With Black Friday approaching, buyers and big box stores are preparing for the major sale event of the season showcasing their newest products for the best deals. Karen Waksmanthe CEO of Retail MBA has sold millions of consumer products to the world’s largest retailers and now dedicates her time to teaching entrepreneurs how to market and sell their products to retailers.
Here are her six tips to getting your product on a big box store shelf
1. A product website is essential
Having a great website for your product is essential to your success with retail buyers. If you bring them a product, they will probably do a search online to find your website so make it professional.
2. Showcase product videos
Product videos are one of the best things to invest in for your product business. Retail buyers love to see what your product is and does as quickly as possible. If you are going to put a video on your website, then put it on the top half of your site so people can see it quickly as it increases conversion rates.
3. Pricing correctly is critical
If you are going to try selling to retailers, make sure that your pricing is a little bit higher on your website than it would be at stores. Retailers do not like it when you compete with them on price. They know that their customers will look online to see if there's a place to buy your product cheaper.
4. Invest in product packaging
You absolutely need to spend more time, money and effort on your packaging because when a person walks into a store they are looking at your packaging, not the product itself. The key to retail packaging is to ensure that a customer knows what the product is in five seconds or less, the packaging size and shape is in alignment with what’s in stores today, and your packaging is resistant to theft.
One great way to create packaging is to take your top three competitors product packaging and emulate what they’ve already created, but just make the design, coloring and look different and more interesting.
5. Target the right store
You absolutely need to spend time targeting the right store. For instance, do you want to sell to discounters or department stores? Do you have a high priced product or a moderately priced product? Focus on the stores needs and not your needs.
Can you help them drive traffic to their stores? Were you just on Shark Tank, so the buyer knows that people will probably go to their stores and buy your product? There are so many ways to convince the buyer that your product will make them money, even if you haven’t sold the product anywhere yet.
6. Venture on your own
You care about your business more than anyone else, so why not set up retail accounts until you can get the best reps to represent you? Buyers don’t really care about you, your personality or your sales skills. They care mostly about whether your product will sell in their stores.
You don’t have to be a salesperson to sell to stores, you just need to cultivate a story that convinces them to buy. You can actually save money by not paying commission fees, if you are willing to do the work yourself initially. One idea is to set up the retail accounts and just hire account managers to maintain those retail accounts! If you are limited on capital, then start local as some major retailers purchase products on a local level.
Don’t avoid selling to major retailers just because you are limited financially! Most people don’t realize that there are third-party companies that will fund your major retail order, if you receive a purchase order or a commitment to buy from a chain store.
There is a science and art to convincing stores to showcase your products. The good news is that it is all teachable and you don’t have to be independently wealthy to become independently wealthy. See you at the stores.