Monarch Butterfly

What buyers need to make textile purchasing decisions.

How do you sell textile products in 2022?

Specifically, how do you sell commodity-based products such as white hotel towels to a commercial laundry, a brick-and-mortar retail chain, or on an e-commerce marketplace? Our customers are resellers, seldom the consumer. The traditional direct-sales approach is valid for established customers. However, omnichannel selling through digital portals, owned e-commerce, and marketplaces must be considered moving forward. The following statistics help set the stage:

  1. According to Statista, there are 2.14 billion global buyers as of 2021.
  2. 68% of online shoppers search for a product on Google before purchasing.
  3. According to Forrester, B2B ecommerce is expected to almost double from a record high of $1.7 trillion in 2021 to $3 trillion by 2027
  4. 75% of repeat purchases are made online, whereas 71% of consumers prefer to make first-time purchases at a physical store.
  5. In a recent study, 43% of online shoppers indicated that the two most important attributes when shopping online were:
    1. In-stock availability of desired items.
    2. Fast and reliable delivery.
  6. MarketingDesks.com cites statistics from Think with Google stating 89% of B2B Buyers start their buying process online.

B2B e-commerce is playing catch-up to retail e-commerce marketplaces. B2B buyers are used to doing their personal shopping online for years and now seek vendors who offer similar online experiences.

How can distributors make an impact with their online presence?

Distributors need a supplier who is equipped to enhance and amplify their listings to win the sale. Whether you sell wholesale white bath towels in bulk or small packs of washcloths, distributors need to ask their suppliers some key questions:

  • How can my customers understand the attributes of this product vs. others in the market? For a white hotel towel, specification data sheets, lifestyle shots of the towel in a hotel guest room, or a side-by-side comparison to comparable towels may be what my customers need.
  • Will the collateral we display explain the value proposition of our product? Did we “oversell” or “undersell” the towel or sheet in our pictures, videos, or infographics?
  • Is my source of supply well stocked? Can I supply the consumer with an ongoing supply that performs to their expectations?
  • Can I ship from my warehouse, or will my supplier drop ship for me? While fast shipping is in great demand, few want to pay for it. In a 2018 study of U.S. shoppers discovered that high delivery costs are the primary reason for cart abandonment for online sales.
  • Will my supplier offer sample towels? If my customer wants to physically touch and feel the product before purchasing, will my supplier work with me to blind ship samples?

While towels and sheets are our specialty, they may make up a fraction of online SKUs you carry. Your customers may not be aware of unique value propositions and datapoints in relation to the textile’s ideal use simply because you may not have that information in your listings.

Some commercial online sellers have cracked the algorithm.

Their descriptions are packed with keywords. Their photographs and infographics paint a detailed picture of the towel, while lifestyle shots place the towel in the use-case environment (e.g., a hotel guest bathroom). Quality and cost being equal; the more advanced a seller’s presentation is, the more likely it is to receive favorable reviews. This boosts the listing’s placement organically. They’ll spend less on advertising over time which bolsters profitability.

We often see distributors who aren’t textile experts telling inconsistent stories about the towels they sell. Take these two examples of our  SmartRags microfiber cloths in dispenser box listings. As a customer, you can access all of our image libraries, videos, and datasheet information. Using multiple assets to describe the attributes and benefits of the product will sway buyers in your favor.

With a single image and little information. There’s nothing to tell the story (sell the sizzle).

Leverage our content, image library, video files, product data sheet, and recommended products.

In 2023 one of Monarch Brands’ mission goals is to share our institutional knowledge, images, videos, and datapoints we have developed over the years with our retail, commercial, and ecommerce customers in an effort to enhance their online presence.

We believe our distributors’ online success increases as they are given the tools to present a physical product the way decision makers are now accustomed to seeing it.

  • Buyers make decisions based on their research which starts with online searches.
  • Catching the customer’s eye with product images and education (technical specs, care instructions, lifecycle, etc.) elevates customers’ understanding and expectations.
  • Finally, samples sent for tactile approval and testing should seal the deal.

Photos & Videos

Data Sheets

Samples

In a world that relies on selling through the screen as the first step, our customers’ success relies on their ability to educate and tell our story verbally, visually, and physically. Building and sharing a valuable library of resources arm the distributor with modern tools for success with today’s buyers who are accustomed to digital (and visual, like ZOOM conferences) presentations.

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