Guide To Running A Business

6. Getting Your Product in Stores: A Beginner’s Guide

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Running A Business

Getting Your Product in Stores: A Beginner’s Guide

May 09, 2023 • 6 min read
Female store owner looking at product
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      As a small business owner, you know that getting your product in stores can be a huge boost to your bottom line. But, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of how to get your product in stores, from selling your product to local stores to getting your products on the shelves of larger retailers.

      How to get your product in stores.

      Getting your product into the brick-and-mortar space is no small undertaking. It takes a mix of relationship-building, grit, tenacity, hard work, and ingenuity to make it happen. It also helps if you break this herculean task into bite-sized chunks (although one could write a full-length about each of the following).

      1. Selling your product.

      Before you can get your product in stores, you must define the specifics of the product you aim to sell, and this means research. This will include determining your target market and identifying stores that cater to that market. You’ll also need to decide on your pricing strategy, including wholesale pricing and suggested retail pricing (SRP).

      2. Local stores

      Local stores are a great place to start when trying to get your product out into the wild. Start by identifying local retailers that carry products similar to yours. Visit these shops and talk to the store owners or managers about your product. Be prepared to provide samples, pricing information, and any other relevant details about your product. If the store is interested in carrying your product, they may place an order with you.

      3. Online retailers

      Using online retailers and ecommerce marketplaces is a great way to broaden your customer base and reach buyers you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Amazon’s online marketplace gives businesses access to over 147 million U.S. Amazon Prime members. Though online marketplaces come at a cost, usually through a monthly selling-plan fee, the number of potential customers cannot be ignored.

      Other competitive online marketplaces worth exploring include:

      • Etsy
      • Shopify
      • Walmart Marketplace

      4. Products in retail stores.

      Once you’ve established relationships with local stores, you may want to consider getting your product in retail stores. Retail stores typically have a larger customer base and can help increase your product’s visibility. Before approaching retail stores, it may be beneficial for you to already have a history of selling your product in local stores or through ecommerce.

      When approaching retail stores, be prepared to provide a detailed pitch about your product, including its unique selling points and how it fits into the store’s product mix. You’ll also need to be able to provide suggested pricing and minimum order quantities.

      5. Larger retailers

      Getting your product into larger retailers like Walmart can be a game changer for your business. However, it can also be a challenging process. Larger retailers typically require a solid track record of successful sales and may have strict requirements for product packaging and labeling.

      To get your product into larger retailers, start by researching the retailers that would be a good fit for your product. Then, identify the appropriate buyers and reach out to them with a detailed pitch about your product. You may be required to provide product samples and negotiate pricing and order requirements. This will be a major step for your business, and ensuring that you can meet the demand of larger retailers is imperative. 

      6. Trade shows

      Trade shows are a great way to get your product in front of potential buyers from a variety of stores and retailers. Look online for exhibitions taking place in your local area of influence, as well as for larger trade shows that are hosted in destination cities. 

      Before attending a trade show, make sure you have a clear understanding of your target market and the types of stores and retailers that would be a good fit for your product. If you already have accomplished sales goals and have your product stocked on shelves, show off your accolades and sales numbers using meaningful and easy-to-understand statistics.

      Get familiar with trade shows before expending your capital on your own booth. Networking can go a long way and these exhibitions provide a great opportunity to meet not only potential buyers, but also experienced sellers. 

      When you do make the plunge with your own booth, take the time to make yours visually appealing and have it clearly display your product and its selling features. 

      Finally, follow up with potential buyers after the trade show or exhibition and pursue leads from interested parties that you believe would be a good fit for your business.

      From shelf to shelves.

      Getting your product in stores can be a great way to increase sales and grow your business. A great place to start is in establishing relationships with local stores and working your way up to larger retailers. But diversity can be a strength, so explore both online retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar stores to broaden your opportunities. You can also consider attending trade shows to get your product in front of a variety of potential buyers. With patience and persistence, you will get your product on the shelves of stores and retailers across the country and even internationally.

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      About the author
      Samuel Good

      Samuel Good has more than five years of managerial and startup experience through his role as co-owner and chief operating officer of Healthy Growth Vending, a business he sold in 2021. Samuel now writes SEO content, with a history in crafting B2B and B2C subject matter that focuses on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Samuel’s educational background includes a BMgmt from Dalhousie University and a certificate in Strategic Copywriting from the University of Toronto.

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