Being in business is about making a contribution to society. Once you’ve created a unique product which makes life easier, more enjoyable or sustainable, the next step is making it available.
The best way of achieving this is through placement on the shelf in mass retail. Here are 5 steps to getting your products on retail shelves.
Develop A Unique Product
First, create a unique product that contributes to benefiting and improving lives . Research, find out what’s already in existence, understand voids in the market, and unmet consumer needs. Online searches and walking store aisles are great places for research. Research will help in defining the unique attributes of your product such as: What’s different about your product? Why is your product better or more innovative than current products on shelf? Develop a clear concise message, an elevator speech, to quickly communicate why your product is unique and deserves a place on retail shelves.
Know Your Numbers
Now you’ve created a product that will benefit the lives of your customers, ensuring you can be profitable. You need to be profitable to maintain and scale your business. So, know your manufacturing costs, if it’s arriving internationally, know your landed costs, warehousing, shipping, insurance, marketing and all other costs required to make your product available to retailers. Then make sure you are making a profit. Your profit is necessary to scale and grow your business; ensuring you will be able to offer your products to your customers over time.
Buyer Meetings and Retailer Requirements
Now, it’s time to share your innovative product with retailers. Schedule meetings with buyers representing the product categories for your product. Many retailers will have information on their websites on how to set up buyer meetings. During the meeting share why your product is unique and why their customers need to have access to it.
Once a buyer agrees to share your product with their customers, you must meet certain requirements. Each retailer has specific requirements, generally they include: liability insurance, product safety testing, effective supply chains to insure on-time delivery, and minority certifications if applicable.
Congratulations you’ve got your product on shelf! But it’s not over. In many ways it’s just beginning. Now it’s important to implement a successful marketing strategy, the real challenge is not getting your product on shelf, but getting it off the shelf. You’ll need to create demand so customers will want and buy your product. Developing a successful marketing strategy to inform customers about the uniqueness of your product is key to supporting sales-thru.
Innovate, Innovate, Innovate!
You’ve successfully created a product, placed it in retail, and created demand. Now repeat. Your customers, as well as your retailers, will always want something new and innovative. So keep the creative juices flowing. Continue to create unique and innovative products that will be of service to your customers and wow your retailers. You’ll have a long and successful business.
About Dr. Lisa Williams:
Dr. Lisa Williams is the Founder and CEO of The World of Entertainment, Publishing and Inspiration™ (The World of EPI™). The World of EPI is a multi-million-dollar, multicultural children’s toy manufacturing and design firm, whose vision, mission and values are rooted in celebrating diversity. Established in 2009, as a mother of two sons, Dr. Lisa Williams committed herself to developing a business focused on encouraging acceptance, inclusion and self-love among children of all ages. The result is a beloved global brand featuring The Fresh Dolls, The Fresh Squad, Simply Fresh, and Positively Perfect Doll Collections. Through her doll collections, Dr. Lisa Williams is by providing children access to dolls which encourage dreams, promote intelligence, challenge perceptions, and open their hearts to all types of beauty.