How Does Bridge Work?
- You sign up online for a free Bridge account. All accounts (including the free plan) include access to:
- An online store and gift registry.
- Free product newsletters.
- A social network connecting you with your business friends.
- You will decide if you are using the Bridge Store or your own 3rd party e-commerce store. View examples here of how stores have integrated with their Bridge account. The explanation below applies to you using the Bridge Store.
- With both free and paid accounts, you can use our software to quickly list all the brands that you sell. Bridge offers you a directory of 1,900 brands from which to pick. You can also add any brands to your site that are not in our existing master brand directory.
- You can send sync requests to Smart Brands that you sell. Smart Brands have a partnership with Bridge and all their items may appear in your Bridge Store if you and the brand approve each other's sync request. Smart Products are updated for you and thereby save you time and money. You can also show more products than you'd normally show when you use Smart Products and this helps increase sales.
- You can add your own products to your Bridge Store. For example, you can add one-of-a-kind items such as unique jewelry or antiques.
- If you have a gift registry program in your store, you can use Bridge's gift registry software to show these registries. Family and friends can visit registries on your site and make purchases from them.
- Customers can checkout via your Bridge Store. You'll receive an email with the customer's ordered item(s), billing information, shipping information, telephone number, and email. If you have real-time credit card processing setup with Bridge, your Bridge Store will ask the customer for his or her credit card information during checkout. The payment will appear in your bank account within a day or two. (Bridge does not take a commission/percentage of the order.) If you do not have real-time, online credit card processing setup, you'll use the telephone number from the order email to call the customer and collect credit card details via telephone. You will key it in to your in-store terminal.
- In terms of fulfilling the order, you will view the order and determine if the purchase is a registry order or a general public (non-registry) purchase. If the order is a general public purchase, and the item needs to be delivered to the customer, you'll check if you have the item in stock. If you have the item in stock, you can ship it. If you do not have the item in stock, you can contact the vendor or your sales rep to place an order. If the vendor drop ships, you may ask it to do this. If the purchase is a gift registry purchase, and your store gives the bride registry credit, you can do this. (You do not have to immediately ship registry purchases.)
- Using Bridge, you enable your customers to shop from 1,000s of items and you save yourself 100s of hours and $1,000s on website maintenance and product upkeep.
- You can use your Bridge to share news with your business friends as well as with the public. It's akin to a Facebook page, but for your business.
- You'll receive a weekly email with prices changes, new items, and best sellers.
(Vendors, Brands, Manufacturers, Distributors, Suppliers)
- You sign up online for a free Bridge account. For free, you can share news and files with your retailers and sales reps via Bridge. If you wish to sync your products with your retailers and sales reps via Bridge's network, plans start at $24/month.
- If you choose to sync products, we'll import your items into Bridge. We can import your product data from an Excel file that you email us. We can also help you add pictures to these items. Using our software, you will in essence be creating a duplicate of what is on your website on the Bridge platform. The benefit is that once you do this your products will appear on all your authorized retailers' websites and consumers can purchase your items on these retailers' sites. Any changes that you make to your Bridge products will also occur on your Bridge retailers' sites instantly. For example, if you add a new item, it will appear on all your Bridge retailers' sites. If you change a price, it will change on all the sites. Your items from the retailers' perspective appear to be self-updating and 'smart.' Therefore, we refer to your items as Smart Products and to your brand as a Smart Brand.
- We'll give you a free training session about how to update and organize your Smart Products.
- Once you are happy with your account, we'll active it and all your Smart Products will appear on your friended retailers' websites. Your Bridge retailers will not need to ask you for Excel files to upload to their site.
- You'll send sync requests to the retailers with which you wish to sync products. You can invite any retailer to join Bridge and sync with your Smart Products.
- When a retailer sells one of your items on its site, the retailer will receive the customer's order via email. If the retailer has the item in stock, it will ship what it has in stock. If the retailer does not have the item in stock, it will contact you or its sales rep to place an order. If you drop ship, it may ask you to do this.
- To help you measure your Bridge's performance, Bridge will send you a daily email informing you of any sales relating to your brand.
- Using Bridge, you'll be controlling your product on your retailers' websites and helping them show more and sell more. You'll speed your product to market and streamline communication.