Perfect harmony between brands and retail partners?

Well, that doesn’t exist – yet that’s precisely why we exist. We’ve dedicated over a decade to mastering the art of digital commerce. Our mission? To navigate the complexities of this arena ensuring that every product and campaign are maximised at the sharp end of retail. We leverage deep insights, strategic foresight, and a suite of innovative tools to create perfect harmony between brands and retail partners. Let’s redefine what’s possible together.

Apply for whitepapers

Enhance your grasp of the digital marketplace by signing up to our whitepapers.

Ready to talk?

Call us your ally in the battleground of trade retail. We look forward to speaking with you.

Brand-retailer partnerships are failing due to a phenomenon we call “Trade Dilution”

Trade dilution refers to the degradation of a brand’s product visibility, data accuracy, and campaign effectiveness on retail partner websites. It’s characterised by operational misalignments such as incorrect product placements, insufficient utilisation of promotional assets, and discrepancies in product data, which all lead to reduced effectiveness of a brand’s digital commerce strategy.

Trade dilution occurs from the moment a brand’s products or campaigns are handed off to retail partners for online sales and promotions. Specific triggers include the initial listing process, during promotional campaign launches, and throughout the lifecycle of product sales on digital platforms, whenever there’s a lapse in maintaining data integrity and alignment with brand strategies.

The term “trade dilution” was born out of our extensive experience and deep immersion in the digital commerce ecosystem. After years of dedicated service in this area, we became intimately familiar with the critical juncture where many new product and campaign activations struggle or fail to achieve their intended impact.

Our journey exposed us to the complex challenges brands face once their products and campaigns are launched into the network of retail partnerships. Despite the excitement and potential surrounding these launches, we consistently observed a pattern where the essence and visibility of brands began to fade, not due to the quality of the products or the strength of the campaigns, but due to operational and data misalignments at the retail level.

It became clear to us that this phenomenon was not just an operational hiccup; it represented a significant barrier to achieving digital commerce success. “Trade dilution” perfectly encapsulated the gradual dilution of a brand’s strategic intent and market presence in the convoluted path from brand to consumer via retail partners. This realisation was pivotal, motivating us to develop targeted strategies and tools to address and mitigate this issue, thus helping brands maintain their integrity and achieve their full potential in the digital marketplace.

The impact of trade dilution is primarily seen in reduced product discoverability, inconsistent customer experience across retail platforms, and missed sales opportunities. It directly affects a brand’s performance metrics, such as conversion rates, online market share, and overall digital shelf health, hindering the brand’s competitive edge in digital marketplaces.

Trade dilution matters because it undermines a brand’s digital commerce efforts, leading to inefficiencies and lost revenue. In the digital age, where online presence equates to market presence, ensuring that every aspect of a brand’s online portfolio performs optimally is crucial. Ignoring trade dilution can result in significant operational and financial setbacks.

Preventing trade dilution involves a multi-faceted approach focused on enhancing operational collaboration and data accuracy between brands and retail partners:

  • Implementing Digital Shelf Health Monitoring: Regular audits to ensure product information accuracy and optimal online placement.
  • Enforcing Compliance Monitoring: Systematic tracking to ensure retail partners adhere to agreed-upon digital trade terms.
  • Strategic Use of GTM Tools: Adoption of solutions that streamline the go-to-market process and enhance brand presence on retail sites.
  • Strengthening Retail Partnerships: Building robust communication channels with retail partners to ensure alignment on operational practices.
  • Leveraging Data and Analytics: Utilizing data-driven insights to continually refine and optimize online product listings and campaign strategies.

By actively engaging in these practices, brands can effectively mitigate the risks of trade dilution, ensuring their digital commerce strategies are executed flawlessly across retail partner platforms.

Trade dilution is a pervasive issue affecting a wide array of brands and retail partners across various sectors in the digital marketplace. Our research and experience at BANKS have illuminated the extent of this challenge, revealing that a significant number of brands encounter operational discrepancies that lead to trade dilution, regardless of their industry or market size.

  • Research Findings: For instance, our analysis of over 200 retail partners across multiple markets has shown that an alarming number of product listings suffer from inaccuracies in titles, descriptions, and categorisations. This not only impacts product findability but also directly affects sales performance and brand representation online.

  • The Issue of Passive Trust: A common factor exacerbating trade dilution is the tendency of brands to place too much passive trust in their retail partners’ abilities to manage their products and campaigns effectively. This passive approach often results in missed opportunities for optimisation and correction, allowing small errors to snowball into significant trade dilution effects.

  • Quantifying the Impact: Addressing trade dilution is not just about improving operations – it’s about significantly boosting financial outcomes. In 2022, our strategies to combat trade dilution contributed to generating £80 million in revenue across four global brands and 80 retail partners. This figure underscores the effectiveness of proactive measures and specialised solutions in turning potential losses into remarkable gains.

  • The Value of Proactive Engagement: Our success stories highlight the importance of moving beyond passive trust, advocating for a proactive, engaged, and data-driven management approach. By implementing rigorous digital shelf health monitoring and compliance tools, and by fostering open, strategic dialogues with retail partners, brands can effectively mitigate the effects of trade dilution.

This tailored approach not only safeguards a brand’s online integrity but also catalyses significant growth in market share and revenue. Our work at BANKS illustrates that with the right strategies and tools, overcoming trade dilution is not just a possibility but a pathway to unlocking new levels of digital commerce success.

While both trade and brand dilution involve the weakening of a brand’s impact, trade dilution specifically refers to the operational and data misalignments that occur when a brand’s products and campaigns are managed by retail partners. It focuses on the execution aspects – such as product placements, pricing accuracy, and promotional compliance – within digital retail spaces. In contrast, brand dilution typically addresses a broader erosion of brand identity and value, often due to overextension or inconsistent messaging across all channels, not just retail partnerships.

Absolutely, trade dilution is not industry-specific and can impact any brand engaging in digital commerce through retail partnerships. Whether a brand operates in beauty, fashion, electronics, or any other sector, the challenge of maintaining product visibility, data accuracy, and campaign effectiveness in the digital retail environment is universal. The key to mitigating trade dilution lies in recognizing its potential and implementing targeted strategies to ensure consistent execution across all retail channels.

The first signs of trade dilution often manifest as discrepancies in product data across different retail platforms, underutilisation of promotional assets, and inconsistencies in how products are categorised or listed. Brands might also notice a decline in expected sales performance or reduced visibility in search results within retail sites. Early detection and response to these signs can prevent further dilution and safeguard a brand’s digital commerce objectives.

Data accuracy is foundational to preventing trade dilution. Precise, up-to-date product information, consistent brand messaging across retail platforms, and adherence to digital trade terms are all crucial for maintaining brand integrity and effectiveness in digital retail spaces. Investing in solutions like Digital Shelf Health Monitoring and Compliance Monitoring Tools can help brands achieve the level of data accuracy needed to combat trade dilution effectively.

Retail partners play a significant role in addressing trade dilution. Open communication and collaboration between brands and their retail partners are essential for aligning on product data standards, promotional strategies, and compliance with digital trade terms. By working together, both parties can identify and rectify operational discrepancies that lead to trade dilution, ultimately driving mutual success in the digital marketplace.

Trade dilution impacts various roles within brands, each facing unique challenges as they strive to navigate and mitigate its effects:

  • Brand Activation Managers: Tasked with launching and maintaining campaigns across retail platforms, they often grapple with ensuring promotional assets are correctly utilised and campaigns are activated in line with strategic goals. The challenge lies in maintaining campaign integrity and visibility in the cluttered digital retail space.

  • Sales Professionals and Key Account Managers: These roles are on the frontline, managing relationships with retail partners. Their primary challenge is ensuring that product listings are accurate, promotional activities are executed as planned, and retail partners adhere to agreed digital trade terms. They need precise, actionable data to negotiate and influence retail partners effectively.

  • Digital Commerce Strategists: Charged with overarching digital commerce strategy, including Go-To-Market (GTM) strategies, they face the challenge of devising flexible, robust plans that anticipate and counteract trade dilution. They must balance brand aspirations with the realities of retail operations, often requiring innovative solutions to enhance brand presence and performance in digital retail environments.

  • Directors and Executives: These roles are responsible for the strategic direction and health of the brand. The challenge for them is to ensure that the organisation’s approach to digital commerce is proactive, data-driven, and capable of adapting to the fast-paced changes in retail partnerships to prevent trade dilution from undermining brand success.

Addressing these challenges requires a concerted effort across these roles, utilising a mix of strategic planning, data analytics, and collaborative tools. By doing so, brands can effectively combat trade dilution, ensuring their digital commerce strategies are executed flawlessly, and their brand integrity is preserved across retail channels.

Case Studies

Standout deployments

Dive into the heart of our deployments, where our strategies are helping brands demolish their competition. 

Project Overview

A top beauty brand managing over 200 global retailers for eagerly anticipated product launches needed strict adherence to embargo dates within a narrow 6-week window, but often found retailers straying from the plan. To address this, we deployed a real-time monitoring system from our toolkit, targeting embargo compliance to ensure retailers met launch and conclusion dates for optimal hype, price monitoring to prevent unauthorised discounts, stock checks to align stock levels with the launch strategy and avoid premature or excessive stock, and product data accuracy to ensure listings were correct for informed customer decisions. Our tailored dashboard, equipped with instant alerts, provided the brand with daily and weekly updates on deviations from the launch plan, facilitating seamless product introductions.

Embargo Compliance
Price Vigilance
Stock Alignment
Data Accuracy
Real-Time Alerts
Web Apps
Mobile Apps
Launch Integrity

Achieved a 98% compliance rate, maintaining excitement and exclusivity.

Consumer Engagement

Boosted interest and engagement during the launch window.

Operational Efficiency

Streamlined oversight with a live dashboard, enabling quick compliance issue responses.

Project Overview

For a fashion brand operating across six marketplaces, high data quality and correct tagging for each product they sell is essential. Discovering a notable error rate, we launched a daily toolkit for quality and compliance checks on product data to bring retail partners back in line. Our Digital Shelf Health Monitoring identifies listing errors and assesses performance, encouraging ongoing improvements. It includes product title analysis using scraping for accuracy and a traffic light scoring system, comprehensive data review of descriptions, images, and specs, and data comparison against the brand’s own content. The client receives weekly updates to swiftly address discrepancies, supported by a summary and detailed data sheet for immediate corrections, enhancing product data quality and marketplace compliance.

Data Quality Focus
Tagging Precision
Performance Tracking
Title Accuracy
Description Review
Image & Spec Check
Weekly Updates
Content Comparison
Web Apps
Mobile Apps
Data Accuracy Boost

80% reduction in product data errors.

Visibility Increase

50% higher product visibility on marketplaces.

Sales Uplift

18% sustained increase in weekly-unit sales.

Engagement Growth

40% rise in customer engagement metrics.

Project Overview

This deployment offers a comprehensive daily monitoring solution that tracks the promotional support provided by over 30 retail partners across various digital platforms, including Instagram, Instagram Stories, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as web and mobile app channels. By analysing the level of support and visibility each retail partner contributes, alongside the impact of these efforts on brand perception and consumer sentiment, our service empowers our client to enforce digital trade terms effectively and optimise the performance of their brand assets. This strategic oversight ensures that every retail partner aligns with the brand’s promotional expectations, maintaining a consistent and powerful brand presence across all digital touchpoints.

Daily Monitoring
Visibility Tracking


Retailer Accountability
Brand Optimisation
Competitor Analysis
Web Apps
Mobile Apps

Social Media

Visibility Boost

9% increase in sales from increased visibility.

Engagement Surge

193% increase in social engagement during campaign activations.

Sentiment Shift

31% improvement in consumer sentiment.

Compliance Control

Retail partner compliance rose to 90%.

From chaos to clarity: Our digital game plan

We diagnose the digital disorder

In the sprawling digital marketplace, chaos reigns supreme for brands not equipped with the right insights. Our initial step is a deep dive into this disorder, identifying where the chaos of incorrect product placements, underused campaign assets, and compliance issues restrict your brand’s potential. We uncover the hidden discrepancies and missed opportunities and set the stage for transformative action.

We create a strategic blueprint for success

With a clear understanding of the challenges at hand, we move to design your strategic blueprint—a detailed plan of action tailored to navigate the complexities of the digital marketplace. This blueprint is your roadmap out of chaos, focusing on targeted improvements in product visibility, compliance, and promotional effectiveness. Our approach is both forensic and innovative, ensuring that every aspect of your digital presence is optimised for clarity, impact, and performance.

We navigate you to digital mastery

The journey doesn’t end with a plan. True mastery in the digital domain requires ongoing navigation and adaptation. As your partners, we’re committed to guiding your brand towards sustained digital leadership. This means continuously monitoring each retail partner, leveraging real-time data to refine strategies, and seizing new growth opportunities. Our support ensures your brand not only achieves but maintains its position at the forefront of the digital marketplace.

Stay one step ahead with our whitepapers

Tailored to enhance your grasp of the digital marketplace, our whitepapers provide a detailed exploration of the challenges and opportunities in the wholesale brand sector. We invite brands and marketplaces to request access, thoughtfully reviewing each application to uphold exclusivity. This careful curation ensures our clients gain a competitive advantage through privileged information. Explore a sample of our titles and elevate your strategy with insights reserved for industry leaders.

Our suite of auditing tools and services

Let’s delve into innovative strategies that can significantly enhance your third-party (3P) ecommerce strategy. Our solutions span a broad spectrum of areas, offering a holistic approach to navigating the complexities of digital retail partnerships.

Retail Operations

To streamline your product’s journey from warehouse to digital shelf, consider.

Product Data Optimisation

SKU Mapping (RPC to MPC)

Digital Asset Optimisation

Catalogue Maintenance

Market Intelligence

Stay ahead of the curve with deep insights into the digital marketplace.

Market Share

Digital Shelf

Retail Insights

Competitor Analysis

Competitive Benchmarking

Investigative Market Reseach

Social Performance

Digital Asset Performance

Consumer Sentiment

Compliance Monitoring

Ensure that your brand and campaigns consistently meet digital trade expectations.

Digital Trade Terms



Banner Positions

Category Ranking



Leverage expert advice to navigate digital commerce with confidence.

Digital Commerce Strategy

GTM Strategy

GTM Tools

Empower your team with cutting-edge tools designed to enhance efficiency and engagement.

Brand & Campaign Microsites

E-Learning Web Apps

Stockroom Delivery Apps

GTM Efficiency Apps

Partner Relationship Apps

With our expertise vs. going it alone

Cracking the case of online marketplaces without the right clues is like a detective without leads. Our Online Retail Intelligence is your trusty sidekick, illuminating the path to success, while going solo might leave you lost in the shadows. Here’s a quick snapshot of the mystery we’re solving.

With Our ExpertiseGoing It Alone
Retail Partner AlignmentEnsures your brand and retail partners are perfectly synced, maximising product exposure and sales opportunities.Risks misalignment and missed opportunities due to lack of coordination and advocacy.
Product Listing OptimisationOptimises product listings for clarity, appeal, and SEO, boosting visibility and conversion on partner sites.Faces suboptimal listings with poor visibility and lower conversion rates due to neglected optimisation.
Pricing Strategy Across PartnersImplements dynamic pricing strategies that adapt to each retail environment, ensuring competitive pricing that drives sales.Encounters inconsistent pricing strategies that can undermine sales potential and brand perception.
Inventory & Stock OptimisationManages inventory levels across partners to prevent stockouts or overstocking, maintaining the right balance for demand.Suffers from inventory mismanagement, leading to stockouts or excess, damaging sales and customer trust.
Promotional Campaign CoordinationCoordinates promotional campaigns across retail partners for cohesive marketing efforts that drive traffic and sales.Lacks unified promotional strategies, resulting in disjointed campaigns that fail to capture customer interest.
Data-Driven Performance InsightsProvides actionable insights from partner site data to refine strategies and enhance product performance.Misses out on critical data insights, leading to uninformed decisions and stagnant sales growth.
Compliance & Brand ConsistencyMonitors partner sites for compliance and brand consistency, ensuring a unified brand experience that builds loyalty.Experiences brand dilution and compliance issues, risking customer confusion and brand integrity.

This table only scratches the surface. The true cost of not employing our Online Retail Intelligence goes beyond what’s measurable. It’s about missing out on the chance to truly connect with your audience and maximise your brand’s potential. Don’t let your brand be left behind.

Real success stories from brands like yours

Don’t just take our word for it. Discover how brands have transformed their online retail strategy with our insights. From significant sales boosts to improved market positioning, our clients’ successes speak volumes.

Charting new frontiers in sports retail with adidas

In eight years, we’ve evolved from a UK local ally to a global strategist with adidas, expanding to Europe, Asia, and the US.

Unlocking the potential of digital retail for PrettyLittleThing

Since June 2021, we’ve focused on online retail intelligence for PrettyLittleThing, emphasising competitive and product performance.

Coming Soon

Empowering Reebok with strategic solutions

We’re still working on this client story so please come back soon.