How to Approach a Retailer about Carrying Your Product
While the world of e-commerce has taken off wildly in the past decade, if you make consumer products, you cannot underestimate the power of brick-and-mortar stores. Independent retailers cannot only help push your products, but they can also do wonders for your branding. However convincing big-box retailers to carry your product is a whole different story.
Because they receive a lot of interest from several different product brands, retailers tend to be quite choosy. Consider the following proven tips to persuade retailers to carry your product without much hassle.
1. Partner with a Distributor
Independent retailers prefer to get products from distributors – and for a good reason. It makes both economic and logistical sense to them because buying from distributors makes billing, payment, and administration super easy for the stores. As such, you might want to partner with a reputable distributor – perhaps one that’s already doing business with the retailer – before pitching your product.
2. Get to Know the Retailer
It pays to do a little research on your target store. Do you know if the retailer engages in two-tier distribution? Does the store only work with distributors? Check out the retailer’s website. Make sure that you understand their distribution and supply policies before you initiate contact.
3. Create a Robust and Intuitive Website
Big retailers don’t get anything in their stores before they get to know all the nitty-gritty of the product. Get your product website up, and make sure to include as much information about your product as possible. Make it professional because they’ll probably do an online search.
4. Price the Product Just Right
The focal point of getting your product in retail stores is the price. Make the price on the product website a bit higher than what you’re offering the retailer. It should always be cheaper at their stores.
5. Do a Bang-up Job on the Packaging
You need to invest your effort, money, and time on your product’s packaging. After all, it’s one of the few things that influence buyers when they get into the store. The customer should be able to know what’s in the packaging within the first 5 seconds. Get the size and shape right, too.
6. Invest in Ads, Promotion, and Marketing
Your products should have an online presence. Besides a website, you should take out ads to get the product noticed. Even better, try targeted ads positioned in user’s social media feeds. These targeted ads can easily influence buyers.
7. Prepare a Sell Sheet/Brochure
It’s always best to pitch the product to the retailer in person. After all, it is you who knows the ins and outs of the product. Don’t forget to create a brief brochure or sell sheet. It should comprise ordering and pricing info, a short description of the product, photos, documentation, your contacts, and perhaps customer testimonials.
Getting retailers to carry your product shouldn’t be hard. Use above tips to make the whole process a piece of the pie.