Archive | February, 2013

Buyerly Loves: Ballet Flats from Tieks

22 Feb

Tieks are versatile flats that can fold up and fit in your purse and wear all day long without feeling like it’s the type of shoe you fold up and tuck into a little ball.  These comfy shoes come in all colors and patterns.  They are made in the USA (just down the street from Buyerly’s offices, in fact!) and of the finest Italian leathers. It really is a ballet flat reinvented!

While not currently available in stores, retail buyers would LOVE to get their hands on a product like this. Why? It’s a 2-in-1 product (wear as ‘back-ups’ to ouch-worthy heels + wear as regular ballet flats) demonstrates a strong value proposition to shoppers (i.e., they get two uses from the purchase price of one item), it comes in a rainbow assortment of candy colors for an eye-catching and stunning merchandise display, AND appeals to a broad audience of women of all ages and styles.  And it has great brand recognition. With celebrities like Oprah adorning a pair, it’s hard to think this would not translate into strong in-store sales.  Plus, they are beautifully packaged in small boxes making it efficient to flow through the retail supply chain and keeps inventory storage costs low.  Now that is truly a beautiful retail pitch!

Dear Retail Buyer: Be My Valentine

14 Feb

It’s Valentine’s Day. You have researched and prepped to make this day special for your Valentine. You googled Yelp to get restaurant reviews, searched online for the top 10 V-day gifts in 2013 and browsed store aisles for that perfect gift.  In short, you did your homework.  Take that approach when wooing retail buyers. Trust me, doing your homework gives you credibility and stands you apart from everyone else.

Here are your homework assignments.  Start early, don’t procrastinate. And watch retail buyers give you an A+!!

Research that retailer and determine what is important to them.  If they are publicly traded, read their annual reports and listen to quarterly earnings calls to learn their strategic focus. Knowing this, you can spin your retail pitch to align with their strategies.

Shop their stores.  Notice how they merchandise your product category.  Observe price points, how they organize brands, piece counts.  Form opinions and recommendations on how they can do things better to grow their business; and those recommendations should also include adding your brand.  Adding value and being a credible source of unbiased industry intelligence will earn you ten more minutes with that buyer than if you were calling just to pitch your product alone.

xoxo,
buyerly

Grab A Buyer’s Attention: Be Where Retail Buyers Shop

13 Feb

Be at the place of influence of your targeted retailer.  Whether they buy for the big guys (Walmart, Walgreens, Kohls) or small independent retailers, buyers are out in the market place and shopping competitors to stay on top of trends and get new product inspiration.  Try and find out where they shop.  Often times they are shopping small boutiques and stores – since many new trends start there.   Then, using this intelligence, get your product into that store.

Retail Pitch Must Haves: Take the Risk Out Of Launching An Unknown Product

8 Feb

Before you are ready to pitch to a buyer, there are “must-haves” you should first have in place.  These “must-haves” are all components of a larger business case you are building to convince buyers they need your product in their assortment.  And these components take time to build, which is why it is important to address them now!

Add this “Must Have” to your business case:

Mitigate risk.  Buyers are risk averse, especially anything that may erode sales or damage their stores’ reputation.  In addition to mitigating sales risk through consignment deals, consumer testing, having a proven sales record, it is also important to make sure your product meets product safety and quality testing criteria.  I have seen many vendors lose shelf space and business because they could not meet the stringent testing criteria many major retailers require.  If you manufacture a children’s product, make sure it meets CPSIA standards, but also the retailers’ criteria for drop testing, transportation testing, and the list goes on.  Sales reps, other product entrepreneurs and retail consultants can help you figure out what these requirements are.  A simple slide that shows the testing and safety standards you meet will quickly wipe away any concerns a buyer might have.

Retail Pitch Must Haves: Brag About Your Consumer Demand

5 Feb

Before you are ready to pitch to a buyer, there are “must-haves” you should first have in place.  These “must-haves” are all components of a larger business case you are building to convince buyers they need your product in their assortment.  And these components take time to build, which is why it is important to address them now!

Add this “Must Have” to your business case to address the question, how does your product benefit retailers?

Build your brand’s awareness.  Having a good product is not enough.  It needs to be backed by strong branding and effective marketing.  Good branding lends itself to future line extensions which give buyers’ confidence that this buyer-vendor relationship has longevity and can drive future business.  Strong branding creates shelf presence and makes it easier to shop the shelves.  And this fuels category growth, which translates to more shoppers and revenue for retailers.  Also, any marketing tactics like advertising or promotional deals you can offer will help drive traffic to stores – either through new shoppers or more frequent or bigger store trips.   You can demonstrate this in your pitch presentation with slides showing the success metrics of past marketing and promotional programs and recommendations for the programs you will create to drive customers to their stores.   Also include a slide that shows all the media outlets that have featured your brand to demonstrate your broad reach.

Buyerly Loves: Honest Company Home Cleaning Products

1 Feb

Non-toxic, effective cleaning, beautiful packaging, and home delivery. What is not to love about these products!

Feel good about using products that won’t harm your kids, pets, or you!

Why would retailers LOVE this product in their stores? It reaches a new consumer target not currently served in brick & mortar, it is on-trend with the naturals movement, it looks BEAUTIFUL on shelf, the portfolio breadth reassures buyers of the opportunity for continued growth, it grows their topline sales, brings new news to the category which can help growth the category size, and the brand has marketing power with a huge following.  It’s a retailer’s dream!