What are Retailers Looking for When Seeking New Brands?
For someone looking to pitch a new product, or a large department store looking for something that will sell, what are they looking for? For the big retailers, it can be several things.
There may be products that seem like a good idea and simply gather dust while others fly off the shelves. The ability to predict what will be hot is a honed skill and knowledge about retail.
What Sells and Why?
One of the most important aspects of any new product is will people need it? How distinctive is it? Will people buy it over and over again?
Ultimately, retailers want to have products that will move and that customers will want to buy again and again. A new product might seem like a great idea but will it be a fad or will people continue to buy it? And remember price is not a unique value proposition, it’s a commodity. Someday, someone will beat you on price, which is why you have to differentiate on something more.
Does anyone else carry it? Is this product exclusively for one retailer or is it widely available? Obviously, a retailer would love to have a hot ticket item that only they carry.
When looking at these products to add to their line, retailers must know if their competitors are already carrying it or are they first. If no one else yet has it, it can mean a great boost in sales if people decide they need to have it.
How Does it Look?
Another important aspect is does the product present itself well? Does it look appealing even if people are not familiar with the item? Will people be drawn to the packaging and curious to look closer at it?
Packaging is important, as even popular items may not sell as well as some others simply because their packaging is unappealing. This can make or break a perfectly good product.
Retailers ultimately have to consider the money portion of the problem. Will they make enough money from this product to make it worthwhile? Cost is more than the price tag for retailers.
They need to consider buying it wholesale, shipping, store costs, and overhead and will that all come out in their favor.
Sometimes retailers will buy a product to sell based on popularity. A trending item may sell a lot very quickly. This is apparent at Christmas time when a certain item becomes the must-have gift of the year.
This can also be a risk for retailers, but more so for physical stores. Black Friday types of sales see people getting hurt, damaging goods, and destroying the vert items they have come to buy.
When this happens, it may cost the store more in damages than they ever get from sales. Trending items may seem like a great way to make sales but timing is also very important here.
The retailer needs to predict when the item will be popular and order them ahead of time. If the trend doesn’t take off, they may be stuck with a warehouse full of items they cannot sell.
Knowing what will sell is a skill that comes from knowing your market and knowing your consumers. Quality products are often better as they stand up to wear and represent your brand and your store. It can be overwhelming trying to decide, which is why retailers need to understand the market and their finicky customers.
If you’re a brand and have questions surrounding the retailer world, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to help and if we can’t, we probably know someone who could!