Building a Solid Retail Strategy: 5 Questions to Ask

How to Build a Retail Strategy

Whether your product is ready to enter the marketplace or your brand wants to expand its sales beyond an e-commerce site, chances are you’ve been asked, “What’s your retail strategy?” 

If you’re new to this process of product placement, it’s not something you want to attempt alone. To introduce you to the basics of retail strategy, we’re here to answer your questions about what it entails. 

What is a Retail Strategy?

At ChicExecs, the Retail Strategy department focuses on finding retail placement for brands. This could be online, in a brick and mortar store or with a drop shipping business, meaning the retailer purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. Finding ideal placement for a brand means building a partnership and listening to that company’s end goals. 

Which Channels Should My Product Be In?

Along with curating these partnerships, there’s the understanding that each brand has its individual needs based on its goals. While some businesses are looking for drop shipping, others are looking for presence in high-end stores. It’s the job of the Retail Strategy team to help each business map out their goals so they know they’re finding the best channel to meet their needs.

What Is the Importance of Retail Strategy?

The short answer: visibility is everything to your brand.  While this presence includes social media, brand awareness and influencer campaigns, having your product placed where consumers shop also creates appeal. Not only does retail strategy help those brands that are expanding, they can evaluate which products are best-sellers.

How Do You Stay Above the Competition?

Speaking of best-sellers, you want to make sure your product lands in the retail space of your dreams to become one. Just like applying for a job where you need to stand out among the other applicants, your brand must do the same against its competitors in order to reach shelves. When you’re trying to stand out, your visibility becomes important. Here are some other helpful tips that give you a competitive edge. 

  • Show the retail buyer that you have a cohesive strategy
  • Organize your marketing materials. Your samples should tell a story about your brand and speak to your authenticity. 
  • If your brand has PR or influencers, make it known to the buyer. That retailer could be choosing between your product and a competitor’s at the same price point. Knowing yours has significant PR while the competing brand does not could win your product a spot on the shelf.

Can You Align Yourself with Those Who Have Buyer Relationships?

With many moving parts to retail strategy, your brand requires an expert. You want to establish a partnership with someone who can guide you through the process and already has buyer relationships. 

 

Visit this topic on our YouTube Channel to learn more!

Contact us today to get your product placed in stores.

Top 10 Tips for Optimal Product Placement in Stores

Top 10 Retail Product Placement Tips

Building your brand towards product placement in stores is what you’re striving for. However, there’s a few extra steps along the way to get your product on shelves and successfully purchased. Here are some of our expert tips to get you the retail product placement of your dreams.

 

1. Have a Clear Point of Difference

What makes your brand unique? Review your competitors and have a clear point of difference (POD) that differentiates your brand. You want to stand out from the competition.

2. Price Your Product Competitively 

Your pricing should be based on your POD. Does your product have a clear added value to it? 

Adding or subtracting a few dollars based on your market could make a big difference. Review the price points of your competitors as well. 

3. Create impactful packaging and displays

You have less than one second to “grab” the consumer and make them understand your product and feel the need to purchase it. Hiring a firm is highly recommended if it’s not a talent you possess in-house.

4. Hire a Professional Photographer

For high quality, high resolution pictures that match your brand, invest in professional photography. Especially with lifestyle photos, these images are used for your lookbook and catalog and must show the value of your brand. Because first impressions are everything, this is how a retailer or consumer is going to view your product.

5. Fine Tune Your Brand, Tagline and Mission Statement 

Focusing on these items are important to your retail product placement. You want to make the consumers and retailer you target fit in line with your brand. Fine tuning your brand not only attracts customers but helps you get placed in the appropriate retailers for your target audience.

6. Be Active But Not Annoying on Social Media

You want to make sure you’re engaging with consumers and providing interesting and authentic content to attract followers. Be careful though, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience and lose their interest. Hire a professional company, if necessary!

7. Hire a Reputable PR Firm Like Us!

Consumer awareness is crucial for any brand’s development. Getting PR is your resume to the world. It helps you become a household name and sets your brand apart from others. Leave this task to the professionals who are experts at building connections and know how to get you message out there in a clear and concise way that encompasses your brand in the best way possible.

8. Identify and Engage Your Category Buyer

Send product information, recent press features and any relevant influencer posts for your products. Buyers often need repeat impressions of a brand before they will place a purchase order. Don’t get discouraged. Keep sending them relevant information and push for an in-person meeting to review your brand.

9. Read and Re-Read Your Vendor Guidelines

Once you get that purchase order, you need to make sure you’re shipping correctly, and your boxes are going to the right place for example. Rereading and understanding your vendor guidelines helps prevent charge-backs and returns that can cut into any profit you make.

10. Focus on Sell-Through

Buyers are taking a risk putting your new product on their shelves. They need to know that your product won’t remain there for long and end up as a consumer purchase. Use marketing opportunities available through the retailer as well as your own social media and PR to move product off the shelves. Initial placement is often-times the easiest part – the sell-through and subsequent re-orders are difficult. Make sure you focus on moving your product, not just getting it on the shelf!

 

Visit this topic on our YouTube Channel to learn more!

Contact us today to get your product placed in stores.

Turning Instagrammable Moments into Retail Sales

ChicExecs Director of Channel Management Nichole Evans shares the ways Instagram can benefit your brand and how to see a return on your Instagram marketing efforts.

“You put a lot of work into your brand. Move more product by creating unforgettable, Instagram-worthy moments. Turn fun customer moments into sales for a true win-win.”

Read the full article here.

Out-of-the-Box Retailers to Inspire Your Next Strategy

ChicExecs Co-Founder/Co-President Kailynn Bowling explains how there are still benefits to businesses owning retail space. The trick is to get creative with them.

“As co-founder of a retail strategy firm, I believe the hottest trend to get more customers through the front door is experiential retail.”

The article states that over 80 percent of all retail sales happen in brick-and-mortar stores. The problem that’s plaguing retailers in 2019: how to get young shoppers interested in offline shopping again.

Read her full feature here on Inc.

How to Bridge the Gap Between Marketing and Sales

ChicExecs Co-Founder/Co-President Nikki Carlson shares her tips on how businesses can bring their sales and marketing teams together to keep revenue growing.

Explaining the concept of “smarketing,” when brands combine sales and marketing into one department, it puts them on the same page to give customers the best experience.

“Most businesses treat sales and marketing as separate entities, but they’re two sides of the same coin. By creating a smarketing team, you can reduce friction and encourage growth.”

Read the full Inc. article here.

What International Brands Need to Know About the U.S. Market

ChicExecs Senior Director of Strategic Accounts Lydia Vargo explains what steps international brands can take to enter the U.S. market. Setting us apart from other global markets, U.S. consumers have all the power.

“No matter your success elsewhere in the world, the U.S. is a different playing field. Although outside success is an essential foundation for growing your brand, think about U.S. consumers first.”

Read the full Forbes article here.

 

How to Make Lasting Customer Relationships

ChicExecs Sales and Marketing Director Karolina Hobson shares her five strategies for building long-lasting customer relationships. Essential to brand loyalty, she explains you’ll see not only a happier customer base but a boost to your bottom line.

“Customer connections override customer skepticism and encourage them to stay with you for the long haul. Personalization and engagement are key to turning potential customers into buying customers.”

Read the full article from Business.com here.

 

 

Retailers: How to Integrate Technology Into Your Brick-and-Mortar Space

ChicExecs Co-Founder Kailynn Bowling shares the common misconception that e-commerce and technology are the death of in-store retail shopping. She explains that if anything these two factors have changed the way people shop.

“Tech hasn’t ruined the future of brick-and-mortar stores. It is the future. Technology augments customer and employee experience. When you use it correctly, tech makes the shopping experience convenient and even fun for your shoppers.”

Read her expert tips here on how retail stores can use the latest technology to make themselves stand out.