Tips for Retail Success

FROM THE BUYER’S PERSPECTIVE: WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION SHOULD I BE COLLECTING FROM MY CURRENT RETAILERS?

By Vanessa Ting

Romy provided a thorough list of information you should be collecting from your current retailers. The only tip I will add, is that you also want to collect results (both sales and qualitative feedback) on marketing programs you have previously implemented at a retailer. Showing proof of past successes will make future proposals that much more enticing. Retailers love measuring ROI.

Instead, I will belabor the point about why collecting this information is important and the best way to finesse your request for data.

As you begin scaling up your retail distribution and pitching to larger retailers, it will be important to show your sales history and growth trends to demonstrate why you will generate enough sales for these larger retailers. If you haven’t been collecting this information periodically and over time, you will find yourself scrambling to reach out to old retailers or to buyers with whom you have lost touch. Not a good spot to be in.

Here are some ways to ask for this information from retailers to make the request easier for buyers to stomach:

To current retailers: “Can you please share your point of sales data or sell-through data with us? We would like to monitor sales to learn what is working well, so we can repeat our successes with you. And we would like to see what’s not going so well, so we can develop a solution to improve sales for you.”

To old retailers: Well…You’re out of luck…you can ask for this information, but there is very little incentive for them to help you out. You can beg, but it may be an uphill battle. This is why it’s important to collect this information periodically over the course of your relationship with these stores.

Find these tips useful? If you’re in the LA area, join our Mastermind Group meeting on May 15th at 6pm in Santa Monica. Learn more at http://retailpathmaymm.eventbrite.com/

3 thoughts on “FROM THE BUYER’S PERSPECTIVE: WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION SHOULD I BE COLLECTING FROM MY CURRENT RETAILERS?

    1. Good question, as this is a delicate process. Take into consideration the strength of your relationship with the buyer, and what their inventory tracking process is. For example, big stores like Target track sales daily – and up to the minute. Independent retailers may have POS systems that track this and run reports weekly or they may just rely on doing end of month inventory checks. Meaning, they count how many units they have left on shelves and in the backroom, and subtract that from what they had the last time they counted. Point is, find out when and how often they check sales…and based on that, time your request. I would ask them to pull sales once a quarter or once every six months since that’s when the data becomes meaningful because you start seeing trends. There are tips and tricks to making it easy to get this information from retailers…but sorry, I’ve got to save some of these secrets and tools for my paying clients! 🙂 -Vanessa

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      1. Just have to tell you that Target’s Partners On Line system is horrible! Besides being difficult to navigate, it doesn’t work. Every time I’ve tried to run reports, it returns an error. Despite repeated support tickets, they have never been able to fix it though they claim they have. I find Amazon has a better system for collecting sales data and use it for pitches to other retailers.

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