How to decide the best retail route for your brand

8 Minutes

Deciding how to sell and selecting the right route to market is essential to the success of any product or service, and what you’re selling really is just as important as how you’re selling it.

There is no right or wrong answer here as different routes to market will suit different kinds of products, however, to maximise your chances of business success, you will need to identify the most effective sales route.

From selling to retailers, wholesalers and distributors, to using mail order and sales agents, the bottom line of your strategy is that you need to deliver your products to your target customer, via the most favourable channels.

In our latest blog post, we’ve put together a helpful guide which details the five essentials to implementing a successful route-to-market, focusing on the importance of channel integration, innovation and fit.

Have A Detailed Understanding Of The Current Retail Landscape

One of the keys to achieving retail success is to be more data centric. Having a detailed understanding of the current retail landscape and gathering valuable retail analytics and data on factors such as inventory levels, supply chain movement and consumer demand and sales, will enable you to make calculated business decisions towards higher profits and better customer satisfaction. Brexit, COVID 19, post-pandemic as well as sustainability are all factors in how the retail landscape has been overhauled in recent years, so assessing and analysing trend patterns to date, will help you determine the current retail landscape and the right route for your business.

Review Which Retailers Sell The Competition

You will find that many retailers will be selling the same, if not similar, products to yours. What is important is asking yourself what you can do to stand out from those competitors selling the same products as you:

Explore Pricing & Quantity:

Define a competitive pricing strategy. Launching an unknown brand, you will want your product to stand out from the competition, so this approach means your pricing will fall within a similar range as your competitors rather than calculating prices based on business costs and profit margins. Explore all options such as bundle and subscription pricing as well as bulk buying discounts, to decide how best to create a strong first impression and leave your brand on the minds of your audience.

Review The Convenience:

Whilst pricing is important to many customers, convenience is also up there as a deciding factor of whether to purchase your product. E-commerce has made accessibility easier for customers, so you need to recce every element of convenience for your products including factors such as delivery times, international selling, payment options etc.

Distinguish Your Customer Experience:

Whilst you hope the selling of your product or service is straight forward, things can go wrong throughout this process including late deliveries and breakages in transit. Make it known to your customers that you are there to provide a good customer experience, offering many avenues for the customer to contact the business, so matters can be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Branding:

Branding plays a huge part in letting your customers know that you are better than your competitors. Evaluate every aspect of this from your product packaging to your website design, as all these elements will play a huge part in how your customer views your business.

Product Descriptions:

Product descriptions are a great way to speak to your customer and reflect your brand identity. Besides the additional SEO advantage, take this opportunity to build a rapport with your customer, detailing exactly what the product is, and exactly why they need it.

Check The Competitions Pricing Structure & Compare

Working out how to price a product can be a challenge for any business. Price too high and you can potentially put off potential customers. Price too low and you could seriously damage your turnover and profits. Reviewing and comparing the competitions pricing structure is a great start to determining the right price for your product, all whilst ensuring you get that all important competitive edge on the competition, whilst achieving the profit margin you want. Determine your direct and indirect competitors before examining the entire value proposition of your competitor’s products. Explore their current and historic pricing strategies to determine what you should price your products at now, whilst inspecting whether they offered any seasonal discounts, lower prices etc, to decide if this is something your brand should implement at various stages throughout the year too.

Understand The Retailers’ Customer Demographic

Demographics can help you identify and understand your target audience. You can then focus your marketing strategies on consumers who are most likely to buy your products rather than trying to reach everyone. Put simply, understanding your retailers’ customer demographic is a more cost-effective and manageable way to promote your products and reach new customers. Whilst there are many online tools you can use, other ways of analysing your retailers’ customer demographic include looking at customers’ online accounts, past transactions and communications, exploring industry-related reports from market research companies, holding a market research focus group and gathering data from social media sites. Once you have gathered and analysed all this data, you can then create a buyer persona which will help guide your business decisions.

Analyse The Balance Of Bricks & Mortar Versus Online

Although e-commerce shopping continues to grow rapidly, brick-and-mortar stores are still holding up well versus online retail sites, as many people still prefer the in-store shopping experience where they can see and try out products before committing to a purchase. Whilst factors to shop online include accessibility, availability and convenience, many still chose bricks and mortar as they can interact with an item and obtain it immediately, avoid shipping costs and enjoy the overall experience of visiting a store. If you’re unsure whether to godown the bricks and mortar or online route, simply ask yourself, what does my customer actually want now and then make a decision based on the experience that aligns best with their expectations.

We hope our helpful guide has steered you in the right direction for deciding the best retail route for your brand.