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So you’ve got an idea that could sell… How to get your product into stores

how to get your product in stores

There is a lot to consider in developing a product to sell in store. Having the idea is just the start. Here are some more tips of what to consider to boost your rate of success.

Having an idea is just the beginning of retailing a successful product. Implantation and development of that idea can be tricky but if considered strategically and carefully can take you from concept to the realisation of your idea into a bankable item. Here are some of the things you need to consider along the way to actualising that idea.

It all starts with…

Planning. Planning. Then more planning.

The most important step in your process is in defining the purpose and value proposition of the product you want to create. That is, just a simple reason or statement which summarises why a customer would choose your particular product or service, encompassing the benefit which customers would receive by giving you their business and perhaps highlighting your difference from competitors. It revolves around how customers define your product’s value.

This gives rise to how you will market your product, where the market is, if it is large enough to support your idea and other elements such as brand strategy and taglines. However, your value proposition should be nailed down first.

Think about:

  • Product’s value proposition

  • Define its purpose

  • Why customers will buy

  • Differences between your product and competitors

  • Defining your market


It is always easiest to sell something when you can show potential investors, customers or retailers what it is they’ll get when they part with their hard earned cash. As well as using it to negotiate distribution, developing a prototype is also a great way of gathering valuable feedback from customers to improve your product. The proptype should include the product itself, as well packaging and how it will be presented in-store.

Think about:

  • Making a prototype

  • Gathering feedback from customers

  • Improving your product


To go into the production of your product, you’ll first need to create your supply chain. This means sourcing the raw products and if not made in-house, finding a manufacturer.

To get your product to market, production must be scalable. That is, to price competitively, you will need to discover ways of making large quantities and finding economies of scale.

Founder of marketing consulting firm, Koi Creative, Arthur Ebling offers this advice; “Try to limit production size without compromising margins.” That is, don’t go overboard by making too many of your new product just to get a discount for volume. It may cost you more in the long run if changes need to be made, or your product doesn’t sell as you’d hoped.

You’ll need sufficient capital to produce the product and then get it to market, so to this end, you’ll need an estimated budget of expenditure, as well as a time scale of production.

Think about:

  • Sourcing raw materials

  • Economies of scale

  • Budget and timelines

  • How much capital you’ll need for production and post-production

Sourcing Distributors or Retailers

Now that your product is made, you’ll need to find a way of getting it to customers. There are a few different options. You can tap into a distributor’s network of retailers who may purchase your product then warehouse it until it finds shelf space or is sold.

Or alternatively, if you are starting with smaller quantities, you can approach retailers directly. Both retailers and distributors will need a lot of information about your product at this point. Consider pulling this information into an easily readable and digestible format to leave with prospective retailers. The more information you can give them at this point, the easier their decision will be to stock your product, if it fits their market.

You’ll need to include:

  • Your contact details

  • Images of your product

  • Any variations of product, such as different colours it may come in, different sizes or scents

  • Features of your product. Keep it to 5 or less dot points about your product’s key strengths and why customers will buy it

  • Recommended retail price (ie: the store’s margin) AND the wholesale price (your margin above cost price of manufacture). You may want to offer discounted rates for bulk purchases to entice stores to buy larger quantities.

  • Your payment terms and bank details of how stores can pay you

  • Any associated shipping or postage costs for different quantities of purchase

  • Your turnaround times of how quickly stores can expect stock once an order is placed.

  • Instructions and your terms for stores of what to do if your product has been damaged in transit and how to return back to you if necessary.

You’ll want to make it as clear and as easy as possible for stores to buy from you, and the more they buy from you, the more money you’ll make, So consider things like free shipping on orders over a certain dollar value, fast turnaround times upon receipt of payment, or immediate replacement or refund of good damaged in transit.

Think about:

  • How you will get your product to market

  • Supply distributors with marketing material

  • How you’d like your product to appear instore



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