In the ever-changing realm of eCommerce, strategic partnerships have become indispensable for business growth and success. Collaborating with other companies offers numerous benefits that contribute to expansion, improved customer experiences, and staying ahead of the competition.
We've got Cian Wright, Founder @Bragging Rights, here and in this blog post will be all about PARTNERSHIPS🤝
We can expect Cian to share his 15 years of eCommerce experience while providing tips and strategies on how to build powerful and beneficial partnerships. He knows all the different types of partnerships, how to identify them, and what to say so you don’t look like a total noob. Already have partnerships? With Cian, you could maximize the potential of them.
🗣️: What is the importance of partnerships for e-commerce?
💬 Cian: For a tech business partnerships can become a huge portion of inbound leads if run effectively. For brands, partnerships can drive entry to new markets, categories, etc, and can identify new customer cohorts. For example, a fashion brand thinking of entering the French market could collaborate with a French brand for a co-produced product and test the waters while building up a mailing list/pixel data for that market.
🗣️: Do you think two different types of businesses can do successful partnerships? Like a tech business with a products business.
💬 Cian: Yes, I think there normally needs to be a physical object that’s not to say it’s impossible but a brand collaborating with software outside of web3 or something purchasable might be challenging to align value on.
🗣️: Do you have any tips on how to best reach out to new potential partners? Any channels that are better than others.
💬 Cian: For brands, I’d look to build an organic relationship. Find brands that have synergy with yours then reach out via social and see what comes of it. A more genuine connection will lead to more genuine collaboration. Networking within your space in general will probably lead to partnerships opportunities. For tech, I’d look at the agencies your top clients use as a starting point and also use tools like Partnerbase from Crossbeam are really valuable for tech.
🗣️: How partnerships can boost your eCommerce Business?
💬 Cian: It can gain new audiences, test new markets, and generate press opportunities. If you think of all the things you’re good at during a product launch and then you’ll learn what the partners are good at and possibly some connections as a result e.g. is their performance marketing agency better than yours.
🗣️: What are some of your favorite forms of co-marketing when it comes to partnerships for both a tech and eCommerce business?
💬 Cian: I’m a big fan of in-person events whenever it’s achievable. For brands doing a pop-up with a collaborative product or two is a great way to spread the risk while maintaining a brand story. For tech, I like sharing a content calendar and looking at gradually dropping input from a partner across multiple pieces so you can create a narrative of shared expertise across months or even a year.
🗣️:What are the essential things to discuss with a new business partner? How do I make a potential partner interested in my offer?
💬 Cian: Great questions. I would always aim to have dealings with the potential partner before. Talk shop etc share information and build some rapport. I’d align clearly on expectations, especially financial ones, and be clear on what both partners' non-negotiables are.
I’d look to build a brand book - a general pitch of your brands value and then share that with the partner after the partnership it’s something you’d be adding to the brand book but things like the press, influencers, audience numbers, brand mission, etc should all be in there. On exiting I think discuss it upfront how do we exit in a way that’s mutually beneficial if it ends up not being a good fit. People appreciate clarity and having clear steps takes emotion out of the scenario.
🗣️: Do you have a recommended platform on where to search for potential partners? What's your take on partnering with influencers?
💬 Cian: Network in your niche. Look at your brand and other brands that share an audience but aren’t competitive and then reach out via Instagram etc. if they’re are pop-ups or markets etc with other brands in your area to meet other founders.
Influencers I’d say test with multiple and double down with ones that work and explore what a partnership actually means is it product driven is it just marketing on an ongoing basis.
🗣️: What's a good question to ask or angle to look at to know if a prospect partner is the perfect fit?
💬 Cian: I think asking about desired outcomes, goals, etc is key and aligning on how to exit the partnership so you can find a perfect fit.
🗣️: You have so a lot of experience in partnership so maybe you have some tips for choosing the right eCommerce partner for business?
💬 Cian: Think about the interests and characteristics of your customers and then look at brands interested in similar customers but not directly competing with you.
🗣️: From your experience, what sets apart a successful partnership from a non-successful one?
💬 Cian: Intent, genuinely engaging with the hope of benefiting both partners. Being generous and upfront.
🗣️: Since most businesses are online and you can literally be partners with someone or a company virtually from the other side of the world. Got any tips on how to nurture and keep the relationship efficient?
💬 Cian: Build a relationship with the other partner first and maintain that. People you enjoy communicating with won’t feel like an effort so partner with brands and people that hold the same values etc.
🗣️: What would you say was your most successful partnership venture? And how did it come to be like that?
💬 Cian: I did an artist collab which opened up another 300 doors of a major retailer for us and allowed us them to add another category to their offering with custom cut & sew jackets. We both held similar values and ethos and got to market effectively and share audiences.
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