approach, customers submit their applications through a single, streamlined gateway, which is put through a “waterfall” of diverse lenders, beginning with prime lending options. If declined, the application flows down to near-prime and, if necessary, sub-prime lenders, all the way down to lease-to-own financing, with results back in less than 3 seconds.

Because multiple lenders are tapped in the waterfall, customers can choose the best rates and terms from a selection of personalized financing options at checkout. Based on our experience, ChargeAfter’s industry-leading 85 percent approval rate and seamless integration with BrandSource’s state-of-the-art Alta e-commerce platform has led to a better-than 30 percent increase in sales and a 52 percent surge in average order value for our members.

So why rely on incumbent lenders that decline 70 percent of applications? Check out the checkout difference with ChargeAfter and watch your online sales rise.

For more information on ChargeAfter and the many other benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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Related Posts

Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

July 13, 2021

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner. An organization by and for the independent that would put locally owned businesses on the same merchandising, marketing and financial footing as the big guys. A place where store owners from across the country could share their challenges and triumphs.

Well, get ready for some game-changing news, independents — that organization exists! Meet BrandSource, the leading member-owned buying group for independent appliance, home furnishings and consumer tech dealers. Its parent company, AVB, is a $20+ billion co-op that provides merchandising, financing and digital marketing services to nearly 5,000 members across the U.S. and Canada.

Our mission is to provide business solutions to meet our members’ merchandising, marketing, financial and operational needs. Our wide range of proprietary services include strategic planning, inventory and consumer financing, servicer support, and merchandising programs that leverage the group’s massive buying clout to level the playing field on pricing.

In addition, AVB operates AVB Marketing, a full-service advertising, digital marketing and web services agency created expressly for BrandSource members that provides state-of-the-art e-commerce sites, professional videography, and effective, turnkey social media campaigns.

AVB also partners with a host of industry affiliates, including ProSource, the nation’s largest consumer tech and custom integration specialty group; TRIB Group, a leader in the rent-to-own channel; and Mega Group/BrandSource Canada, our north-of-the-border cousins.

All new members at BrandSource receive a full business and market analysis that gauges their challenges and opportunities for success. Then, together with the dealer, we develop a roadmap that lays out strategy, brand definition and tactics to assure a clear path to implementing a complete business plan.

We are equipped with the resources, experience and talent to provide independent retailers with the tools and guidance they need to remain competitive, relevant and viable in today’s fast-moving marketplace. But beyond our many programs and initiatives, BrandSource also serves as a national and regional community of dealers who share their insights, experiences, and yes, in a pinch, even their inventory, in a common bond of fellowship.

As our guiding principle states, “It’s All About the Members.” Let us make it all about you, too.

To learn more about the many benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.

Six Steps to Online Success

July 6, 2021

Six Steps to Online Success

With more shoppers flocking to the Internet than ever before, your e-commerce site has become the first stop for a growing number of customers.

What does that mean for your business? It means that for all intents and purposes, your website is now your flagship showroom. And since first impressions matter, and consumers have little tolerance for glitches, your online store had better be in tip-top shape.

Just as you wouldn’t open your brick-and-mortar shop without salespeople, there are several “must-have” features common to all effective selling sites that you can’t afford to be without. Take a gander at this list, compiled by the e-commerce experts at the AVB/BrandSource buying group, to see where your website stands:

1. Sort Your Inventory by Brand and Category: Websites typically default to an alphabetical display of categories and brands, but that’s not how your customers shop. The tools developed by AVB Marketing, our e-commerce and digital marketing arm, allow you to sort your brands and categories in whatever order you think is best. Would you rather place your top-selling dishwashers ahead of garbage disposals, or break from alphabetical order and position Whirlpool and Ashley ahead of Amana? You can and you should!

2. Curate Multiple Special Catalogs: Do you sell scratch-and-dent products? How about buy-one/get-one-free pieces or clearance items? Your customers are hunting for the best prices, and you need the most efficient way to highlight off-price products. Instead of hiding these offers in your regular catalog, you should be curating special catalogs and including easy-to-navigate buttons in your website navigation. Put these offers front and center to make it as simple as possible for your customers to find them!

3. Set Up Automatic Price Rules: If you’re using a merchandising program for your website, like AVB’s LINQ, setting up automatic price rules will make your life easier and save you the stress of manually changing hundreds of prices regularly. One option to save you time and bring more customers through your doors is competitor price scraping. If you want to always be ahead of your big-box competitors, you can set up a rule to price scrape their products and meet or beat them.

4. Upsell Add-Ons, Warranties and Services: Your shopper might only be focused on the shiny new fridge they’ve got their eye on, so it’s your job (or your website’s) to remind them that they’ll also need delivery, hoses, installation and an extended warranty. These upsell opportunities should live on the website, right alongside the products and especially at checkout, for an easy add-on.

5. Live Chat: Your customers show up online expecting the same experience as if they’ve just walked in your front door, and a part of that is having a real person there to help. If there is a chat window on your website, they know you’re available to address their needs. Chat is easy to set up on your website; all it takes is pasting a snippet of code. Once you’re up and running you can see insights in an easy-to-navigate dashboard, letting you know how often customers are chatting and what time of day they are most likely to be online, so you can be too.

6. Activate a Payment Gateway: You’ve probably heard it a million times: You need a payment gateway! Conversely, we’ve heard all the reasons why you’re scared, but this is hands down the most important part of the whole e-commerce setup process. A payment gateway will not only make it easier for the consumer to make a purchase, but your website will become an additional salesperson for your store. You’ll be able to capture valuable shopper insights and data, and in turn, you’ll be able to strategize ways to capture even more online sales in the future.

Each of these critical services and more are available to every BrandSource member through AVB Marketing, our exclusive, one-stop digital shop. Thanks to their digital know-how and cutting-edge expertise, our dealers have a leg up on the competition and an affordable, world-class e-commerce experience that rivals any e-tailer or national chain.

Want to see what you and your customers have been missing? Click here to learn more about AVB Marketing and the many other benefits of BrandSource membership.

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Related Posts

Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.

BrandSource Delivers the Goods

June 29, 2021

Brandsource Delivers the Goods

Wasn’t too long ago that price promotions nearly killed the TV business. But times have certainly changed.

Back then many independent dealers left video for greener pastures. But new generations of super-sized, high-margin displays, combined with record demand by today’s stay-at-home consumers, means it may very well be time to get back in.

For those looking to reenter the category, the BrandSource buying organization has the right TVs for you. Our national Expert Warehouse (EW) distribution arm specializes in consumer tech, and for 16 years has supplied BrandSource members with cutting-edge panels and complimentary audio gear that would have otherwise been out of reach to appliance and furniture stores.

To underscore EW’s tech cred, it also serves as the trusted, go-to source for the audio/video needs of ProSource, BrandSource’s $6 billion custom-integration affiliate and the country’s largest CE specialty buying group.

 

By making large-volume investments in inventory, and providing BrandSource and ProSource members across the country with mixed truckloads of small-quantity orders, Expert Warehouse has helped independent dealers go toe-to-toe with national and regional box chains on both price and availability.

Today, thanks to BrandSource’s massive buying power and EW’s logistical know-how, we stand as the independent dealer’s best source for consumer electronics and related services. So, whether you’re looking for an entry-level TV, a mid-tier LG OLED, or Samsung’s new 110-inch MicroLED marvel (suggested retail: $150,000!), let Expert Warehouse’s dedicated tech team help you get back in the game right out of the box.

To learn more about Expert Warehouse and the many other benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.

You’ve Got a Friend

June 22, 2021

You've Got a Friend

Singer/songwriter Carole King probably said it best
in her 1971 hit “You’ve Got a Friend”:

“Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, yes, I will.”

For the independent appliance, home furnishings and consumer tech dealers of the BrandSource buying group, that first call is often to their Member Relations Specialist. These seasoned retail experts are our dealers’ friends in the field, who are there to help you around the clock with any business questions or concerns.

Members meet their Member Relations point person upon joining the group. This specially trained staffer begins by bringing you and your team on board with a white-glove welcome. Thereafter, they will always be ready to troubleshoot any issues, assist you with BrandSource’s basket of business solutions, and guide you along the group’s proven roadmap to success.

But unlike the song, at BrandSource you’ve got more than just a friend. Working in tandem with your Member Relations Specialist is a Region Manager, who’ll keep you and neighboring members up to date on all BrandSource programs, benefits and opportunities, as well as the latest industry news to give you a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Perhaps most important, BrandSource dealers have the loyal support of their fellow members. In fact, “Members Helping Members” is a core principle of the group, and with a nationwide network of 5,000 dealers to share best practices and extend a helping hand, you are truly never alone.

Together, our singular mission is to support your business, boost your bottom line and ensure your success in every way we can. Just like the song says, we’ll be there, yes, we will.

To learn more about BrandSource’s member support team and our many other group benefits, please click here.

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Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.

Why Your Website is Your No. 1 Store

June 15, 2021

Why Your Website is Your
No. 1 Store

Even before quarantines changed the way consumers shop, people were already flocking to the Internet to research and buy appliances, furniture, bedding and TVs. Traffic to e-commerce sites dwarfed visits to physcial stores, and most customers began their purchasing journey on their phones and laptops.

That’s why, even prior to the pandemic, the BrandSource buying group implored its members to embrace online selling and consider their websites their new flagship stores. As BrandSource chief Jim Ristow told the group’s independent appliance and home goods dealers back in 2019, “Your website is the most important store in your arsenal, and a poorly merchandised website is like a store without salespeople.”

His words proved prophetic after the pandemic hit, when the timeline for digital adoption shrank from 10 years to one. Fortunately for BrandSource dealers, our group was well-prepared for the unprecedented rush to online shopping with a vast digital armada that includes state-of-the-art websites, our exclusive LINQ online merchandising tool, a sophisticated payment gateway, and all manner of social media magic.

Taken together, the BrandSource digital toolbox helped members enjoy a 718 percent increase in ad-related purchases and an 825 percent spike in comparable online sales in the months following the outbreak — when furniture stores were closed, and foot traffic cratered.

So, what’s next as we turn the corner on COVID and the country begins to reopen? Will consumers return to their old brick-and-mortar ways? The answer is an unequivocal no.

On the contrary, the shopping habits that consumers adopted during the quarantines have become baked in, and many experts are now projecting that as much as half of all home-related purchases will be made online within the next five years.

For independent dealers, that means doubling down on technology to stay ahead of the curve, with BrandSource supporting that digital journey through ongoing innovation. A recent example is the host of enhancements we’ve made to our industry-leading Alta e-commerce platform, including predictive search to make it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for, and payment gateway integrations with Amazon Pay, PayPal and others to make online checkout frictionless.

COVID Relief Marketing

So, congratulations on making it through one of the roughest patches for retail. Now buckle up with BrandSource as together we ride the next wave of change.

To learn more about BrandSource’s e-commerce and digital marketing capabilities, please click here.

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Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.

You Can Bank on BrandSource

June 8, 2021

You Can
Bank on
BrandSource

In good times and bad, independent dealers need rock-solid financial backing to support their inventory needs.
Fortunately for BrandSource members, their businesses can count on BrandSource Financial (BSF), the buying co-op’s in-house inventory financing arm, to be there when order opportunities knock — especially in these supply-constrained times.
Now celebrating its 11th year, BSF’s extended terms continue to help BrandSource members improve cash flow, boost sales and increase their return on investment. BSF has also provided extra support throughout the pandemic, helping dealers contend with credit lines that were tied up in mounting backorders.
Besides benefitting from its considerable commercial clout, dealers also profit directly from BSF. Like the buying co-op it was named after, BSF was created solely for the betterment of the members; that means that unlike other financing plans, all profits from the program go back to BrandSource dealers in the form of annual cash distributions … and BSF is plenty profitable. In fact, BrandSource Financial broke another record last year, which translated to a cash distribution of 40 basis points, representing the best value proposition in the industry.

What’s more, BSF never requires exclusivity. Indeed, most BrandSource members use a second resource in addition to BSF, such as a vendor or third-party provider, which provides even greater liquidity with generally more credit facilities.

As an added bonus, BSF knows how to show its appreciation to BrandSource members. Its latest giveaway — a five-day “Tropical Escape” travel package with $400 in spending money — is sending a raffle-winning couple to Maui this fall.

To learn more about BrandSource Financial and the many other benefits of BrandSource membership, please click , please click here.
Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Service (But Didn’t Know Who to Ask)

June 1, 2021

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Service (But Didn’t Know Who to Ask)

It’s tough enough running a retail business, but when you add service to the mix, things really get tough.

That’s because self-servicing dealers face a multitude of added challenges, like billing rates that don’t cover costs; finding (and keeping) qualified techs: and complicated, high-tech appliances with vendor-specific parts that require multiple, and costly, truck rolls.

BrandSource, the nation’s largest buying co-op for independent appliance and home furnishings dealers, knows what you’re up against. That’s because more than 80 percent of our members are servicers — and why we’ve been working overtime to address their hurdles.

Through the efforts of a National Service Committee comprised of servicing members and BrandSource leadership, we’ve partnered with vendors, parts distributors, trade groups and training academies to bring meaningful change to the appliance service industry. At the same time, we’re delivering the benefits of best practices, discounted services, and actionable advice to our members, including expert guidance from BrandSource consultant and industry veteran Paul MacDonald, principal of the PMDGroup.

But of all our many service initiatives, perhaps none was more eagerly anticipated than the BrandSource Service Playbook. First released last fall, this exclusive, 32-page resource is a comprehensive tactical guide for servicers that addresses everything from tech retention, training, and compensation, to inventory control, fleet management, and marketing strategy.

An indispensable guide for both new and seasoned servicers, the Service Playbook also includes:

 

  • A calculator for determining profitable billing rates
  • Advice on improving first-call completes
  • How-to’s on turning house calls into high-margin sales opportunities
  • And a comprehensive contact list of key vendors, industry associations, parts distributors, warranty providers and educational outlets.

The BrandSource Service Playbook is just one example of the way we go to bat for our servicing dealers, and of the complimentary value-adds we provide to all our members.

To learn more about the Service Playbook and other service initiatives, as well as the many other benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.

Leave Your Website to Us

May 25, 2021

Leave Your Website to Us

If retailers have learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that their websites sites have become their new flagship stores.

That means that merchandising their online showrooms effectively is even more critical than merchandising their physical sales floors. Indeed, with shoppers doing more research and making more purchases digitally than ever before, it’s become imperative for e-commerce sites to present best-selling and in-stock items first, and for products to always be priced competitively.

Unfortunately, unless you’ve hired a dedicated digital merchant, most retailers don’t have time to manage their online assortment. That’s where BrandSource comes in.

 

Our LINQ4U service, a supplement to our LINQ online merchandising portal, is like having a dedicated digital team in-house. With LINQ4U, we set up the portal and handle all online merchandising duties. Website promotions, display models, product bundles, extended warranties and, most importantly, pricing are all updated by us. This assures that your transactional site remains

Want to know what else BrandSource’s LINQ4U team can do for you? How about:

 

  • Integrating your POS with your website
  • Setting up payment gateways
  • Suggesting high-margin add-on accessories to shoppers
  • Applying delivery, installation or haul-away fees at checkout
  • Creating special catalogs for clearance items and other select inventory

Now, full disclosure: Our new, completely redesigned LINQ 2.0 iteration is so intuitive and simple to use that many BrandSource members perform these duties themselves. But for those who are simply too preoccupied with day-to-day operations to stay on top of their online merchandising, our LINQ4U assisted service truly is for you.

To learn more about LINQ4U and the many other benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Mirror Your Website In-Store

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Without Waterfall Financing, Your Website May be All Wet

From Niagara in the East to Snoqualmie out West, everyone loves a waterfall. The same holds true in big-ticket retail, where “waterfall” financing provides a wide range of online lending options for shoppers.

Who the Heck is AVB/BrandSource?

In a challenging retail landscape, where home improvement chains and online giants continue to hold sway, imagine if independent dealers had a heavy hitter in their corner.