13 Tips to Get your Product in front of Retailers
Brands are always looking for new and innovative ways to get their products into the hands of consumers. However, breaking through the clutter and getting products in front of retailers can be a daunting task. Here are 13 simple tips to help brands get their products into the hands of retailers and onto the store shelves of their dreams.
10 Tips to Get your Product in front of Retailers
1. Start with a great product.
What makes a great product? Many things. However, the importance of packaging cannot be understated. Make sure that your product is attractive, stands out on the shelf, and fosters consumer confidence.
2. Create a compelling story
When pitching your product to retailers, it’s important to have a well-crafted story. This can be a story about the brand and the founder, This will help your product stand out from the competition and show retailers why your product is worth their time and investment.
3. Get connected
There are a number of ways to get connected with retailers. You can attend trade shows, participate in webinars or even host your own events. Getting connected with retailers will give you a better understanding of their needs and what they’re looking for in new products.
4. Ensure Retail-Ready products
No matter what industry you are in, the best retail products have the highest margins, fastest turnover, and smallest footprint— for the retailer. Retailers are interested in products that will sell well, have a good profit margin, and don’t take up too much space on their shelves. If your product doesn’t meet these criteria, you don’t have a retail-ready product.
5. Develop your Retail Spread
Before developing your retail pitch, make a list of the top 10 retail stores you would like to approach with your product that you think would make a great fit. In order to ensure a great fit, make sure that your product aligns with their current merchandising and value structure. Once you have developed this list, reach out to them.
6. Know the needs of your Buyer.
Before reaching out to any retailers, it’s important to understand who your target market is. This will help you determine which retailers are most likely to be receptive to your products. Once you know your audience, research the best way to reach them. Use research to your advantage, and know what stores carry your competitor’s products. If a retail chain doesn’t carry a product similar to yours, it’s possible that they simply don’t know that they need it yet. Then, it is up to you to tell them why they need it. Regardless of the situation, it is imperative that you understand how the store will benefit from your product, and make this a highlighted part of your pitch. Also, knowing the needs of your buyer includes being aware of their sales volume. One of the biggest issues larger retailers face is the concern that a small business may not be able to keep up with production. That’s why many businesses start by supplying smaller, independent stores.
7. Sell at independents
Start small and sell at independent shops, and even online stores like Amazon. These sales and exposure help create a sense of legitimacy for your brand, which helps you approach larger retailers.
8. Make a Name for Yourself.
Some will say that social media is not worth your time, and that’s simply not true as a food producer. One of the best ways to get your products in front of retailers is to build a following on social media first and use your following to your advantage. Having a solid consumer base offers proof to retailers that you have a strong brand identity— brand equity that functions as leverage in entry and negotiation with national chains.
9. Develop your Retail Pitch.
Your pitch should include a cover letter, your press kit that covers your product’s certifications and social media following, sales figures from other retailers, manufacturing capabilities, distributorship, and samples of your product for buyers to try.
10. Get Straight to the Point.
Buyers from larger chains have limited time in their day, so it’s important that you are prepared to give a quick and concise pitch for your product. For smaller chains, storytelling may be an important aspect of your pitch. For large, medium, and smaller chains, you will want to provide critical data on your products, including the price points, manufacturing capabilities, and offer data on consumer needs if possible.
For Certified Paleo and Certified Grain-Free products, we can offer you support with critical data on consumer trends and market analytics.
11. Guarantee Product Success.
One huge way to help gain the trust of retail chains is to guarantee your sales. Reducing the risk— or making it no risk at all for you to demo your product until it sells out— gives retailers peace of mind that they lose nothing by taking a chance on your product. This type of no-risk offer not only eases their mind, but also suggests that you have a huge amount of confidence in your product.
12. Offer incentives
One way to sweeten the deal for retailers is to offer incentives. This could be in the form of discounts, free shipping, or even exclusive products. Offering incentives will show retailers that you’re invested in their success and that you’re willing to go the extra mile to get your products into their hands.
13. Try, try again.
Every product is different, but the one universal truth is that those with persistence have better odds of success. Try every angle, network with gatekeepers, and meet every person possible who can help you succeed. In fact, decision-makers are often easier to reach than you might expect. Use platforms like Linkedin, and current contacts to help you get the attention of the gatekeepers, too.
By following these 13 tips, you’ll be on your way to getting your products in front of retailers. Just remember to be patient, stay focused, and keep pushing forward. With a little perseverance, you’ll eventually see your products on the store shelves of your dreams.
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