How to Approach a Retailer about Carrying Your Product

For a store to decide to carry your product there must be enough confidence that the product is marketable.

Before approaching a retailer to add your product to the store, there are many areas that first need addressing. What naturally comes at the top of the list of priorities is how profitable the product can be based on inventory turns and consumer demand. Retailers commonly call this “sell-through”. Of course there are other important things to consider such as the products quality, packaging, distribution, return policy and advertising.

Anticipate questions that are related to these aspects. Present the product as a logical and great extension for the merchandising selection of the store. As an independent pharmacist, these are very essential things to note. Explain the various reasons why the product will not cannibalize sales or lower the sales of other items in the store but rather generate ancillary revenue.

Below are the steps to follow when pondering on how to approach a retailer about carrying your product.

Step 1

Before approaching the retailer, first visit the store as an actual customer and then prepare your sales pitch by carefully examining the selection and demographics of customers in the place. Note the suppliers the store deals with as well as how it approaches in-store merchandising. You should specifically keep an eye out for point-of-purchase (PoP) displays manufacturers provide and the probable breath of the product mix of the store. Examine the ads of the retailer and you can also visit the store’s official website.

Step 2

You need to find out the merchandising philosophy of the store and what the requirements for adding new products are. In most small single-store operations, the manager or owner usually makes these decisions. In a larger store, this kind of responsibility might fall on a buyer. Without divulging too much detail about the product you’re trying to pitch, get this information by inquiring directly in person or through phone. Inquire if the process requires a formal application and what information is needed.

Step 3

Another important thing to do is to create digital versions and hard copy of a good information kit. Give a full description of the product – its application, history and options like flavors, colors, and sizes. Outline your plan for marketing, which should include promotional efforts and advertising. If there is no budget for ad, explain why it is a good means of generating impulse buys. You could also provide in-store promotional displays or signage.

Step 4

When approaching a retail store for placement, make sure your design packaging is one, which will be a great selling point. For example, consumable products should really optimize shelf space. Ensure labels have good visual impact, a great description of the benefits of the product and a bar code or Universal Product Code. For small items, the shopping cartons should be ones that can be used as display cases once opened. Fragile or bulky products should also be presented in a way that protects the item when handled or accidentally dropped.

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