In a B2B environment, lack of control over how your product is sold to the consumer is one of the biggest challenges. If you’re a hotel supplier, your revenue is dependent on your distributors’ sales. If they don’t sell your inventory, you don’t make money.
The challenge is that your influence on the way distributors sell your product is minimal to non-existent, particularly when it comes to controlling whether your inventory is consistently and accurately displayed to the consumer.
But what if you could ensure your properties are always available for sale, properly displayed by your distributors, automatically giving you a competitive advantage? This is what distribution mapping allows suppliers to do.
Let’s talk about how this works.
Imagine you’re a spirits wholesaler. You buy beverages in bulk from companies that produce them and supply these to grocery stores that sell directly to customers. Your revenue depends on how well these stores sell your products. If the stores themselves aren’t able to sell your beverages, why would they continue to buy from you? That’s why you want to make sure your products are properly displayed and in stock at all times, maximizing selling potential.
This is the principle behind the value of mapping for suppliers. With aiming to sell as much of your inventory via your distributors as possible, you want to make sure your hotel inventory is “always on the shelf” of your distributors, meaning it’s available and being presented properly. And, if there are problems, you want to receive information pertaining to the causes. This kind of involvement and visibility is only possible by mapping to your distributors’ inventory.
To further illustrate why mapping for suppliers is essential, let’s take a look at how Expedia utilizes mapping for their hotel distribution. Using their Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN), they provide their inventory to OTAs, and by utilizing automated distribution mapping, EAN ensures that they pass their inventory accurately and ready for consumers to their distributors.
Information is the key to success, and in B2B, it can be difficult for suppliers to access the information they need to control and improve inventory sales. With distribution mapping, you can see whether or not your inventory is mapped and made available to the customer by the distributor. And, if it isn’t, you can initiate the proper changes that have to be made. This visibility into the use of your product gives YOU control of your data and supports optimization.
Another important point is that mapping allows you as a supplier to keep your inventory updated at all times. Changes happen in the market daily: hotels open and close, get sold and renamed, inventory data and proper matching quickly becomes outdated. The only way to ensure these updates are captured, mapped, and then properly displayed to the customer is by regularly mapping to your distribution channels.
Distribution mapping offers suppliers control over their inventory and increased visibility into how it’s being sold throughout the distribution process, leading to more sales and overall better results. In summary: more control = maximized revenue.