Red Bull Working Together

Last year, Red Bull visited a leading Unitas wholesaler to demonstrate the methods and actions needed to become a perfect online business. Paul Hill joined the soft drinks giant as it revisited the company to see what the advice did to sales performance.

With online sales in the wholesale channel consistently outperforming those in the online grocery channel, Red Bull paid a visit to Grimsby in Lincolnshire to help Dee Bee Wholesale make the most of this.

Through its personalised online-ordering MOT, it offered expert advice on ecommerce and website performance.

Lotte Tregear, ecommerce development manager at Red Bull, met with Dee Bee trading director Andy Morrison to discuss the three key pillars of online success: availability, discoverability and buyability.

A positive partnership

The results have proved advantageous to both parties. “Red Bull provided us with some great advice, based on their experience of other sites,” explains Morrison. “We have been using this to our advantage ever since with an improvement in sales and a fantastic response from customers.”

“Personally, I found the meeting with the team at Dee Bee incredibly beneficial,” adds Tregear. “They have a great website and are adept at making the changes needed to further improve the customer experience. I really enjoyed building ideas together and was particularly pleased to see them implement one of our flagship category campaigns.”

Following the visit, the ‘Top 10’ campaign was implemented on the Dee Bee wholesale website, with the results showing a 37% increase in new purchases of the top category SKUs compared to the previous three-week period, and four times as many click-throughs from the banner activity.

As the category leader, Red Bull believes it’s important for it to help drive the category forward. This is where the idea for the ‘Top 10’ campaign came from and it led to higher overall sales and higher click rates as well as bringing new consumers into the category.

It performed so well that Dee Bee has agreed to follow this activation up with a ‘Sugar-free’ category campaign in the future, in order to help drive sales in a really important growth area.

Changes made

Dee Bee’s website was already in a strong visual place, but Red Bull provided some suggestions to improve the search categories and page layout, to make navigation for customers easier. Red Bull then offered some additional suggestions on likely search word combinations. “Wholesalers need to ask if the search function is delivering what people are after,” says Tregear.

“Asking suppliers for support here is a great idea as they will be closer to the intricacies of search associated with their items.”

With more than 350 retail customers actively using the website to purchase their orders, it is of the highest importance to make sure all of Dee Bee’s products are discoverable.

Red Bull suggested that all products are now listed in order of value, rather than alphabetically, meaning the customer can now find the best-selling products they want in the fastest way possible.

“What we typically find on wholesaler websites are huge lists of products, and often, the order in which these products appear has not been considered,” explains Tregear.

“Our recommendation for best practice is to place bestsellers at the top of the page and then use filters to help customers find more specific products for their outlet.”

Morrison adds: “Red Bull highlighted the use of different-sized images relative to pack sizes to make it easier for the retailer to navigate, which we have implemented. However, the key challenge for us has been the accuracy of supplier images available from Nielsen Brandbank, particularly on price-marked packs.

“They also worked with us to rank products by return on sales, rather than alphabetically. This proved to be very helpful.”

Tregear adds: “Using good imagery at Red Bull has improved our overall online sales by as much as 26%.

“That translates to more than just energy drinks, too, and can be implemented to any category to improve a customers’ user journey and leading to more sales.”

The soft drinks giant also advised to maintain good availability in order for all of this to work.

“An online shopper expects at least as good a range online as in store – typically they expect even more,” Tregear says. “As a result, there should not be any products accessed in depot that cannot be bought online.”

Moving forward

Dee Bee is now all set for the future and in possession of one of the leading ecommerce offerings in the UK wholesale industry.

“We look forward to working on more projects like this with Dee Bee – and would welcome opportunities to work with other wholesales and their ecommerce platforms,” Tregear adds.

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    Supplier viewpoint

    “When building a website, wholesalers need to consider the different ways shoppers might find a specific product. What are all the key relevant – and lateral – search terms for each category, and have you left margin for typos?”

    Lotte Tregear, ecommerce development manager, Red Bull

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    Wholesaler viewpoint

    “We knew the importance of images and search functions, but working with Red Bull has given us a great insight into specific things that need to be done in order to improve our ecommerce offering. We will be implementing these changes in the long-term.”

    Andy Morrison, trading director, Dee Bee Wholesale

Contact your local Red Bull rep to find out how you can also become a Perfect Online Wholesaler

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Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via and 07960935659.


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