When choosing to link to another retailer for Buy Online (or offline) participation in your Where to Buy tool, annual sales isn't the only measure you should consider. Of course they should have a good reputation, rating, customer service experience, but what makes a good Where to Buy partner? A good retail partner should have the following features that are specific to a Where to Buy tool:
- A mature affiliate program: MetaLocator collects confirmed conversion data by back-filling sales data provided by the retail partner affiliate program. Absent a special relationship, this is the only way to confirm that a given product has been purchased after the consumer clicks "Buy" on the Where to Buy tool. The retail partner must allow for SKU-level reporting on sales to allow our staff to back-fill the product sale into the analytics platform. For example, Amazon's Advertising Affiliate reporting tool provides for the export of data via CSV, which can then be easily imported to show conversions in MetaLocator.
- Store-level inventory data: Many retailers do not have a good way to show whether a given product is at a given location. When you call a store to check, some retailers must physically confirm the stock visually. However, other retailers have inventory checking tools on their Website or an API which allows for the automated checking of the stock status of a given SKU.
- Good Web data or API: Leveraging automation requires that a retailer properly represent the product on their Website or API. Choosing retail partners that properly display a reliable key in their API makes the matching process more reliable.
- Large product inventory: Retailers that cover a larger portion of product inventory present leads to more buying options for customers and make the best use of the effort to onboard the retailer.