On a daily basis retailers are bombarded by companies who are trying to get their attention. It’s a competitive arena. If you’re planning on expanding to sell your products in big-box retail stores then you need to make sure you stand out from the rest.
Do your research
This is a recurring theme with everything business-related and there is a reason for that. Research provides useful data which in turn helps companies make smart, informed decisions. When it comes to getting in with a retailer the following research can help:
* Take note of the type of products the retailer usually sells. How do your products fit in? Is there a gap where your products can fit in?
* Which competitors’ products are they stocking? How can you differentiate yourself from them? In other words, what is unique about what you sell?
* What type of customers shop at the retailer’s stores? Are those the type of people who would be interested in buying what you offer?
* How does the retailer like to portray itself in terms of branding? How can you adjust your branding to fit in with this?
When talking to the retailer you can showcase your knowledge of their store, products and brand. This knowledge can allow you to convince the retailer that you can indeed fit into their stores and can be a valuable addition to their brand.
Limit potential risk
Retailers, no matter how big or small, have a budget to adhere to. By choosing to sell your products they will be incurring costs through buying, stocking and displaying. This is why it is important to convince them that you are not a risky partner and that their limited shelf space won’t go to waste.
To show that you are not risky, provide the retailer with proof that your product will sell and thus make them a profit. For instance, provide data on previous sales and sales projections for the upcoming year. Also, make it known that your products will appeal to their customers through the research that you have done on your target market. If they know there is a need for it, it is easier for them to be convinced that it will be a beneficial partnership.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Focus on getting into one or two local stores before moving in to hundreds of stores nationwide. Starting small helps you work out the kinks and determines if your research was indeed correct. See whether you are coping with demand. If you can’t even produce effectively for one store, how will more than one go? Are your products selling as well as you expected them to? Is your branding making an impact and is your packaging consumer-friendly? If you are not faring as well as you had hoped then you need to reevaluate. If you’re only in one store, this type of strategy change is less daunting.
Get the numbers right
When you’re planning on selling a product through a retailer, you should become aware of the additional costs that come with it. These additional costs may affect your selling price, and ultimately, how much profit is made. On the other hand, if you raise your price too much to cover the extra costs the customers will be reluctant to buy it or it won’t fit in with the retailer’s plan. Once again, research is crucial when determining what your selling price should be.
Other numbers to think about include potential discount levels, and what volume of product you can supply to the store on a regular basis. Also, think about practicalities and whether or not you can up your supply if the demand increases.
If you’re using an electronic product catalogue like Onsight, you can let your retailers log into the app, view your product catalogue and place orders without you even having to visit them. You can find more details here: How customer self-ordering works.