How to Get Your Products into Shops

This is probably the number one question I get on a regular basis.

I’m a designer, I have a range of products that I have created, and I want to get them into shops. Where do I start?


I’m a designer. I already have them in shops, but how do I get more repeat orders?

Like many creative people, you’ve spent a long time thinking through your idea, designing it, making it, pricing it, and now you are ready to launch it out to the public.

You are ready to go retail. To have your product stocked in leading shops in Australia.

But you don’t know where to start.

Here are some steps to get you started on the retail stockist path.

Know who will love your product… and you

I don’t mean the shop, I mean the customer who will buy your product. Who is this person? Spend some time thinking about this ideal customer, and get inside her head.

Where does this person shop?

Know where your ideal customer shops

This is your target ideal shop. If you best customer shops here, then this is probably where you should be stocked, isn’t it? What do you know about this shop? If it is local, go visit and look at the products that are on the shelf right now. Do yours fit alongside these products?

Get inside the head of the ideal retailer

Do a scouting mission to this ideal stockist. Look at the products on the shelves, and picture yours there. Would you have to beat out a competitor, or is there room for your product alongside what is currently stocked?

What about the shop owner? Is it is chain of shops or not?

What can you find out about the shop owner?

The more you can understand them, and know them, the more you are likely to be able to have a productive sales conversation with them.

Know why your product should be stocked on their shelves

Retail space is expensive. The shop owner, or stockist, needs a good reason to clear off some space for your product. Above all other products.

What is the reason?

What makes your product unique?

Be prepared to tell the retailer in one sentence why they should stock your product.

This is called your Unique Selling Proposition, and we’ve got a handy quick guide on how to create it If you post up your USP, I promise I’ll look at it and help you out.

Know who your competitors are and why you are better

It can be easy to create our products in a vacuum, blissfully unaware of what other companies are doing. If we are to have a real conversation with a retailer about why your products and not theirs, then you need to know how ‘they’ are.

Google and look at what is available within Australia. Please don’t google ‘handmade necklace’. This is too narrow, and your competitor isn’t just other handmakers, it is anyone who sells necklaces.

Make a list of your competition, and visit their websites to see what they have, and what is in direct competition with you.

If they have reviews on their website, read what their customers are saying about them. What would your customers say about you?

Go back to your USP, and rewrite it so that you stand out from your competitors.

Know your pricing details

Make sure that you have priced your products to allow for a typical markup and margin for the retailer. This can vary depending on the industry you are in. For example, most clothing boutique will expect a minimum of 100% markup.

This means that if you sell your product to a shop for $10 (including GST), then the shop owner will expect to sell it for $20.

Most retailers are going to expect a bigger markup, so be prepared for this.

To be an effective wholesaler, you need to have a great sales catalogue. For a swipe file full of FREE wholesale catalogues, go to the Line Sheet Swipe File.


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