Do you struggle with the age-old question: Should I concentrate my efforts on selling my products to retailer buyer (wholesale) or am I better off focusing my efforts on selling retail — online direct to consumers?
Making the decision to wholesale or retail your products may not be an easy decision, but I want to share a list of pros and cons that my friends at Retailbound put together:
Where to Start
Is your product better equipped for online or in store retailers? There are pros and cons to each, but the underlying theme is where do you want to spend your money upfront.
· Pros of Online. Your startup costs are lower than in store, which means you can get started quickly and with less capital investment. Additionally, you are able to accurately track customer’s interactions with your products through online analysis.
· Pros of Instore. This choice continues to be the most popular for consumers and it can’t be matched by online when it comes to customer experience because they can interact with the product. Also, you get instant access to passing customers in store, which means more exposure and a lower marketing budget.
· Cons of Online. Potentially costs more to drive customers through to your products because you have to market your product to your audience. Need to gain reviews to prove your product is reliable.
· Cons of Instore. Retailers will make larger orders which could be hard to keep up with funding and inventory. If the location in store is poor, then the product won’t get as much foot traffic.
We recommend that products start in online retailers because this allows for the business to grow and to see where the product will be the most successful. This also allows for the business to be able to eventually expand to be able to handle the larger orders required by traditional instore retailers. With this in mind, remember to focus on what is best for your product.
Personally, if you have to pick one or the other (why not do both??), I suggest you sell retail to online consumers first. You will more likely receive the feedback you need to give store buyers once you move into wholesale.
Better yet, exhibit your products in a few holiday shows, craft fairs and/or farmer’s markets. The experience and info you will gain through these venues will aid you in selling more effectively online as a retailer or wholesale to store buyers!