40 Million Buyers
The US Government is often called Fortune 1. It’s the largest organization in the world. Authorized shoppers include 12.1 million at brick-n-mortar locations and 30 million online shoppers. Military resale buys almost every product and service sold in the United States. If you see it at your grocery store, Target, Walmart, or any other box store, you’ll also find it at commissaries, exchanges, and MWR. Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor, or reseller, ALA will help accelerate your entry into the market.
Where Do You Start?
If you want to sell your products, no other association in the country can provide the training and resources that ALA provides. For over 100 years, ALA has supported the entry of small businesses into the military resale system.
Every product and service is different. The commissary operates differently from the exchanges. Each exchange operates differently from each other, as does the Veteran Canteen Service. So the first step is identifying where your products or services are purchased. The first step is contacting ALA to validate the propensity for your product(s) or service(s). Propensity is identifying who buys what you sell; how much they buy; and how often they buy it. This includes product categories, military installations, VA hospitals, and geographical or regional locations. This ensures that you know where to target your sales efforts.
When you become a member of ALA, we will also introduce you to the Brokers who manage the vendors in the military resale space. They are on the front-lines and know, from a day to day basis, what is happening in the military resale system and how to best position, market, and sell any product category or commodity.
Brick-n-Mortar vs. eCommerce
Depending on who buys what you sell, when you join ALA, our account management team will help you identify the best entry-point for your products. If Commissaries, the entry point is primarily brick-n-mortar grocery stores located on military installations.
However, for military exchanges, there are several entry-points. A common first step is obtaining one of the many kiosks located in and around military exchanges. These are no different than the kiosks you see at your local shopping mall. Kiosks are an excellent means for local and regional manufacturers to sell their products on military installations that are close to them.
Another entry-point is directly stocking your product(s) on exchange shelves. This requires more in-depth discussions with the exchanges. ALA’s account management team will help you position and help facilitate your sales presentation to the right buyers.
The third entry-point is eCommerce. Since January 2020, Veterans are now authorized to shop online for products sold my military exchanges. This increased the number of authorized online shoppers from 12 million to more than 40 million authorized shoppers. There are many products sold online that are not stocked on exchange shelves. For some companies, navigating the process for selling online is not only more cost effective, but also reaches a much larger segment of the market.
Which entry-point is best for your company? ALA knows the answer.