What are Trade Promotions? (with examples)

Trade Promotions

What are Trade Promotions? (with examples)

No brand is immune from competition. To stay afloat, consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands and wholesale distributors need to view their relationship with retailers as a strategic partnership, and employ specific marketing tactics.

One way a B2B business can expand its clientele, foster client loyalty, and boost revenues is through trade promotions, which allows both retailers and wholesale distributors or brands to experience success on the shelf.

This article simplifies trade sales promotions and introduces readers to various examples and their advantages. So what are trade promotions? Let’s find out.

What are Trade Promotions?

Trade promotions is a marketing strategy B2B wholesalers and CPG product brands use to attract more customers. They make use of special pricing to generate demand for certain items by making them more attractive to potential retail buyers (including restaurants, convenience stores, bodegas, hotels, cafes etc..) and to boost sales in the distribution channels.

Trade promotions are an important piece to a successful relationship between the wholesale distributor and CPG brand and require both to carry out.

This promotional strategy is useful when:

  1. Introducing new products (i.e new food or beverage/ health or beauty product) or 
  2. Seeking to increase awareness about innovative product features (i.e nail polish that changes color in the sun or health drink that includes a unique fruit) 

All of which incentivizes resellers to buy more of the product and increase the product’s accessibility to the final customer.

5 Types of B2B Trade Promotions with Examples

In-store Displays

The first step in making a sale is grabbing the customer’s attention, and cleverly designed in-store displays achieve just that.  It’s all about drawing attention to the product inside the store to encourage impulse buying.

In fact, research shows that 16% of impulse purchases were made in response to in-store displays, like:

  • Floor stickers
  • Posters
  • Banners
  • Life-size display stands
  • In-person product demonstrations
  • Promotional fixtures

Each one strategically placed in retail stores that aim to catch customers’ attention and make products stand out. See example picture below:

Essentia Water Summer In-store Display

Deals and Discounts

The main influencing factor in purchasing decisions is price, with 89% of customers naming this variable as determinant in their purchases (source) . Manufacturers and wholesalers apply sales and discounts to encourage repeat business from current retail customers and to draw in new ones.

Deals and discounts can take many different forms, such as:

  • Price cut
  • Percentage off
  • Tiers of discounts (the more you buy, the more you save)
  • Unique deals (buy X, get Y at a lower price/percent discount/free, etc.)

It’s noteworthy to mention that the mobile sales app  a wholesale distributor or CPG brand  uses should feature custom promotions during the order taking process based on retail customers and good reporting to track and gain insightful metrics on a trade promotion’s success.

Let’s check out an example of a deal:

 Black Friday Deal by Oliver’s & Co.


Who doesn’t want customers buying 3 or 4 products instead of one? An excellent strategy to boost sales is to bundle and sell multiple products as single offers. For example, pairing and selling slow-moving products with the most popular ones. This encourages customers to purchase a variety bundle rather than each item separately for a greater price, increasing sales. Product bundles improve value for money from both the retailer’s and the consumer’s perspectives, below is an example:

Dove Bundle

Sales Contests

People love winning prizes, which is why sales contests are such a great incentive for retailers. Contests create friendly competition and gets people interested in winning. Usually, the goal of sales contests is to encourage retailers to sell more of a specific product in their stores. In return, the retailer that sells the most is compensated with a monetary bonus or exciting gift. Possible prize ideas include, money, vacation trips, products, or other services.

Read a great article about the success of S. Abraham & Sons (SAS) Inc. who reportedly grew candy sales by more than 30%, with contests and promotions. The pushed certain candies during #nationalcandymonth in June. See the example below:

Candy Contest & Promotions


In contrast to discounts or coupons, which are deducted at the time of purchase, rebates are provided after payment. According to  Incentive Insights rebates make consumers 75.4% more likely to make a purchase. Making rebates a successful promotional strategy because they appeal to both impulsive and cautious buyers. The only thing is, people will buy a product, love the thought of saving, even if they never cash the rebate. 

As a result, rebates offer retailers the benefit of giving customers a temporary discount on a product, to stimulate sales, while allowing it to maintain its current price point. CPG brands benefit because of a demand increase, but since not everyone cashes the rebates, there is no significant impact on profit margin. Making it a win-win for everyone (as long as you cash your rebate).

See the example below of a rebate offer:

Coors Light Beer Pure Rebate

What are the Benefits of Trade Promotions?

Trade sales promotions can benefit B2B companies in a variety of ways. Here are some reasons a company might offer a trade sales promotion:

Increased Order Size

If done properly, trade promotions can increase your bottom line by 10 to 15 percent, according to a study done by PwC. Trade promotions expose new products to your customers and may influence them to buy ones they ordinarily wouldn’t. Additionally, it makes upselling and cross-selling products simpler.

Faster Order-to-Cash Cycle

Every business must operate swiftly, and wholesale distributors and CPG brands are no exception. B2Bs must take advantage of trade promotions to create a sense of urgency or FOMO (fear of missing out) as a motivator to accelerate sales while minimizing costs on supply chain resources.

Increased Profitability

Trade promotions can boost revenue for B2Bs in a number of ways. By growing their customer base, generating revenue from current retail customers who want to take advantage of various promotions, and, of course, by making the product more appealing to the end user. For example, providing free product samples can encourage a retailer’s customers to try a new product.

Improved Customer Loyalty and Nurturing Relationships

Trade promotions are a great way to build and maintain loyal B2B relationships between wholesale distributors, CPG brands and retailers. Providing indoor displays ,discounts, rebates and bundles  to resellers promotes a mutually beneficial relationship for financial gain and growth as partners in the supply chain. Other forms of trade promotions, such as sales contests, can draw new clients and reward existing customers, increasing customer satisfaction and keeping loyal customers.

Final Thoughts

Trade promotions are a key part of any brand-retailer and wholesaler-retailer relationship. By keeping an eye out for mutually beneficial trade promotion ideas, it’s possible to strengthen your B2B partnerships, enhance your brand and increase sales. Keep these trade promotion examples in mind when building your next sales strategy and watch products fly off the shelves.

Hey You, Wholesale Distributors: Use B2B Order Management Software to Slay the Competition

B2B Order Management

Hey You, Wholesale Distributors: Use B2B Order Management Software to Slay the Competition

Business to business (B2B) operations can be very challenging, especially for a growing midsize wholesale distributor trying to scale.

As a B2B business, you will face a variety of decisions from how to build customer relationships, choosing a product offering or an ERP system to justifying a CRM solution.

This gets even more difficult when you have to manage sales orders on a daily basis, especially if you are not tech-savvy or using manual processes. That is why, B2B order management software is essential to help streamline the order fulfillment process.

But what is B2B order management software? Let’s learn more…

What is B2B Order Management Software?

B2B order management software, as the name implies, is concerned with keeping track of orders and managing the people, processes, and partnerships required to fulfill them. 

This software can help your growing B2B business automatically manage and coordinate the entire order lifecycle, integrating multiple operations (order taking, inventory management, shipping tracking and delivery) into a single system.

This software also integrates with your current ERP system, providing real-time insight and visibility of each order placed by inside or outside sales representatives, automating end-to-end order fulfillment.

How does a B2B Order Management Software System Work?

A B2B order management system refers to the entire workflow which starts with receiving and confirming a new sales order, usually placed by an inside or outside sales rep, then coordinating picking and packing, and finally delivery, which completes the order fulfillment. Let’s take a look at the infographic below:

B2B Order Management System

Problems Faced Without a B2B Order Management Software

Lack of insight into inventory levels

A lack of insight into inventory levels often results in two big headaches: stockouts, that occur when inventory becomes unavailable and over-stocking that happens when businesses acquire more items than they sell. In fact, this type of inventory distortion cost approximately $1.1 trillion worldwide according to Harvard Business Review. Manual inventory management is often the go-to process by many small-to-medium-sized companies, but it can be time-consuming, costly and inaccurate, hampering company growth.

Costly human errors

Human errors are one of the most expensive aspects of running a B2B company that handles large amounts of sales data, costing up to 10% of a company’s revenue (source). 10% is alarming becuase it can mean the difference between a good and bad year for distributors. 

Even with highly qualified personnel. Manual work often results in error in order forms, which subsequently turn into order delays, incorrect order shipment, missing orders, and reshipping costs, among others. This also results in inaccurate warehouse inventory levels, which effects products sales and ultimately your bottom line.

Logistic issues due to communication problems

When a B2B wholesale distributor is using manual processes to inform different departments of changes in customer orders, this inefficient workflow puts a strain on business resources and finances. The lack of communication and real-time insight, increases the order processing time, costing more money per order and elongating the order lifecycle.

Customer dissatisfaction

Problems with order accuracy and delayed shipment due to manual processes can lead to customer dissatisfaction. According to Harvard Business Review, “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” Customer dissatisfaction is costly and poses a huge risk of losing future orders, customer’s confidence and creates a negative reputation for the overall image of the business. 

Benefits of Using B2B Order Management Software

A faster response and workflow

This is perhaps the most important benefit of  B2B order management software. Many processes, such as assigning and fulfilling orders, updating shipping information, and updating inventory, can be automated with this software, making the process efficient and quicker, so your orders will be ready to be delivered faster.

Easier access to data across all business channels

B2B order management software helps businesses manage orders conveniently by simplifying tracking for both distributor and customer. Relying on B2B order automation helps to streamline the process of updating information in real time. This guarantees accuracy, increasing confidence and peace of mind in both parties.

Fulfill your customer’s needs

As a growing B2B wholesale distribution business, understanding the needs of customers is crucial to your success. By utlizing B2B order management software you will have access to customer purchase history and sales trends to better meet their needs in the future, helping nurture long-term relationships.

Ensures order accuracy

Order management can be complex, with multiple departments and third-party vendors involved. With a B2B order management system, wholesale distributors have complete visibility of the ordered products, and can provide reliable and accurate information to the customers throughout the order lifecycle. This feature for B2B buyers according to a survey by Forrester Research indicates that 78% of these buyers consider the ability to track and trace orders as very important to their satisfaction with suppliers. Meeting this customer need can greatly improve customer satisfaction which potentially means more sales.

Increasing Revenue by Increasing Efficiency and Reducing Expenses

All these benefits result in increased revenue by increasing efficiency and reducing expenses for your wholesale distribution business. Using a B2B order management software with the right features that adapts to your needs helps you to optimally manage the available resources, provide unique insights about your entire business and its processes. So what are you waiting for?

In Conclusion 

Take control of your sales order cycle. B2B order management software is a must and a great investment for midsize B2B businesses. Not only does it optimizes order management, but also gives great visibility into sales, inventory, and customers needs. The key tools required for scaling a wholesale distribution business and slaying the competition.


Orders in Seconds helps wholesale distributors increase sales with cloud-based mobile apps. Our mobile apps facilitate the order lifecycle, from end-to-end and integrate easily with popular ERP systems. Click here to see how OIS can level up your sales game.