You have heard Vanessa and I preach about being a good retailer partner. Getting on the retail shelf is one accomplishment; staying there is another. Past tips have included the importance of customer service, inventory management, and quality product. http://tinyurl.com/qeyf2ta and http://tinyurl.com/qjvsfax
In Vanessa’s most recent blog post, “Target Pitch: 3 Ways This Little Brand Turned Moderate Sales Into More Stores,” she provides even more tips for elevating you from “just another vendor” to “business partner”.
Following are some more tips to earn your keep on the retail shelf – so that your buyer sees you as a “partner”:
- Answer the question: What have you done for me lately? Tell your buyer in a bite sized recap what you are doing to drive sales to their doors. To update my buyers about Psi Bands, we create a monthly retailer newsletter that highlights the best press, marketing efforts, and/or social media outcomes from the month prior. This visually impactful recap allows my buyers to quickly see that we are building brand awareness, driving traffic to their stores, and keeping them informed – without bugging them too often. If you do not yet have regular press and/or are not investing in marketing programs, get creative. Example: pull 9 testimonials from Instagram, put them into a 1-2 page collage, and send that to your buyer. Show them that consumers are buzzing about your product.
- Driving sales through online tools. Psi Bands recently added a store locator called Mapply to our web site. Love this tool. We should have added it sooner. While we have our retailers listed via their logos on our web site so consumers can quickly see where they can purchase Psi Bands, Mapply takes this one step further by taking that interested consumer directly to the store nearest them – turning that hot lead into a sale. Driving home the point of being a good “partner”, one of our retailers did not have a store list in an Excel format that would allow us to upload their locations to Mapply. As such, we formatted their content and added the geocodes, and then sent this formatted list to our retail buyer so that he could pass this info along to his colleagues and share with their other vendors. You see? We had already done the work. There was no reason not to share it. Pay it forward.
- Pitch ideas. Throughout the year, I pitch marketing ideas to select online retailers who get creative with their marketing, welcome hearing new ideas, and don’t charge Psi Bands to be featured (yes, free advertising). Example:
“Hi buyer xyz, If your marketing team decides to do a Women in Small Business month focus/feature – and includes me, the following is some language that you could use for me if you wish to expand on what’s already included on your web site. I think the emphasis on the inventor more than the product, in this particular case, would be well received. Thanks!”
I have no idea if this online retailer will do a feature daily digest on this topic (incorporating Psi Bands along with some of their other products), nor do I know if they will select me or Psi Bands to be included, but my buyer did tell me that she passed along this idea and info to her marketing team. I am spoon feeding info/ideas and making a case with creative ways to help them drive sales that is in alignment with how they market. It is a win/win.