Tips on how to pitch products onto the shelves of major retailers

Many Australian retailers have limited shelf space to offer companies so as a small business owner, it can be difficult to enlist new products into the major stores. Having the company’s products in these channels is beneficial as it provides exposure to the target consumer. However, to generate interest in products that is on retailer shelves, the business needs to be able to get the goods in stores.

Pitching to retailers can be daunting and difficult. There are heaps of other companies that are already trying to break into the market as well. So here are some recommendations for a business to get their foot in the door..

Know the market

It is incredibly important to conduct market research before making a significant investment into product development. Market knowledge is essential when establishing where a product fits, potential competition and what gaps currently exist in the market. It also impacts pricing strategies; a business should identify all the costs of introducing the new product, and also have an idea of current market rates. This will reduce the risk of resupplying issues for the store (don’t keep the customer waiting either), and principally covering essential costs – therefore making a profit

Research the retailers

Knowing the retailers is essential. Don’t waste their time – research and get to know which retailers fit the business’ target market. It is important to assess the pertinence of the retailer and their audience in relation to the brand and product. This includes understanding the store’s demographics and making sure they relate to the product’s intended audience. If there could be a relationship between the retailer and the company’s brand and product, then reach out and communicate with them.

*Remember to make an appointment via email or telephone (or both) before addressing the retailer. Examine who are the best contacts to speak with and establish a relationship.

Unique selling point

Highlight the product’s Unique Selling Point, and support it; show the retailers that this product sells. This could mean creating different ways to sell the product prior to meeting with a retailer. A great deal of business owners forget that they are asking retailers to take an enormous risk by requesting them to stock a product many of their customers may not have seen before. Social media is another a great way to create interest in a product (creating a solid online presence also helps towards a firm’s marketing strategy). The more that people notice the product, the more likely it is that retailers will choose to stock it.

Know the product

For a business to have knowledge of its own product might seem obvious, but how much should they know? Instructions, warranty, features, product specifications? Well the truth is, the more they knows, the better they can sell the product. Being able to know the product inside-out is beneficial as retailers are going to be asking questions. Make sure to know the product before entering the appointment with the retailer. For example, ensuring the packaging of the product takes up as little territory on the retailer’s shelves as possible can be a huge green light for some of them.

But knowing everything about the product is only half the battle. Passion is essential. The best salesmen are those who leave the consumers (in this case, retailers) with the desire to spread the word and recommend their product. Be memorable with the pitch.

Start locally

If the business is located in a big city, why not start there? Use the knowledge about local stores to perfect sales techniques and deal with any fundamental issues the company may have with its product. This experience will be advantageous in the acquisition of future sales.

Localised retailing is a brilliant strategy for small business owners to get their product noticed and to utilise an accessible distribution channel.  It is important for the business to do its research to identify the right stores in order to get the best returns for its efforts. Build the knowledge and then dive in to get a name out in the market.

What can Glow do for you?

Glow offers innovative end-to-end consumer insight solutions for small businesses so they can gain the relevant research they need to improve their product offerings. Have a look at our complimentary Australian Shopping Habits and Retail Sentiments pack to access valuable insights into how consumers are buying their goods in this evolving age. Discover how you, as a small business, can then target various retailers to get your product on shelves.