3 Signs it’s Time to Find a Trustworthy Distributor

Rebecca Brown

July 14, 2023


Expanding your brand internationally isn’t easy. There are many obstacles when looking to enter a new market, such as knowledge of local laws and trade regulations, cultural product preference and price acceptance, language barriers and even resource limitations. Many brands choose to partner with a distributor or trade partner (TP) to help enable their expansion and facilitate local market growth.

When working with trade partners, brands put a lot of trust in their chosen partners, relying on them for accurate and updated reporting. However, there are many cases where TPs are not giving brands the information and data they need to be successful—and the brands themselves may not be aware this is happening!

In order to find a trustworthy TP, brands should seek out the following characteristics: trust, transparency, talent, and traction. In this first of 4 blogs, we dive into the signs brands should be aware that show it’s time to find a more trustworthy TP who will help you succeed on multiple international marketplaces.

1. Decline in Your Engagement or Sales

As you’re watching your numbers, you may notice that not only sales have begun to decline, but also overall engagement on your storefronts. Some trade partners may blame this on an overall decline in your product’s category, which in most cases, is simply untrue. Without transparent data and visibility into the trends of the marketplace and region, you have no way of knowing whether your trade partner is trustworthy or not.

A decline in sales can also signify a drop in brand perception. An unworthy trade partner can erode your brand value due to poor customer service, and wrong/unreliable delivery or bad delivery timeframes. A drop in brand perception can impact not only your brand in the new markets, but also your brand globally.

2. No Current Reports on Category from TP

Receiving updated and recent reports from your TP is critical to understanding and perfecting your digital marketing, pricing, and operational strategies. If you’re not receiving current data from your TP, it may be time to start looking elsewhere for the information and insights that will help accelerate your business. In addition to receiving current data from your TP, it may be helpful to seek insights from various sources such as a 3rd party in the region, like Pattern.

3. Limited Visibility into Where Your Product is Going

Oftentimes the TP you’re using may have a better relationship or partnership with their manufacturer than their brands. For example, one TP we know of took the ingredients of their partner brand’s products, rebranded the product without telling the brand, and then focused all their efforts on the new brand. We’ve seen this time and time again from TPs in the region, which makes finding a TP you trust even more important. Brands should feel confident that the product they are handing over to a trade partner is actually reaching the end consumer.

Choose a Trustworthy TP Like Pattern

Having a good trade partner who you can trust makes all the difference in helping your brand grow both locally and globally. As a global ecommerce accelerator and trade partner, Pattern often hears global executives’ frustrations with trade partners who aren’t trustworthy. At Pattern, we focus on providing consistent and relevant contact with our brand partners.

Pattern’s local teams within markets help brands to better understand the nuances of the regions they are selling in. We help you keep control of your brand, while placing dedicated expert teams at all points in the consumer, purchase, fulfillment journey, to ensure a positive customer experience. We believe a partnership is built on trust, and that begins with doing everything in our power to help brands succeed on international marketplaces.

Need a trustworthy distribution partner in the APAC region? Contact us.

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