This article will help you understand the wholesale funnel and how you can use it on your FAIRLING journey.
What is a wholesale funnel?
A wholesale funnel visually represents the stages from the first point of contact with the future customer to the final deal. It helps you identify and understand the customer's thoughts, challenges and what decisions they make at each phase of the purchasing journey. You can use this knowledge for placing your advertisements.
Wholesale at FAIRLING or other digital trade fairs work similarly to classic marketing/sales funnels. When you place ads, shop owners will get to know your products and may want to purchase from you. That is why it is important to build up their interest step by step through the course of your FAIRLING membership.
The wholesale funnel is made up of three phases: awareness, interest and purchase.
What happens in the awareness stage?
In the awareness stage, customers will be made aware of your products for the first time - this happens mainly through your advertisements. Customers will be captured by your brand and products if they find the marketing and presentation pleasing and interesting. You further have to emphasise your unique selling point (USP):
What does your product do?
What makes it more valuable than similar products that are being offered?
What makes your brand and products unique?
Who are you and what is the story behind the brand and products that you have created?
By mentioning the above points in your advertisement, it will help create an emotional bond between the customers and your brand. It is important to note that the first advertisement that you place on the platform might not be the most successful one. However, it is one of the most important as it sets up the first contact between potential clients and you.
Here are a couple of points which would be helpful to mention in the first advertisement, as it will help establish the first connection to the customers:
Introduction of your brand
Most of the people seeing your ad on the platform will not know what your brand stands for. That is why, it is important to introduce your brand, your mission and possibly you so that resellers can get to know you better.
Usage of headings or bullet points
Using different headers or bullet points makes it easier for the customers to read, instead of having one big block of text. Furthermore, you can communicate your benefits and the USP much more clearly.
Personally addressing the retailers
By showcasing shops that already own your products, and placing positive reviews in your advertisements your B2B customers will feel better addressed.
Include a call-to-action
End your advertisement with a call-to-action so that customers feel the need to connect with you and your brand.
By sharing your founding story in the first ad, and adding pictures of you and your team, it creates a personal impression and helps potential customers understand your brand and the story behind it much better.
What happens in the interest stage?
In this stage, you focus on trying to create an emotional connection between potential customers and your products. Show customers why they should order your products by emphasising their value. Developing the relationship with shop owners and customers is a further opportunity in this stage which you can do through personalised emails, advertisements and newsletters that are targeted to specific shops that you want to place your products in. Offering product samples can also help awaken the interest of the customers.
The following should be included for the advertisement of the interest stage:
Convincing and attractive offers
Having great offers can make your customers get interested in your brand immediately. Some examples of offers you could make are: free shipping, a discount for new customers, no minimum order or a free sample.
Benefits should be put right in the title
It is helpful to put your best-selling arguments or offers right in the title of your advertisement
Stress your USP
List all the great benefits of your products and stress what sets you apart from competitors who have similar products. Convince your customers!
Establish a relationship
It is important to clearly state what values are important to you. By doing this you can connect with shops that share these values, which can lead to an instant connection.
For an ad in the interest phase, you can also share a love story from one of your existing resellers. You could add feedback from customers who love your products, great pictures of your products presented in local shops and so on. It can also be convincing to advertise your bestsellers, so your resellers immediately know what they should go for.
What happens in the purchasing stage?
In this stage shop owners will get in touch with you to buy your items. A positive buying experience for the customer can lead to referrals and more people will be made aware of your products. The wholesale funnel starts from the beginning. It is important to make sure that customers actually order from you. So don’t forget to keep on publishing advertisements to raise awareness and create interest in your brand to new customers. Many more customers will follow!
The following should be included in the advertisement for the purchase stage:
Get the customers onboard: At this point, customers have seen a few of your ads and know your brand quite well. The last phase is really about convincing customers of your products through a clear call-to-action.
Additional benefits: Use your last, perhaps previously unknown arguments to take away the last doubt from your target group. Is there anything you haven’t mentioned yet that is still special? Think about why the resellers might still have doubts and try to solve them immediately. In case you need inspiration, just check out our help center article here!
Artificial shortage: This increases the pressure for your customers to order now. You can do this, for example, by limiting the time of your offer (only in June!) or by limiting the number of offers (for the first 5 customers!). Of course, people don’t want to miss out on this offer and therefore tend to order immediately.
For the purchase phase advertisement, the most important thing is to answer all potential questions the customer might have and to communicate your USP clearly. You should focus on working out the benefits of the products for the shop owners and giving them good sales arguments, as it is no longer about getting to know the products and your brand. So you can also differentiate between B2B retailer benefits and B2C end-customer benefits in the ads.
Moreover, the purchase stage goes hand in hand with closing the deal. So after you have received your first inquiry, it is super important to actually turn this request into a deal! You will find some great tips in our help center article “How to close the deal?” in case if you need some advice.
To summarize, there is a graph of a wholesale funnel below and what you need to be aware of at each stage of the funnel: