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.

Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Don’t Let That Sale Get Away!

Fast, frictionless transactions are the goal of all e-commerce sites, and an on-the-spot consumer credit program from AVB/BrandSource can help make shoppers’ online purchases downright seamless.

Double Trouble

That’s what BrandSource dealers are to their competitors.

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.

Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Don’t Let That Sale Get Away!

Fast, frictionless transactions are the goal of all e-commerce sites, and an on-the-spot consumer credit program from AVB/BrandSource can help make shoppers’ online purchases downright seamless.

Double Trouble

That’s what BrandSource dealers are to their competitors.

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

Don’t Let That Sale Get Away!

Fast, frictionless transactions are the goal of all e-commerce sites, and an on-the-spot consumer credit program from AVB/BrandSource can help make shoppers’ online purchases downright seamless.

Double Trouble

That’s what BrandSource dealers are to their competitors.

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.

Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Don’t Let That Sale Get Away!

Fast, frictionless transactions are the goal of all e-commerce sites, and an on-the-spot consumer credit program from AVB/BrandSource can help make shoppers’ online purchases downright seamless.

Double Trouble

That’s what BrandSource dealers are to their competitors.

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.

Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Don’t Let That Sale Get Away!

Fast, frictionless transactions are the goal of all e-commerce sites, and an on-the-spot consumer credit program from AVB/BrandSource can help make shoppers’ online purchases downright seamless.

Double Trouble

That’s what BrandSource dealers are to their competitors.

All the News You Need to Succeed

May 18, 2021

All the News You Need to Succeed

In today’s connected, always-on world, we’re bombarded with information from countless sources ranging from social media and cable TV to good old-fashioned newspapers.

But with furniture and appliance dealers working around the clock to keep up with record demand, there’s little time to sort through the information overload. Surely there’s news out there that can make your business even more successful, but how to find it?

That’s where BrandSource comes in. Recognizing the need for an accurate, reliable and timely source of relevant business news, the country’s largest buying co-op for independent dealers bypassed the mainstream media and waning trade magazines to create its own news source: YourSource.

With a staff that boasts more than half a century of combined publishing, retail reporting, magazine production and web design experience, YourSource News has quickly become “The Voice of Independent Retail” for BrandSource members across the country. Comprised of a news and information site (YourSourceNews.com), a four-times a week newsletter and a quarterly magazine, YourSource delivers all the news you need to succeed, including:

  • Industry intelligence
  • COVID updates
  • Inventory forecasts
  • Vendor insights
  • Product trends
  • Expert how-to articles
  • “How-they-did-it” dealer profiles, and
  • The latest BrandSource initiatives.

Taken together, YourSource provides the kind of actionable information that helped guide our members through the darkest days of the pandemic, while shedding light on the business tools and best practices that can make your company even more efficient and profitable.

 

And all served up in an easy-to-access format to save you time and, ultimately, money.

But when it comes right down to it, YourSource is simply an extension of BrandSource’s core principle of members helping members. So join the other 5,000 independent furniture, appliance and electronics dealers who together are BrandSource Strong, and let BrandSource and YourSource help you become the best retailer you can be.

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

Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Don’t Let That Sale Get Away!

Fast, frictionless transactions are the goal of all e-commerce sites, and an on-the-spot consumer credit program from AVB/BrandSource can help make shoppers’ online purchases downright seamless.

Double Trouble

That’s what BrandSource dealers are to their competitors.

Serving the Appliance Servicers

May 11, 2021

Serving the Appliance Servicers

Competing as a retailer in today’s marketplace is tough enough; add a service department to the mix and the hurdles quickly begin to mount.

Indeed, today’s self-servicing appliance dealers face a multitude of challenges — everything from increasingly complex products and inadequate billing rates, to finding (and keeping) qualified service technicians.

At BrandSource, we understand the impediments to service profitability, perhaps more than most. That’s because fully 80 percent of BrandSource members are appliance servicers too.

But understanding alone isn’t nearly enough. That’s why, beginning with the creation of a member-led National Service Committee, BrandSource has rolled out a wide range of unmatched service initiatives, including:

 

  • An exclusive, 32-page Service Playbook that tackles everything from tech retention, training and compensation, to inventory control, fleet management and billing rates.
  • Strategic partnerships with leading trade associations, training academies and parts suppliers, including the United Appliance Servicers Association (UASA), Master Samurai Tech (MST) and Reliable Parts.
  • Training and educational sessions during BrandSource’s bi-annual national shows, and service-specific digital marketing campaigns developed by our advertising arm, AVB Marketing.

Most recently, BrandSource launched the first in a regular series of Service Town Halls, hosted by members, staff and expert consultants, where self-servicing dealers can share their concerns and hear practical, real-world solutions.

Together, by leveraging the insights and industry clout of our 5,000-strong dealer organization, we can help make all our service departments profitable and all our businesses grow.

Sound good? To learn more about BrandSource’s commitment to servicer and the many other benefits of membership, please click here.

Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Don’t Let That Sale Get Away!

Fast, frictionless transactions are the goal of all e-commerce sites, and an on-the-spot consumer credit program from AVB/BrandSource can help make shoppers’ online purchases downright seamless.

Double Trouble

That’s what BrandSource dealers are to their competitors.

Let Their Fingers Do the Walking

May 3, 2021

Let Their Fingers Do the Walking

Back in the old days, the Yellow Pages, a printed business directory, promoted the convenience of shopping by phone with the tagline, “Let Your Fingers Do the Walking.”

Fast-forward to the present, and fingers — whether clicking a mouse or tapping a smartphone — are quickly catching up with feet as the preferred method of shopping.

Fortunately for the dealers of AVB/BrandSource, our member-owned buying group was better-prepared than most for the crush of online sales that came with customer-confining quarantines. Appliance, furniture and tech retailers who embraced our affordable, state-of-the-art e-commerce platform enjoyed record transactions, order counts and online conversions, and are positioned to continue outperforming their big-box and independent competitors.

What makes BrandSource websites so special? Created in-house by our AVB Marketing arm and continuously updated by our bleeding-edge developers, our industry-leading transactional sites are simply faster, more Google-friendly, and easier to shop than just about anything out there. Favorite features include:

 

  • Flags for in-stock items
  • Payment gateways with “apply-and-buy” financing
  • High-margin accessory offers at checkout; and
  • An online merchandising portal that lets dealers set price rules, showcase promotions, highlight best-sellers, and create custom product packages.

Bundled together under your store brand, these online selling tools are a powerful differentiator in the marketplace — and are sure to keep your customers’ fingers walking to the “Buy Now” button long into the future.

To learn more about AVB’s e-commerce clout and the many benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Don’t Let That Sale Get Away!

Fast, frictionless transactions are the goal of all e-commerce sites, and an on-the-spot consumer credit program from AVB/BrandSource can help make shoppers’ online purchases downright seamless.

Double Trouble

That’s what BrandSource dealers are to their competitors.

Under 40? BrandSource Has the Crew for You

April 27, 2021

Under 40? BrandSource Has the Crew for You

You may have heard that BrandSource is America’s largest merchandising and marketing group for independent appliance, furniture, bedding and consumer tech dealers. And that as a retail co-op it is 100-percent owned by its nearly 5,000 members.

All true.

What you may not know is that BrandSource is made up of a multiple sub-groups, boards and committees — all there to support your specific business needs, and to provide added opportunities for networking, socializing or leadership roles.

One of the most popular groups under the BrandSource umbrella is Young Professionals. Created nearly a decade ago as a breeding ground for future industry leaders, this under-40 club is comprised of young, highly motivated dealers, reps, buyers, managers and vendor partners, all looking to share new ideas and grow their businesses.

Like most young people, the Young Professionals are quick to challenge convention, whether it’s industry norms or even BrandSource and member practices. But their pro-active participation has inspired positive change, such as the formation of a Young Professionals Facebook group, which led to the creation of separate FB pages for BrandSource’s countrywide Region chapters.

Traditionally, Young Professionals holds networking events during BrandSource conventions, and convenes for YP University learning academies between shows. Besides the know-how they impart, the complimentary trainings help foment long-term relationships with the vendors and suppliers that flock to these sessions, representing yet another way that younger BrandSource members are reshaping the business. Past YP Universities included a three-day stint in New Orleans, and classes will resume this November in Austin.

More recently, the under-40 crowd gathered virtually during last month’s BrandSource spring Summit for a Samsung-sponsored Comedy Night featuring raucous stand-up comedian Pat McGann. But whether on-site or on Zoom, Young Professionals social gatherings help break the ice and forge lasting bonds between these up-and-comers, while promoting cooperation, support and success.

Like the song says, we believe the children are our future. And given the talent, dedication and business smarts of our Young Professionals, the future looks even brighter for BrandSource.

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

Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Don’t Let That Sale Get Away!

Fast, frictionless transactions are the goal of all e-commerce sites, and an on-the-spot consumer credit program from AVB/BrandSource can help make shoppers’ online purchases downright seamless.

Double Trouble

That’s what BrandSource dealers are to their competitors.

Why BrandSource M&M’s Are Better, And Better for You

April 19, 2021

Why BrandSource M&M’s Are Better, And Better for You

Everybody likes M&Ms, but if you’re an independent appliance, home furnishings or consumer tech dealer, you’re really going to love ours.

At BrandSource, the nation’s largest member-driven co-op, many of our buying group’s benefits begin with the letter “M.”

 

First there’s Merchandising, which provides a runway of competitive programs and promotions from the industry’s top manufacturers.

Then there’s Marketing, which designs and implements state-of-the-art websites, digital advertising and social media campaigns that rival or exceed those of any national retailer.

More immediately, there’s Member Development, a countrywide network of BrandSource staff whose one and only job is to make sure you have everything you need to succeed.

And of course, there’s Money, which you’ll be making more of by implementing these services and reaping the return on investment.

But perhaps the most powerful M in the BrandSource playbook is the Members themselves. Together they represent an extended family that’s 5,000 strong and always there should you need them. Whether it’s advice, best practices, a laugh and yes, even inventory, members are all about sharing and caring for one another.

 

Together they’re a force to be reckoned with, a fraternity of like-minded merchants we call the “M” Factor, where it truly is one for all and all for one.

Over the course of half a century, BrandSource has built a culture of success around the M Factor, in which independent dealers continue to thrive. We cordially invite you to join our brotherhood and sisterhood of Members, and to profit from all of the M&Ms in store.

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

Receive the latest news.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Related Posts

Don’t Let That Sale Get Away!

Fast, frictionless transactions are the goal of all e-commerce sites, and an on-the-spot consumer credit program from AVB/BrandSource can help make shoppers’ online purchases downright seamless.

Double Trouble

That’s what BrandSource dealers are to their competitors.