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Level up your merchandising with LINQ4U

April 12, 2024

Level up your merchandising with LINQ4U

Your own personal virtual merchant

 

LINQ is the engine that drives your e-commerce website. Our proprietary platform, LINQ aligns website merchandising with in-store strategy to drive business both online and offline What could be better than that? Well, imagine if you got all that power without having to lift a finger. 

LINQ4U makes it happen

 

With LINQ, you never have to worry about products or pricing on your website being out of date — LINQ makes it easy for you to display merchandise the way you want to, showcase promotions, create special catalogs and more. 

 

With LINQ4U, we handle it all for you. We set up the portal and manage all online merchandising duties, website promotions, display models, product bundles, pricing and extended warranties. LINQ feeds your entire product catalog to your website, including real-time pricing, and LINQ4U means it happens without any additional effort from you. 

The power of LINQ in your hands

Level up your merchandising efforts to beat the competition — LINQ gives you the ability to always have the right product at the right price at the right moment to make the sale.  LINQ4U is like having your own marketing professional at the helm. Take advantage of our expertise and exclusive programs designed to give you more power in the marketplace. 

 

Start today with LINQ4U. 

 

To find out more about all the benefits of BrandSource membership, click below

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Win Customer Loyalty with Retail Bonus Events

April 8, 2024

Win Customer Loyalty with Retail Bonus Events

It’s all about great customer experience

 

Every study of retail consumer behavior tells us that no matter how great your prices are or how vast your selection, if your shopper has a bad experience you’ll never see them again. How do you enhance all the benefits you offer customers and get the edge? 

Boost your brand with retail bonus events  

Retail bonus events are special in-store days when you offer a little something extra to your shoppers. You can center them on holidays, private sales, warehouse sales, tent sales or just about anything that works for your business and your community.

 

When marketed well, these events drive up interest and traffic to your store and can have a major effect on your bottom line. And how do you ensure you’re getting the word out to the right people at the right time? BrandSource and AVB Marketing are the best in the industry for helping you strategize and advertise your events. 

Why hold a retail bonus event? 

    • When you hold a special event, you can connect better with customers and increase your brand identity with your key consumers. This is a great way to increase your exposure to a new audience and introduce all you have to offer to potential shoppers who might not have found you otherwise. 
    • Special sales, exclusive products or incentives for shoppers can bring people in your door and have a profound effect on your bottom line.
    •  By holding contests, sign-ups or surveys, you can capture valuable data consumer behavior and preferences. This is key information when you’re formulating a marketing strategy. 

How do you plan an event?

    • Before you pick a date, pick a purpose. When you have clear objectives for your retail bonus event, you multiply your chance of success. Are you trying to clear out inventory? Introduce a new product line? Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, let your objectives guide your planning. 
    • Figure out your target market. You up your chances of success if you tailor your event to the people you most want to attract. 
    • Market it correctly. People who don’t hear about your event won’t attend, so get the word out. And nobody is better than AVB Marketing to help you strategize and execute a plan.

A retail bonus event can create excitement among consumers, encouraging them to get to know you, engage with your products and, ultimately, to buy. Make the most of your next retail bonus event or start planning something for 2024 today, and let us help. With BrandSource and AVB Marketing at your side, your retail bonus events can outpace anything you’ve done before and give you edge you need to win the day.

 

To find out more about all the benefits of BrandSource membership, click below

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The Inside Scoop for Members

March 29, 2024

The Inside Scoop for Members

Independent retail is tricky

To stay on top of everything you need to know to do business — industry trends, group updates, member news and more — you need a source of information you can trust. Where can you turn to get the inside scoop?

BrandSource is the communications hub you’ve been looking for

In addition to offering industry-leading retail programs, digital marketing platforms and business intelligence, we also put a premium on great communication with members. We know how complicated it is to succeed as an independent appliance, furniture, mattress or electronics dealer, and it’s our mission to help you do just that. But how do members know what’s happening?

 

We have created a system that ensures you have access to all the news, updates, announcements and guidance you need, today and every day.

yoursourcenews.com

Our flagship website is where you’ll find the top group and industry news every day of the week. Our user-friendly interface shows you all the news stories, industry updates, special announcements and anything else that can help you make smart decisions and do business better.

YourSource Magazine

Our quarterly print publication is a glossy magazine filled with feature-length articles, briefs about the goings-on in the regions and columns by our guest experts. Our legacy publication, YourSource is where you’ll find in-depth accounts of members and vendors, words of wisdom from CEO Jim Ristow and stunning design and graphics. 

Newsletters

Your time is valuable and we don’t want you to have to dig to find the info you need, so we put it right into your virtual hands.

    • YourSource News: Three days a week (and a recap on Saturdays), we put the top three stories of the day together and deliver it straight to your inbox to make it easy for you to stay up to date.
    • ServiceSource: All the latest ideas and information for servicing dealers. First Thursday of the month.
    • HRSource: Tips, tricks and how-tos focused on finding, hiring and retaining the very best employees. Second Thursday of the month.
    • FurnitureTechnology Source: Furniture industry-specific news and updates just for the dealers who most need this specialized info. Third Thursday of the month.
    • MTEQ Monthly: Ideas and insights on how to maximize your digital marketing efforts and build your bottom line. Fourth Thursday of the month.
    • Women in Business: Sent out quarterly, this is where you’ll find links to podcasts, videos and other tidbits to help you feel inspired and empowered.
    • Young Professionals: A collection of links and news geared to help the next generation in our industry find ideas and encouragement. Quarterly.

      The Voice of Independent Retail

Through these communication efforts, BrandSource is your destination for accurate, reliable and timely news, updates and guidance. Everything we do is designed to keep members profitably in business, and communication is the cornerstone of that mission.

 

To find out more about our dedication to great communication and all the benefits of BrandSource membership, click below.

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The Inside Scoop for Members

BrandSource is the communication hub for members, providing timely and trustworthy information to help members stay profitably in business.

Experience the BrandSource White Glove Welcome

March 11, 2024

Experience the BrandSource White Glove Welcome

With you every step of the way

 

We know how big a deal it is to change buying groups. The thought of making the switch can sometimes be enough to keep you where you are, even if it’s not the best fit for you. That’s where BrandSource’s white glove welcome comes in. 

Change is scary; joining BrandSource is not

Our promise is that joining BrandSource will be the second-easiest thing you can do. (The first easiest will be to watch your bottom line grow as you implement the tools and platforms you have access to as a member.) Our white glove welcome is designed to make sure your transition to BrandSource is easy, seamless and successful. 

Region managers and member relations pros

Our staff of experts will walk you step by step through the transition process, making sure you have everything you need. It starts with the initial onboarding call, during which you’ll meet the team members who will shepherd you through the change. This is also when we identify what your key needs are and start planning how to meet them. 

MTEQ tools

One of the greatest benefits of BrandSource membership is your access to the full suite of digital marketing techniques developed by AVB Marketing. During your transition, you’ll have the opportunity to learn all about them and talk through which ones will most benefit you right out of the gate and how to best implement them. 

White glove checklist

 

What are some of the items you’ll go over with your transition team? Get a load of the options you’ll be presented with: 

 

      • AVB Marketing
      • BrandSource Financial
      • Margin enhancements
      • Consumer Financing
      • Expert Warehouse
      • ServiceSource solutions
      • Vendor programs

Exceptional care and attention

 

No matter what your needs are or what your past experiences have taught you, our white glove onboarding process will make it simple to be part of the best buying group in the independent retail industry for appliance, mattress, furniture and electronics dealers. 

 

We live by our mission: It’s all about the member. Our commitment is to put those words into practice from your first moment with the transition team. To find out more about the white glove onboarding process and what it would look like for you, or for more about the benefits of BrandSource membership, click below.  

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BrandSource is the communication hub for members, providing timely and trustworthy information to help members stay profitably in business.

What’s the hubbub about HUB?

March 8, 2024

What’s the hubbub about HUB?

An ally in the race to boost profits and beat your competition

HUB is your in-store CRM tool, providing business owners, sales people, support teams, merchants and customers access to the information they need exactly when they need it.

The next generation of e-commerce

When you have all the resources you need at your fingertips, you can seamlessly guide product decisions with shoppers, access comprehensive product data and communicate effortlessly with customers. 

CRM functionality

Beyond being a powerhouse for product data, HUB is equipped with a comprehensive CRM tool to help you optimize your customer interactions by: 

    • Storing customer contact details
    • Tracking in-store visits
    • Allowing you to leverage this information for strategic follow-ups

Create a HUB quote for the selected products, effortlessly emailing it to the customer with attached spec docs, eliminating the need for printing them out in the store. 

Every communication through HUB is logged, providing a comprehensive history for efficient follow-ups and customer interactions.

Team management 

Once your customer interactions are in HUB, leverage this data to efficiently manage your sales team.

    • Monitor closing rates through HUB’s robust reporting features.
    • Effectively oversee your sales pipeline by evaluating products, promos, customer visits and incoming texts and emails.

Additional benefits

    • Price tags have accurate and consistent information that you need.
    • Promotional history provides previous and upcoming promo schedules.
    • Inventory availability reports are right at your fingertips.
    • Quote tracking gives you the ability to reference historic sale conversations.
    • Price adjustments provide you the ability to make changes on the fly.
    • Competitor pricing gives you the visibility to help make the sale.

Seamless integration with MTEQ tools

We know that members who participate fully in our suite of tools see at least a 30% jump in traffic to their online store. That’s why HUB is fully integrated with all our other platforms, including LINQ, SYNC, ALTA, KIOSQ, digital price tags and more. 

See it all and manage it all on one centralized platform

HUB is continuously evolving, shaped by what members need and designed to help you boost your bottom line. Click to find out more about HUB and all the benefits of BrandSource membership.

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BrandSource is the communication hub for members, providing timely and trustworthy information to help members stay profitably in business.

BrandSource Financial: Investing In your success

March 8, 2024

BrandSource Financial: Investing In your success

Boost your bottom line with the best economic value proposition in the industry

 

BrandSource Financial was created 14 years ago to answer members’ call for an in-house financing program. Since then, BSF has become a vital component of BrandSource’s suite of benefits for members.

Improve your sales and cash flow

There are many reasons to participate in BSF for your independent appliance, furniture, mattress or electronics business.
Let us answer a few frequently asked questions to prove our point.

How does it work?

Rather than paying vendors direct for inventory within 15-30 days, BrandSource Financial finances invoices on scheduled payment terms. Length of financing is typically over a 60-90 day period, though display or show floor orders may have 6-12 month terms. Our system is completely automated for order approvals and invoice payments, which streamlines members’ payables process.

How does it help you make more money?

BrandSource Financial turns over program profits to members in the form of annual dash distributions. Right now, payout is at half a point or 50 basis points, which translates to $500 back for every $100,000 in annual volume financed through BSF. On average, participating members get an ACD of roughly $6,500 each, and many dealers receive well over $25,000.

Who makes the decisions?

Like BrandSource, BrandSource Financial is member-owned, which means decisions are made by and for members. What’s more, BSF never requires exclusivity. In fact, 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.

Isn’t signing up a big hassle?

No! With an effortless e-Sign application process, you’ll be off and running. BrandSource Financial also provides step-by-step assistance and a user manual.

Our secret weapon for member dealers

With more than 60 vendor partners participating and rave reviews from users, BrandSource Financial has a record you can trust and the industry clout you need. Would your business boom with an assist from BrandSource Financial? Click to find out more about BSF and all the benefits of BrandSource membership.

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BrandSource is the communication hub for members, providing timely and trustworthy information to help members stay profitably in business.

Why work with a buying group?

February 28, 2024

Why work with a buying group?

 By Anastasia Stefanova 

A Buying Group Can Make a Big Difference
in Your Store’s Success

 

Many furniture retailers saw their best years during the pandemic. Making home more comfortable, work-friendly or fixing the things shoppers have been putting off suddenly become a necessity. Best of all, they had the expendable income to do so. Retailers didn’t need to do much to see the traffic flow into the store.

 

As the pandemic continued, we took more and more people out of the market — shrinking our potential pool of available shoppers in the area in a short span of time. The slowing economy did the rest — tying off the remainder of the shoppers’ purse strings with a knot.

 

Retailers needed to pivot drastically and not just return to basics, but come up with new ideas to reduce costs, improve (or at least maintain) revenue and streamline inventory/operations in ways they have previously not had to consider before. Many have identified the need for partners that can alleviate some of the ebbs and flows of operating in the furniture retail space.

 

Buying groups are advantageous partners that can help reduce the costs of doing business and provide a set of resources to generate future business growth.

 

Buying Power to Reduce Costs

There’s power in numbers! Buying groups pool resources in a way the individual store is not able to. Working on behalf of the collective, they are able to negotiate volume rebates and discounts for retail members that they would not be able to negotiate on their own. These savings are often a massive benefit to the retailer – especially when trying to be conscious of the bottom line. Apart from better pricing, access to new inventory and lines can also sweeten the pot for dealers operating on a slimmer budget.

 

Programs and services to drive business

Participation with a buying group often means access to valuable resources through vetted business partners (sometimes at a discount). From career resources and marketing to consumer financing and credit card processing, buying groups can help you streamline a plethora of business needs like operations, inventory, financing and even staffing.

 

Networking opportunities to share knowledge

Probably the most invaluable benefit of working with a buying group is the access to other retailers. This opportunity to network, learn from one another and hear solutions from others who have been in their shoes can generate a wealth of new business ideas and solutions for pervasive pain points. Networking alone can stimulate a slow business into a thriving one.

 

Additional resources to lighten the load

Retailers are busy and often wear several hats within the organization. Working with a buying group can help retailers get much needed manpower and sometimes full teams of support to help with regular business operations, marketing, or other business areas that require a dedicated employee.

 

Partnerships to drive growth

Regardless of retailer size, a buying group will be a powerful partner for furniture dealers looking to grow their business. With a large partner (and peers) by their side, business growth becomes a clear destination versus a trial-and-error experience. Leadership, guidance and consultation help facilitate critical business decisions while optimizing the overall business budget. The best part is having all of these solutions under one roof versus navigating multiple partner relationships without any synchronicity.

 

Tools to enhance processes

With the right tools in place, business can become easier to manage, market and operate. From CRM systems and websites to showroom tags and digital signage, buying groups may have a variety of technology solutions that improve the way retailers do business. Not only do these tools help customers down the sales funnel, but they also simplify the process for the internal sales teams.

 

Choosing the right partner should be a process of evaluation. This means evaluating your own business, sales and marketing strategies and evaluating the buying groups themselves. Every furniture retailer will have unique needs and pain points that require solutions.

 

The right partner is available for any and every furniture retailer. Before selecting a buying group partner, ask some of these questions:

  • What benefits are provided as part of my membership?
  • What are my problem areas and where do I need the most help?
  • What tools are available to solve my business needs?
  • Do they understand my unique needs and have solutions for them?
  • What pieces may this buying group be missing?
  • What additional services may I require with additional growth?
  • Are services provided in-house or through third parties?

Buying groups have been powerful resources for furniture and mattress retailers even prior to the current economic times. However, with the rampant price-sensitivity in the market, increases to cost of doing business and the reduction of available shopper audiences, dealers may need to toss the playbooks of the past for a more strategic, cohesive approach to operating business.

 

A partnership with the right buying group can significantly improve overall store performance and cut costs, while putting you amidst a group of peers and leaders that all think alike.

 

 

 

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BrandSource is the communication hub for members, providing timely and trustworthy information to help members stay profitably in business.

Women in Business: Empowerment & Inspiration

February 26, 2024

Women in Business: Empowerment & Inspiration

Why Highlight Women in Business?

Independent appliance, furniture, mattress and electronics businesses have one thing in common: They’re primarily male-led. At least, they used to be. As women continue to take on leadership duties in management, sales and service departments in member businesses, BrandSource sets aside time and talent to encourage, empower and inspire the women in our unique industry. 

Resources and rewards to help women succeed

Women in Business is a group of professional independent retailers who come together during BrandSource events to empower, educate and inspire one another to grow and succeed. With a focus on topics such as leadership, thriving in a male-dominated industry and perfecting the work-life balance, the group is a powerful force for members. 

National Events

At each national event — spring Summit and fall Convention — there is a special session set aside for the Women in Business group. Sometimes it’s a speaker, sometimes it’s a special fun event, but it’s always designed to give the women of BrandSource a little something extra.

Women in Business Award

Every year during Summit, one especially deserving woman is presented with the Women in Business Award. Geared each year to highlight the special talents and accomplishments of the winner, the award celebrates the unique gifts and achievements of the women who are succeeding in business and leading the way for the next generation. 

Women in Business Newsletter

Direct to your inbox every quarter, the newsletter offers links to podcasts, blogs and Instagram feeds that are full of ideas and resources to help women build their success. There is also a Q&A with one woman each time, getting her unique perspective on career, success and challenges. 

 

Women in Business was created in 2014 to address the issues of women’s empowerment, education and inspiration within the traditionally male independent retail industry. The real benefit of participating in the group is the sense of community and sisterhood that comes from sharing experiences, challenges and support.

Women in Business is community of BrandSource women who understand your challenges and believe in your success. Click below to learn about it and all the benefits of membership.

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BrandSource is the communication hub for members, providing timely and trustworthy information to help members stay profitably in business.

BrandSource events help members win

February 26, 2024

BrandSource events help members win

BrandSource events: The secret ingredient
to members’ success

Independent retailers who participate in BrandSource events reap the benefits in many ways. These gatherings — whether with a handful of regional neighbors or thousands of colleagues at national events — are always ground zero for great new ideas, guidance and support.

 

In addition to industry-leading marketing technology, the best retail programs in the business and countless other benefits, BrandSource events are invaluable for members who want to win their markets and beat their competition.

BrandSource events give members unmatched advantages

Summit: The first national BrandSource event of the year

Every year, BrandSource and its affiliate groups — ProSource, Intercounty, NEAG and Mega Group BrandSource Canada — collaborate on a major in-person event that includes a huge EXPO trade show, education and training for members in their respective industries and networking opportunities. Summit is where members learn what’s new and what’s ahead in the industry, meet with vendors and get incredible buying opportunities at the Stampede.

Convention

August is when BrandSource members gather for the national Convention, an event that offers an incredible lineup of manufacturer trainings, educational sessions and social networking events. There’s also the two-day EXPO trade show and Stampede buying event.

Region meetings

Region meetings are as important to members’ continuing growth and success as national BrandSource events, as these smaller and more intimate gatherings give members greater access to guest speakers, vendor partners, AVB staff and other industry experts, and provide additional opportunities to share best practices with area businesses.

Women in Business and Young Professionals

These specialty groups offer unique networking and enrichment events. Women in Business, for the increasing number of women in the traditionally male independent retail industry, hosts a special event during national BrandSource events featuring an inspiration speaker or experience. Young Professionals, the 40-and-unders who make up the next generation of the independent appliance, furniture, mattress and electronics retail industry, have a variety sponsored networking and educational events every year.

 

Taken together, BrandSource events provide a unique benefit to members that is unrivaled at other buying groups. We know what it takes for retailers to leave their businesses, so we strive to make every event worthy of the sacrifices they make to attend. We like to say you’ll return home with at least one idea you can put into practice immediately, but the truth is you’ll go home with a pocket full of actionable concepts that will change your business for the better.

What impact could BrandSource events have on your business? Click below to find out how membership can impact your bottom line and boost your business

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BrandSource is the communication hub for members, providing timely and trustworthy information to help members stay profitably in business.

ALTA: Best-in-class website solution for independents

February 16, 2024

ALTA: Best-in-class website solution for independents

Maximize Your Online Presence
with an ALTA Website, the
Best-in-Class Website Solution
for Independent Retailers

ALTA, our website solution, is a key component of the MTEQ suite of tech tools for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and electronics dealers. It is designed specifically to provide the analytics you need to make smart decisions and capture more eyeballs and more sales.

6 Ways ALTA Elevates Your Sales Game and Gives You a Competitive Advantage:

1. ALTA’s SEO magic drives organic traffic to your online store

The ALTA platform includes built-in SEO tools for 30% more traffic – which translates into more conversions
and higher sales.

2. Streamlined shopping: How ALTA enhances customer experience

The most-used tools on your website are always at your customers’ fingertips.

3. Increase sales with ALTA’s strategic product placement and merchandising

Boost the products you most want customers to see, such as special promotional products, to the top of the search results so they get more attention.

4. Boost your average cart value with ALTA’s merchandised add-ons, cross-sells and packages

Increase your average cart value and ensure consumers have everything they need for a complete purchase experience with easily merchandised add-ons, related items and over 9,000 pre-built packages and groups.

5. Seamless transactions with ALTA’s wide range of payment options

This includes popular options such as PayPal, Amazon Pay and an array of credit card and other buying options.

6. Data-driven decisions: Unveiling insights with ALTA website solutions analytics tools

From near-live dashboard data to granular information about how shoppers are interacting with your site — and
much more — you’ll have all the information you need to increase sales.

 

Ready to revolutionize your online retail experience? Take the first step towards maximizing your sales potential with ALTA today.

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BrandSource is the communication hub for members, providing timely and trustworthy information to help members stay profitably in business.