Many online shop owners see getting their products into retail stores as the ultimate sign theyâ€™ve made it. Whether your business is new or youâ€™ve been selling online for a while, you can make the jump to a brick and mortar store with these tips.
Tip #1: Make contact, make an appointment. Donâ€™t just show up at a store and hope to speak to the owner. You may come at a bad time or miss the owner altogether. Making an appointment shows you respect the buyerâ€™s time and are professional.
Tip #2: Avoid form letter limbo. Contact the store owner with a personal touch by including a few details about their store, like other product lines they carry or something you love about the space. If you canâ€™t visit in person, search online review sites and the storeâ€™s own website and blog for these personal details that show youâ€™re really interested.
Tip #3: Short, sweet and to the point. Know what you want to say in your initial contact with a store and say it simply. Outline why you want the store to sell your product, why customers will buy your product and how selling your product will benefit the store. Include straightforward line sheets and an order form or, even better, a link to download both from your website.
Tip #4: Be credible. Everyone needs to start somewhere. Share customer testimonials to illustrate that youâ€™re serious about your product and offer samples so the buyer can feel the quality of your product. Offer to sell your product on consignment to start. A 50/50 split is a great way to get into your first few stores, which you can then use as testimonials.
Tip #5: No response doesnâ€™t mean no interest. Store owners are busy people, so donâ€™t assume because they havenâ€™t immediately replied to your email that the store isnâ€™t interested. Follow up after 7-10 days to keep your product top of mind. If you still donâ€™t hear back, put the store on your list for your next round contacts.
How did you get your products into your first retail store?
Andreea Ayers works with creative entrepreneurs to help them get media attention for their products and to increase sales by getting their products in stores. For advice, insight and lots of free resources, check out her site LaunchGrowJoy.com