Product Selection – What You Should Be Assessing Before Bringing In A New Product

Each month, I’m sure you’re inundated with potential new products. Whether it’s from visiting trade shows, being solicited by potential suppliers, or through your own research, taking on a new product always carries some risk.

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To help you streamline the process, today I’m talking questions you should ask before taking on a new product Your shop floor is real estate, and you need to ensure every piece of stock, pays it’s so called rent.

So, the first thing to ask when assessing the suitability of a new product is Does the brand align with yours? Focusing on the brand rather than the product, research and think about their ethos, their range and their customer engagement. Do they align with what you’re doing with your brand, and where you’re headed?

Onto the product - Does the product fit with your current range? You’d be surprised at how many people who will try and sell you ridiculously out of sync products. By not doing this basic research, they’re wasting your time, and likely burn their bridges for next time.

Craft a template of what you want a potential supplier to submit to you in order for you to assess their product. This way, you’ll save time and have all the information you need at your fingertips without having to back and forth requesting information.

Next, Do you stock similar products? If so, ask the supplier to outline how their product is different enough for you to consider. Does it provide better value for money, are the ingredients different, is it a premium brand? As the retailer, your staff need to know how to sell a new product.

Which brings me on to…. Does it have, or need packaging? Now, I’m not a huge fan of packaging, but I can tell you, after years in retail, packaging sells. Especially if the product is a gift. When assessing a products feasibility, think about how easy it is to display, does it stand up by itself? Does it need a hanger, is it hang sell? How does it store if it’s not on the shop floor?

All of these are factors that you, as a retailer need to think about. You also need to think about how easy it is to ship, if you offer online shopping.

At the end of the day, a product needs to be profitable, so knowing the RRP, the profit margin and likely turnover rate of the product helps you assess how much shelf real estate, a product should be given.

And lastly, look at the supplier as a whole. How active is the brand at promoting their retailers? What is the ordering process? Ideally you should be using your Point of Sale system to send a purchase order because online ordering = double handling and integration with your accounting software equals less paperwork.

To help you get your product selection process more streamlined, this week’s free download is a product selection guide,

Get Your "Production Selection Guide" Retail Biz Strategy

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