The 2023 holiday season is roughly four months away. That means it’s the perfect time for suppliers and trading partners to identify new ideas and strategies that can potentially improve efficiencies and boost that holiday season bottom line. Here are a few to consider.

Incorporate Buy Now, Pay Later at Brick and Mortar

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) lets customers purchase a product and pay in installments over time, with little to no interest versus paying 100 percent up front or on traditional credit. Led by brands such as Klana and Affirm, popularity of BNPL rose during the height of the pandemic, due to the uncertainty of personal cash flow and increased demand for eCommerce. 

But can retailers and brands with their own brick-and-mortar presence employ BNPL in the real world? 

It’s worth considering. 

Incorporating BNPL can increase a consumer’s ‘in the moment’ buying mindset, by essentially turning one large immediate spend into multiple smaller spends spread over time. And with an estimated 80.4% of 2023 holiday spend occurring in-store, now’s the time for brands with their own brick and mortar presences to explore in-store BNPL.

Explore Affiliate PR

Most marketers are familiar with affiliate marketing and public relations. But lately, particularly in the consumer products space, the two are merging. Now, when brands pitch their products to media outlets for editorial review or consideration, they’re being asked if they have an affiliate program that would enable the media outlet to earn a commission on products purchased through their editorial coverage. It feels a little bit like advertising and a little bit like traditional PR, but we’ve all seen it. Every time you read something that has a “we may earn a small commission from purchases made through this article” disclaimer, that’s affiliate PR at work. 

If you have a PR agency, ask them about this now, ahead of the holiday season. 

Strengthen Trading Partner Relationships

Nothing can cause more stress to your business than a broken process. Prior to the busiest season of the year, suppliers should get in lockstep alignment with their trading partners. One helpful tool to achieve that is the retailer scorecard. Trading partners use the retailer scorecard to keep track of important key performance indicators in their relationships with their suppliers. Retailers usually do scorecards on a quarterly basis, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for one. Suppliers looking to strengthen their trading partner relationships - especially ahead of the holiday season - should reach out and request an evaluation. Most trading partners will be happy to see a proactive approach like that.

Shore Up Your Warehouse Management Connections

Speaking of trusting relationships, building a solid system between business document transactions and warehouse management systems is crucial to success - and potentially a huge time-saver. When a supplier’s electronic data interchange (EDI) system is integrated with its warehouse management system (WMS), good things happen. 

In a WMS, EDI plays a critical role in communicating order information for shipping and receiving products. Not having this in line results in miscommunication, mistakes, and dissatisfied trading partners. And nobody wants that during the holiday season.

 eZCom’s newest integration with Whiplash is one way suppliers can seamlessly integrate their WMS into their current process. With this integration, suppliers gain access to built-in validation checks that will dramatically improve compliance and reduce chargebacks.

By exploring, evaluating and implementing these strategies, suppliers can be fully prepared for the onslaught of the holiday season.

Happy holidays!

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