The retail market is a whirlwind with ever-changing consumer demands and preferences. Studies reveal that nearly 40% of consumers have switched brands or retailers during the pandemic, and 80% of consumers are developing new shopping behaviors. 

With the recent fluctuations in consumer preferences, it has become more important to capture a consumer’s attention and convert it into a purchase. Retailers continue to search for innovative ways to do so, with one being retail partnerships. 

Retail partnerships are collaborations between 2 or more brands to form a mutually beneficial relationship that sustains growth for all parties involved. As the retail landscape continues to change, it is important to consider the benefits of B2B partnerships and explore the types of partnerships that may be right for your business. Take a look at this deep-dive for more insight into successful partnerships:  

Benefits of B2B Partnerships 

Dubbed the “future of retail,” brand partnerships provide the opportunity to closely align with an industry adjacent to or a brand that is complimentary to yours. This partnership will bring positive growth to both brands.  

Share experience and expertise 

Many small businesses lack the experience to navigate the various aspects of their operations. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when your resources are limited. Partnering with another company that specializes in what you’re lacking can be beneficial because you can provide insight to each other by strategically leveraging your strengths. Focus on what you do best, and let your partner handle the rest. 

A prime example of a retail partnership that strengthened two businesses was that of East West Logistix and Fluid Truck. Specializing in delivery logistics, East West Logistix grew in a time when growth wasn’t certain. The company pursues excellent and timely delivery, and amidst supply chain issues and stiff weather conditions, that’s almost unheard of. Luckily, they were able to focus on what they do best – delivery. Fluid Truck maintained all delivery vans in use while East West Logistix focused on timely, committed delivery. The company scaled effortlessly to meet consumer demands. 

Widen your customer base 

One of the more prominent reasons for forging a retail partnership is widening your customer base. Many big-box retailers are partnering with smaller companies to catch customers’ attention and utilize the already-established supply system. Retailers can elevate their brand while reaching the customers of another. 

For example, Kohl’s recent introduction of Sephora to stores attracts younger customers by utilizing Sephora’s customer loyalty to get people in the door. The company has already seen an uptick in sales – noting that beauty has remained a strong category for shoppers despite the inflation and pandemic. 

Expand your geographical reach 

Much of the partnerships we’re seeing today deal directly with streamlining delivery options. Retailers want to meet customers where they are, and that means meeting expectations that orders are delivered around the clock. It’s a huge undertaking to create your own delivery services. This has encouraged retailers to expand their options and create innovative partnerships with already-established fleets. 

Partnering with other delivery businesses allows one to focus solely on the product and rest assured that the delivery needs will be met efficiently. Companies like Walmart are capitalizing on just that, initiating a new B2B delivery service known as GoLocal. This service is a white-label delivery service that allows other retailers to conveniently and flexibly utilize Walmart’s resources for faster deliveries. 

Home Depot is among one of the first retailers to enroll in these services. Retail partnerships like this one allow shared access to Home Depot’s customer base for Walmart and shared resources for Home Depot. The sharing of these resources eliminates waste and is cost-effective. 

Types of Partnerships 

Now that we’ve mapped the benefits of retail partnerships, let’s delve into some examples of successful ones: 

“Shop-in-Shop” Partnerships 

These partnerships zero in on the benefit of increased exposure and shared resources. By forging these partnerships, companies can use retail space that otherwise would not be available to them and reach larger consumer bases. 

  • Lowe’s and Petco: After extensive research following the pandemic, leadership at Lowe’s quickly realized that pet-related items were a secure product to keep on shelves. More at-home time during the pandemic led to a shift in consumer interests focusing on a “love of home and pets.” Lowe’s is putting our hearts for our pets and home at the forefront through this partnership. 
  • Target and Ulta: Target has successfully married its trendy shopping experience with the beauty and care expertise of Ulta Beauty by forming a partnership with Ulta. By the end of the year, most Target stores are expected to carry Ulta’s 50+ beauty brands, overlapping beauty, and Target lovers. 
Home Depot's partnership with Pinterest allows customers to shop directly from the social media platform.

Social Media Partnerships 

Anyone who’s someone is online and this has only grown through exciting new partnerships. These partnerships focus on gaining more exposure to a wider customer base and consolidating the purchasing timeline into one screen. 

  • Home Depot and Pinterest: Store closures and Tiktok’s booming growth during the pandemic have only encouraged our DIY nature. Home Depot’s partnership with Pinterest is a reflection of this, giving customers the ability to shop directly in-app. Ever scrolled through Pinterest, found something you liked, and then lost it? Shopping on Home Depot’s in-app experience allows you to purchase your exact pins with one click. 
  • Walmart and Buzzfeed: Similar to Home Depot and Pinterest, Walmart’s partnership with Buzzfeed lets shoppers easily shop their needs while reading Buzzfeed articles. This shoppable content makes it easier than ever to read and purchase almost simultaneously. Find what you need and buy it all in one place. 

Delivery Partnerships 

Delivery partnerships allow businesses to focus solely on building a brand while utilizing already-established delivery services. Their geographic reach is expanded and they can meet customers right where they are. Businesses can cater to customer preferences through delivery partnerships, offering quick, convenient delivery. 

  • Instacart: Since its launch 10 years ago, Instacart has forged partnerships with over 800 brands and counting. Its latest partnerships include Big Lots, Container Store, and Staples in a category called “big and bulky.” It has also made its mark on the self-care industry, expanding same-day delivery for Sephora and prescription delivery with Costco. 
  • DoorDash: Looking to reach past fast-food delivery, DoorDash has partnered with many grocers and other retailers; including Sprouts, EG America, Big Lots, Dick’s, and The Raley companies. 
  • Uber: Known as one of the first pioneers in ridesharing, Uber launched UberOne in late 2021. The company is using UberOne to replace UberEats Pass and expand past food delivery. Since then, Uber has built a partnership with The Body Shop in 6 states, offering same-day delivery to UberOne subscribers on orders $15 and up. 

Forge a partnership with Fluid Truck 

Looking to create a partnership, but don’t know where to start? We’re Fluid Truck, and we work with retailers and businesses of all sizes to provide easy vehicle access and reliable delivery vans. We’ve created successful partnerships that have inspired, expanded, and aided other businesses. We believe that utilizing our strength of vehicle maintenance and efficient fleet management technology helps business soar – and we want to do the same with you. Check out Fluid Truck for Business to learn more today.

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