Breaking Down the Basics of Selling Your Product to a Larger Audience
For many producers, partnering with and selling to a retail store is the clear next step from selling goods at a farmers’ market. With a larger potential audience, your business will also enjoy greater profit potential and more room to grow.
Keep in mind, there are many differences in selling to a store: you’ll have less control over how your product is marketed, may have to wait longer for payment, will have to manage a more complex supply chain, and more. If you’re determined, however, it’s possible to find success. To get you started, we’ve broken down the basics here.
1. Get the right licenses and certifications.
Having the right licenses and certifications will determine whether or not you can sell to a store. For food products, you’ll need to check with the FDA or USDA to ensure all requirements are met. If a key feature of your product is that its organic, for example, you’ll need to be able to provide documentation proving your claim. Unless you’re planning to work with small, local retailers exclusively, you’ll likely need to register for UPC codes as well.
2. Know what makes you different.
Lean into your product and its story. Whether that’s a mission or a unique origin story, make sure your brand and product have a raison d'être. With a growing consumer preference for small brands that are more ‘authentic’ – 77% of shoppers say that supporting a small business is important to them – there’s opportunity to capitalize on your farmers’ market origins.
3. Understand your market.
Deciding where to pitch your product – and how to pitch it – means understanding your market. You already know what makes your product different. Now ask about your customer. Who are they? Where do they shop? How can you grab their attention? What do they need that they aren’t getting from your competitors? You’ll need to know all of this when you approach a store about carrying your product. It’ll also help inform your marketing efforts, including the packaging you choose.
If you’ve never sold your product with a retailer before, it’s usually a good idea to smart small. Focus on small retailers or local chains that will have fewer barriers to entry. These smaller options may also offer fewer products, meaning less competition and more room to grow.
4. Pick the right packaging.
Packaging is crucial. 64% of consumers will purchase a product off a shelf without prior knowledge of it, and packaging is your chance to convince them to pick yours. Getting that packaging right is two-fold: It must include all the necessary information and send the right marketing message.
The first step of packaging is relatively straightforward. For food products, for example, you’ll need to ensure you’ve included all nutritional information and required sell-by or use-by dates. The USDA provides clear labeling guidelines for products. Those UPC codes you registered for? You’ll need them on hand for this step too.
When it comes to standing out, there’s more room for creativity. Consider elements like color psychology and font choice to establish cohesive visual branding. Plus, think about things like storage or ease of use; for example, stand-up pouches are rapidly growing in popularity thanks to their flexible, hands-free, and pantry-friendly design. Other features like QR codes, which allow the shopper to connect directly with the brand in a digital space, can also help break through to new consumers. Above all, packaging is an opportunity to communicate directly with the shopper at the point-of-sale. It’s vital to make sure you’re telling them what they want to hear.
If you’re ready to take the next step toward retail, GCB Solutions can help. Whether you need equipment to make your labeling more efficient or a custom packaging design to help your product stand out, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today at (904) 263-2804 or schedule a free 30-minute consultation to learn more.