As an independent optometrist or optical dispenser, it’s not doubt you will have heard of retail buying groups.
There is a lot of overwhelming hype surrounding buying groups, but what do they really do? Are they worth joining? Why do they exist?
Here at Eyebenefit, we are frequently asked these questions from curious small businesses, so here we are to debunk the myths and confusion once and for all!
Buying groups. What are they and why do they matter?
Put simply, a buying group utilises mass buying power that is similar to that of larger businesses and franchised stores, giving independent traders a chance to stay afloat in a competitive saturated industry. As a small optical business, no matter how much time you spend negotiating, you will never be able to achieve the price rates and deals from suppliers that larger competitors can, a buying group can not only match that, they can often better it.
Further to this, optical buying groups have more perks than just price points and discounts. Buying groups will connect you with other independent retailers, this sense of community gives you the ability to collaborate with one another to overcome challenges. Buying groups will also provide you with marketing solutions to make you stand out against a well-known chain store and help persuade your local consumer group to shop small! A membership with an optical buying group provides independent businesses with the tools to not only compete in this ever-changing industry, but to thrive.
With that in mind, let’s unpack the benefits – settle in, there is quite the list!
Boost your profitability
Plainly, a buying group will aid you to increase your profit margins. How you wonder? Fair question. By using the collective purchasing power of all group members’, they are able to leverage deals with suppliers that as an individual business you cannot even dream of achieving. Therefore, a buying group helps to reduce your overhead expenses by supplying you with competitive pricing, discounts and exclusive deals to stock your shelves!
Keep up to date with market trends
The larger the buying group the more knowledge you have access to. For instance, Eyebenefit has over 300 members, that is 300 stores worth of business brains working together towards the same goal. Due to this collaboration, individual businesses gain insightful knowledge into trends in the market such as style trends, seasonal buying trends, and successful sales campaigns.
As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and this couldn’t be truer, being a part of a buying group allows an insight into exactly what consumers are shopping and keeps you at the forefront of the industry.
Access latest products and new brands
Buying groups collaborate with a range of suppliers to bring their members products from leading brands at affordable prices. Through the use of a range of suppliers, you will be exposed to not only new products but new and upcoming boutique brands as well.
To put this into perspective, Eyebenefit works with over 19 individual suppliers, giving members access to hundreds of top-quality brands. This keeps your collection fresh, and your customers coming back!
Take the stress out of marketing
Quality marketing is essential to all thriving business! Truthfully though, how many of you feel lost or overwhelmed when faced with marketing dilemmas? We hear you!
This is why buying groups offer you a wide range of marketing material and provide you access to industry specific marketing experts. Not only can they provide advice, if you wish they can run your marketing for you! Eyebenefit’s marketing team offers a range of products from SMS/MMS campaigns, website development and branded merchandise.
Keeping up with market trends, running marketing campaigns, negotiating with suppliers, and staying up to date with industry news are just a handful of endless tasks small business owners are faced with. All these tasks take owners away from what matters most, their patients.
Buying groups stand as a one stop shop to not only access this necessary information, but to do the heavy lifting for you. There aren’t enough hours in a day as it is, but a buying group will share the load by taking care of suppliers, providing you marketing options and keeping you up to date with latest industry news, giving you as an owner operator the time to focus your attention on what matters most.
Be a part of a large like-minded community
Remember earlier when we mentioned having over 300 members, that’s over 300 individual small businesses that an Eyebenefit membership gives you access to. Why is that so important? Owning a business can be a lonely time, we have found that the struggles small business face, are pretty consistent across the community – why not share the load and collaborate on solutions.
Together, we are simply stronger, we love our community! Truthfully, our community guides all business at Eyebenefit by letting us know what they love, hate and need the most! Through our online forum, members can connect with one another for anything from simple advice, to sourcing specific products that suppliers don’t stock anymore.
So, is a buying group worth joining?
Truthfully, only you can answer this one as each individual business is different! But now you have the intel to make an informed decision for your business. We recommend reaching out to your retail peers to gain their insights and experiences as well.
Please contact us by completing the enquiry form if you have any specific questions or to discuss how you can unlock your small business potential with our zero-fee membership today.