How to Analyze Your Distributor’s Product Assortment


As a brand, maintaining a competitive edge in e-commerce means understanding every facet of your products and markets, including the product assortment of your distributors. For brands looking to optimize their sales channels, such as marketplaces, and improve market positioning, analyzing the product assortment of (their) distributors is not just beneficial but essential. This article shows what constitutes a distributor’s product assortment and why brands need to keep a vigilant eye on it. Two words: Pay attention!

What is the product assortment of your distributors?

The product assortment of your distributors refers to the variety and range of products they offer, including your own brand’s products. This covers:

  • Product variety: The different categories or types of products available.
  • Product range: The assortment within each category, such as different brands, models, sizes, and features.
  • Product depth: The number of variations of a particular product type, including different SKUs (Stock Keeping Units).
  • Product breadth: The number of product lines carried by the distributor.
  • Product availability: The stock levels and frequency of restocking.

Understanding the specifics of your distributors’ product assortments allows you to see where your products fit in and how they compete within the distributor’s portfolio. It also sheds light on the overall market strategy employed by your distributors, whether they focus on high-end products, budget items, niche markets, or a broad mix of everything.

As a brand why do you need to keep an eye on your distributors?

In a crowded and opaque market such as e-commerce, it is increasingly difficult for brands to maintain an overview of their own products and brands. More and more brands are using a competitive intelligence tool to ensure that distributors are playing the game on the different online sales channels (Google Shopping, Amazon, etc.) and to establish the best pricing strategy. For example, a major French fashion brand (which we can’t name, unfortunately) uses Lengow’s tool Netrivals to check that its distributors aren’t using own mannequins to showcase their products, or to limit stocks to retailers who discount too much or too often.

Below is a brief overview of other important reasons and examples of why brands absolutely must regain control of their products.

Ensure brand consistency

Monitoring ensures that your brand is represented consistently across all digital channels, especially on popular marketplaces. This includes ensuring correct product descriptions, images, and overall presentation, which helps maintain brand integrity and consumer trust.

Competitive positioning

Analyzing distributors’ assortments helps you understand how your products are positioned relative to competitors. This insight allows you to make informed decisions about pricing, promotions, and product enhancements.

Pricing strategy

The product assortment can influence pricing strategies. By understanding the price points of other products within the assortment, you can price your products competitively. This can also help in identifying opportunities for premium pricing or discounting based on market positioning.

Market trend identification

By analyzing the assortment, you can detect shifts in consumer preferences and market trends. If distributors start stocking more of a particular type of product, it may indicate a growing trend. Staying abreast of these changes allows your brand to adapt and innovate in response to market demand.

Optimizing inventory management

Ensuring that your products are adequately represented and in stock across your distribution network is crucial for sales and customer satisfaction. Regular analysis helps in identifying potential stockouts or overstock situations, allowing you to adjust production and distribution strategies accordingly.

Enhancing distributor relationships

Proactively engaging with your distributors based on data-driven insights can lead to stronger partnerships. Providing them with support and feedback ensures your products are prioritized and promoted effectively.

Performance metrics

Analyzing which products are performing well within your distributor’s assortment can provide valuable feedback on your product line. This can inform product development and improvement efforts, ensuring that your offerings meet the market’s needs.

How to analyze your distributors’ product assortment

Lengow’s tool Netrivals provides an advanced market research toolset that enables brands to effectively monitor and analyze their distributors’ product assortments.

Netrivals' Distribution Channel Analysis

With Netrivals, brands gain the power to analyze the product assortment of key market retailers. They can browse merchant catalogs using advanced categories and filters, making it easy to identify where their products are available across various distribution channels, including marketplaces and retail online stores, and at what prices they are being sold. These capabilities enable brands to understand their true market position and identify which stores are performing better than others.

Key benefits for brands using Netrivals include:

  • Detecting unauthorized distributors who may be damaging the brand’s image.
  • Locating and gathering detailed information about products sold by unauthorized distributors on their websites or marketplaces.
  • Evaluating the market penetration of their products compared to competing brands.
  • Monitoring stock availability on both their website and across different marketplaces.

Example of a brand using Netrivals: Fluidra, a multinational leader in the swimming pool and wellness sector, automates the compilation of online information about its product resellers. This eliminates the need for hours of manual research. By quickly accessing this data, Fluidra can make more agile decisions and redirect time previously spent on data collection to developing strategies that optimize its online business model.

Fluidra Case Study

Fluidra gets a 360° view of their distribution channels thanks to Net…

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Adrian Gmelch

Adrian Gmelch is a tech and e-commerce enthusiast. He initially worked for an international PR agency in Paris for large tech companies before joining Lengow's international field marketing & content team.

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