How to Get Your Product Into Retail Stores

Are you ready to get your product onto retailer’s shelves? Before making that all-important sale, you must take steps to ensure you can fulfill your contract. This process takes time and dedication but will be worth it once you see your product on the shelves. Explore our guide to get started putting your product into retail stores.

Getting Your Product to a Retailer

There are several ways to get your product to your retailer, depending on the type that you’re targeting. Retailers often belong to several different supply chains, each group focused on distributing and marketing varying types of products. Whether you’re targeting a chain or independent retailer, keep in mind that they all deal with wholesale distributors. 

Wholesale distributors may cost you, but they provide the connections and trust of retailers they do business with. Since they collect the payments from retailers, you’ll be paid by a single source, often more quickly. They may also provide you with many more unexpected sales opportunities.

5 Tips for Working with Wholesalers

With these benefits in mind, it’s essential that you prepare your product for distribution success. To help you, here are five steps to take before starting a relationship with a wholesaler.

1. Be Ready For the Market

Ensure your product is ready to go to market before approaching wholesale distributors. You should show them your fully developed product at its best. Distributors are interested in finished products, so take time to perfect it.

You should also know your product’s cost and retail price point, how to package it, market it, and supply it if demand suddenly skyrockets. More often than not, speed to market is more important than price.

2. Develop a Sales and Marketing Plan

At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to get people to buy your product. Distributors will want to know how you’re planning to market to retailers and consumers. 

Use every marketing resource you can to help drive demand and ensure retailers keep placing orders with your distributor. The most profitable products for your wholesaler and retailers are the ones that move and are replenished repeatedly. For more help with marketing, take a look at our Effective Marketing And Sales Guide.

3. Get References for Distributors to Approach

Your distributor is like a business partner. You must ensure you’re working together and are on the same page. Just because someone’s willing to take on your product doesn’t mean they’re the right distributor for you. Do your research and ensure that they’re a good fit.

Go to tradeshows and ask retail buyers for references. Ask who they’d recommend based on your target demographic and ideal consumer. Set up your own trade booth and have plenty of material for potential distribution and sales teams. Make sure you get all their contact information and follow up. If you choose a great distributor, their customers should be happy to share their experiences.

4. Finding Your Target Market

The partnerships with distributors that are the most successful are those who help you get to the market as soon as possible. Ensure that your chosen distributor is successfully selling to your exact target market.

We suggest that you find out who distributes your competitors’ products or who sells products that are complimentary to yours. Finding a distributor that represents similar, successful products will help get your product to shelves faster because they already know how to compete in that market. It also provides a great sales opportunity for the retailer to create bundles and add-on deals for multiple items, increasing the products’ revenue potential.

5. Understand Your Distributor

Learning what matters to distributors will help you find a company that will represent you more quickly. Your distributor is also your customer. Find out what matters to them when taking on new products. Different distributors might have different approaches to shipping, packaging, and so on.

Finding the right wholesale distributor can help your product business in a huge way.

How Small Business BC Can Help Your Business

SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our business articles.