If you're a buyer for a major retailer, you know how busy your days can be. If you're not a buyer, let's just empathize for a minute. Let us pretend you're the buyer for a large grocery store chain. In a given workday, you might get an email from a seller with a new product they'd like to have in your store. Now you've got to decide wether it's a good fit or not, contact the seller, ask questions if you've got them, make sure you're within budget, and probably 10 other steps along the way. Now times that by 100, you've got a buyer's job. Oh—and don't forget to add a few trade shows for good measure. Sound tough?
Those "I wish I could just buy things all day" dreams aren't quite as glamorous as you thought they were. So how do you streamline the process, especially now when COVID-19 has affected the way we shop and attend large events like trade shows and conferences? Volcanic Retail CEO Jeremy Brockbank has you covered.
Jeremy founded Ant Hill Retail, one of the largest retail buyer and brand databases in the United States. Jeremy was busily working, connecting brands with buyers, and attending trade shows when Covid-19 hit.
"Brands were working with budgets of $20K-$300K for roughly 150 trade shows a year when Covid hit. These major B2B were shutdown, and a $38 billion industry disappeared," said Jeremy.
The industry has recovered, but it's a lot different now. Where brands have resumed their trade show attendance, buyer attendance is at an all time low, with mostly small mom-and-pop stores sending buyers out. Buyers are now sourcing products through Amazon and Instagram, but without all the facts they need. Information gaps like country of origin, manufacturing processes, and ingredient lists are missing, and that creates a problem for retailers.
Through his work with Ant Hill, Jeremy hatched a plan for a new platform that was sort of like a dating app for buyers and sellers. Swipe left on these types of products, swipe right on these, chat with the seller, find all the information you need in one place. (Watch this super informative video to see how it works)
Volcanic Retail is a new platform with a complex code—one that Jeremy and the team spent a lot of time and effort to build. Users can use the intuitive platform to narrow down countless products to exactly what they want and need, eliminating the tedious guessing game.
"We're seeing a lot of exciting things in the future. We're looking at a virtual walk-through so sellers can virtually walk through the store to make sure their product is a good fit," says Jeremy. "We're a brand discovery platform right now, but we're looking at some great things ahead."
Since its soft launch earlier this year, Volcanic has signed hundreds of brands at super-speed. With a large board consisting of many big-name brands former and current owners, Volcanic is set to accelerate the buying and selling process for retailers worldwide.