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Sugro's new B2B WhatsApp initiative a first for the sector

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Newcastle-under-Lyme, October 2023: Sugro has become the first wholesale buying group to launch a supplier funded B2B WhatsApp initiative to send messages directly to retailers.

The group endorsed b2b.store’s innovative communications solution for its members to use earlier this year and, after witnessing the high engagement it delivers, has identified a further opportunity to send supplier promotions to their wholesalers’ customers.

Sugro has secured support from a host of suppliers, including Britvic, PepsiCo and Red Bull, to fund promotional WhatsApp messages that will be sent to retail customers of members that have opted into the scheme, with the aim of boosting sales.

There will be a further benefit to wholesalers supporting Sugro’s initiative, as they will receive a profit share of revenues generated by the WhatsApp messages.

“We’ve been aware of a growing buzz in the wholesale sector about B2B WhatsApp’s potential and decided to explore new ways we could tap into this as a buying group,” said Sugro’s Head of Commercial and Marketing Yulia Pettit.

“There has been a lot of supplier interest in what WhatsApp has to offer, so by launching our own messaging capability that will funnel through to our wholesalers’ retail customers, we’re creating something that will benefit every step of the supply chain.

“We’re now building our audience and scale even further by signing more wholesalers up to receive our messages.”

The backbone of B2B WhatsApp’s success is the high read rate messages can achieve, with figures gathered from the channels b2b.store runs suggesting WhatsApp is several times more effective than other communication methods, including email and SMS.

This makes B2B WhatsApp the perfect way to share promotions, advice and business updates directly to customers, with the ability to redirect people to further resources or to an eCommerce environment to place an order.

“This has been a breakthrough year for B2B WhatsApp and we’ve had a steady stream of businesses getting in touch to find out how they can use the technology to their benefit,” said b2b.store CEO Rob Mannion.

“Sugro were one of the first to embrace this approach and have been incredibly proactive in finding a new way that could benefit buying group members and their customers.

“The model is a win-win for everyone, with wholesalers sharing relevant information that will add to their sales, and suppliers getting the opportunity to communicate with retailers in a highly engaged channel – and sometimes even at the point of purchase. It’s a clever use and we expect it to be a huge success.”

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