Traditional brick and mortar stores may be on the decline, but smaller shops, especially those that provide unique products and experiences, are actually flourishing. Their success is impressive enough that larger stores, like Sephora, are beginning to develop boutique-like formats to compete. Boutique customers know that the items being sold are personally curated by the retailer, whose taste they have learned to trust.
If your product is one of those available on the shelves, customers will know that it has already met with the owner’s approval. If your brand ends up selling well in one store, that success can make it easier to sell to other stores in different regions later on.
If you are interested in selling to boutiques, these tips can help you present your product to the store owners in a way that shows you understand their market and their business needs.
Match the Store to Your Product
Boutiques thrive when they gain the loyalty of a very specific set of customers. Think about the market you are trying to reach – their age, lifestyle and other factors – and then find the stores that are trying to reach those same people. A skin care product for a customer who wants a traditional luxury experience will be packaged differently than for one who seeks out organic ingredients. The closer your market matches that of the boutique, the more likely the retailer is to select your product.
Make the Retailer a Fan
Take the time, whenever possible, to meet in person and make a connection. Bring samples of your product and its packaging so they can see, feel and smell it. They probably receive many requests to sell products, so let them know what makes your brand different from the others. If you cannot visit in person, send them physical samples so they can feel confident in recommending it to others.
Bring Your Community
If you have already built up an online community for your brand, the retailer will feel more confident taking a chance on offering it. Show them the activity on whatever social media platforms you are using and let them know that you will gladly introduce your followers to their store. The owners will also want to see a record of your past sales and projections for future growth.
Boutique owners will also want exclusivity in their local area so they are not competing with other stores for your fans. Store owners may even sacrifice some profit per item in exchange for a devoted following.
Offer Them a Good Margin
Boutiques need a reasonable margin to meet their expenses. Usually, this margin would be between 2.2 and 2.5 times the cost of wholesale. Balancing your need to make a profit with their needs shows you respect the hard work and risk involved in running a retail business.
You can also consider offering your product on a consignment basis for a limited time as a low-risk way for the store owner to see how well your brand will sell.
Answer Their Questions Before They Ask
Develop a good sell sheet that you can bring to your meeting with the retailer and leave with them. This single-page sales brochure should answer all of the questions they may have about your product and how it relates to their business.
Some data to include are images of your product and its packaging, product dimensions, pricing information, your contact information, how they can place orders, sales figures and reviews. You can create an original design or use a template, but in either case, it should make your product seem enticing.
Help Them Streamline Operations
Find ways to make your product easier for boutique employees to handle. Are you avoiding awkward package shapes? Does your packaging have a barcode? Is your fulfillment process reliable, and do your products arrive in good shape? The easier it is for your retailer to do business with you, the better they will feel about keeping you on as a supplier.
Be Easy to Reach
If you don’t complete an order after your first meeting, leave behind attractive brochures or other materials so the retailer can find your contact information again. Keep your online presence up to date and answer all calls and messages promptly. Give the retailer confidence that they will still have your attention even after the first order is made.
To learn how PrivateLabelSk.in can help you develop your product and brand identity, contact us here.