The question often asked by skin care and beauty brands is “how do I get my beauty products into retail stores?”. The beauty industry can be a lucrative market, but it is also very competitive. Retailers shelve space is not easy to acquire as a beauty brand. This is especially true for the larger national retailers.
So, how do brands achieve this, getting beauty products into stores? There are some key things to understand as a brand, when it comes to traditional retailing (not online) and distributing. Here are some tips that may help skin care and beauty companies.
Learn and know as much as possible about the retailer.
Brands must do their homework first, prior to approaching a retailer to carry their product line. A brand should learn everything possible about the retailer. Their customer base, services offered, quality standards, average pricing on similar products, locations, and their process for contacting category buyers for new products.
Know everything about your own product line.
Buyers will ask questions and often it will feel like a job interview. For example, why should we carry your products on our shelves over xyz company? A beauty brand must be ready to answer any question about the brand, products, formulations, ingredients, and competitors. Be ready to discuss the benefits and uniqueness about your products.
Have the numbers, be ready with them and know them well.
Cannot stress this enough. Retail buyers will require all the financial details and numbers such as minimum orders, wholesale prices, suggested retail price, shipping costs, return policies, payment terms, and any other specifications needed. Brands must have all this information available and ready, when contacting retail buyers and distributors.
Have products ready to ship out as samples.
Any buyer who considers to place a beauty product on the shelve will want to see it first and test it to ensure quality of packaging and product itself. Beauty brands must be ready to ship out their products for buyers to consider them. They will not pay for them, this is usually a cost incurred by the brand and it is a common cost of sales. Often, brands give away much more of their products through promotions and other incentives given to potential customers and retailers.
Provide all available accolades.
Buyers like when brands have press in magazines and other publications. Beauty brands should provide all available accolades to potential distribution opportunities such as press clips, awards, and any other mentioning worth bringing up to buyers that will improve the chances of landing a deal.
Hire brokers and sales representatives.
Often sales brokers and representatives have already established relationships with buyers of specific markets and industries. This can drastically shortcut the sales process for a beauty and skin care brand. Brokers come with a monthly fee, but understand the business, have the relationships often, and speak the language. All of this is a tremendous benefit to a brand.
If a brand is not sure what to do, when it comes to retailing their products they can always get help through consulting services. Working with an industry consultant such as through skin care business consulting services, a brand can get expert advice and help quickly. Avoid costly pitfalls and making critical mistakes. Consultants can help with an array of objectives such as e-commerce conversion and sales, marketing and advertising, or packaging for example.