Lydia Vargo, Senior VP of Elevate at ChicExecs, shares the seven biggest mistakes growing companies make with their retail strategy on Forbes blog. Enjoy this excerpt from the piece.
There’s no need to learn from the school of hard knocks: set yourself up for success with a solid retail strategy. Avoid making these seven mistakes to craft a stronger, more resilient retail strategy for your product business.
Mistake #1: You’re moving too fast.
It’s tempting to set your sights on the big leagues, but you need to cover the basics before you take your business to the next level. Too often, retail brands try to grow before they’re ready, and that can lead to disastrous product launches.
Mistake #2: You don’t have a community behind you.
You can’t run a retail brand solo. Whether it’s PR, marketing, IT or fulfillment, you need a solid community supporting and growing your brand. Successful retail brands have a supportive ecosystem in place that helps them deliver A-plus customer service while putting their products in the hands of more shoppers.
Mistake #3: You don’t have a sell-through plan.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fun of creating a product launch plan. But brands often miss an essential ingredient of their launch plans: a sell-through plan.
A sell-through plan helps you support the launch and move product once you get it onto store shelves.
Mistake #4: You don’t understand the contracts you’re signing.
You might be so giddy to score a retail contract that you barely read it before signing. But you should take these contracts seriously.
The last thing you want to do is sign a contract that you’re incapable of executing well. For example, charge-back policies can seriously hurt your business if you aren’t equipped to deliver on them.
Mistake #5: You forget to communicate your wins to buyers.
Retail buyers work with a lot of brands. It’s your job to make them remember you so your brand is a shoo-in when it’s time to reorder.
Mistake #6: You aren’t adding new products.
You probably have an all-star SKU that accounts for the majority of your sales. That’s great, but you can’t rest on your laurels. One of the biggest mistakes brands make in their retail strategy is failing to add new products.
Mistake #7: You forgot to set an in-house marketing budget.
If you want to move more products in-store, you need the budget to do it. Your retail strategy should allocate resources for this, so ensure that you have an internal team that supports in-store products. That might mean adding reps to do samples or in-store demos or field marketing reps to build relationships with more stores.
Read Lydia’s entire Forbes blog here.