retail website

Strategic Partners and Your Website

Your website is great for your business, of course, but it can also help you to forge mutually beneficial partnerships. If you’re not using your website to support your partners — and perhaps leveraging that support — then you’re not getting the most from your company website.

An example came up yesterday when one of our clients, an outdoor gear store here in Northwest Arkansas, contacted a new supplier, a company that makes knives, asking for a store listing.

If you sell any product, you should be sure that you’re in the manufacturer’s store listing.

Often it’s just a formality, but some companies hesitate to list new retailers. They may have purchase volume requirements or require a certain length of time or amount of shelf space in order to provide that coveted “official dealer” status.

In this case, the store gave us a call and we added the knife maker’s logo, plus a blog post that was pulled to the front page, not to mention social media mentions — also on the home page. We linked to the manufacturer’s website, too, with a nice, natural editorial link in the blog.uncle-sams-knives2

Not only is there direct benefit here, but it shows a level of commitment to the vendor. In this particular case, there’s an added benefit for this newer, smaller company to have their logo featured along with those of larger, more famous companies.

What does your website have to offer partners or potential partners?

  • Include them in your client list, supplier list, or resources list along with other relevant, high quality links.
  • Mention them in a review or blog post with a link to their website.
  • Link to them in your email blast.
  • Offer them a guest post opportunity at your blog.
  • Sponsor a giveaway for them at your website.

Supporting your vendors helps you out, too, of course, but there are other ways that your promotion of others can pay off. One of our clients is a book review site. When we feature an author, that author often blogs about it, sending traffic from a new population. When I write a guest blog for another site, I naturally make a point of posting about it in social media, including here at my blog (here’s a post I wrote for Spoke, for example: 7 Things You Really Need to Change for Online Marketing in 2013). You can show up in search for the other company’s name, too — nice if they make a product that you sell.

Offer some free real estate on your website when you need to sweeten a deal — with a good content management system, it’s easy to do. It can definitely pay off.


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