We recently discussed the changes happening in retail, and what that means for entrepreneurs, in terms of being online vs on the shelf. To build on that, I wanted to also explore how to get your product on the shelf with retailers that are a match for you and what you’re specifically selling. This is a huge topic, so I brought you to experts.
Sellers Need A Way To Connect With Potential Buyers
Greg Farrar CEO of ECRM has a two prong value proposition for both retailers and manufacturers, with the goal of closing the gap between buyers and sellers. By saving time and money by streamlining efficient processes, and by connecting buyers and sellers, Greg and his team have created a matchmaking service that contributes to the bottom line.
For retailers, ECRM optimizes their product assortment, ensuring that they see a wide variety of products. Greg and his team also work to make the buying process efficient by saving time, and money. For manufacturers: (Mid-size to small entrepreneurs) they offer access to buyers who have a potential interest in their products, along with a significant time and expense savings.
This is great for someone with a small SKU (stock keeping unit) assortment line, aka small business owners. Without the platform and support they receive from ECRM, they might never gain access to these buyers and potential retail matches.
Buyers Also Need Direction
When Nicky Jackson was creating a naturally made product for her child’s eczema, she loved the product so much that she wanted to bottle and sell it. What she found, very quickly, was that buyers wanted to find dynamic sellers like her, but the platform to do so didn’t exist.
It isn’t only the sellers who flounder in the retail market. Plenty of buyers lack direction, and that’s where Nicky Jackson, CEO of RangeMe comes into the process. RangeMe has set up a streamlined system to allow buyers to efficiently expand their offerings and even connect with the brands, leveling the playing field, and access to buyers.
RangeMe’s online platform provides a dashboard that allows buyers to expand their categories, grow their offerings, and discover products, so efficiently. It’s more economical and so much easier, to be able to meet with say 100 potential product owners at once. This is the future of retail buying, and it’s so much better.
There Are Requirements You Must Meet
If you think, after reading this, you might want to take advantage of these platforms, you’ll need to make sure you’re ready first. Buyers don’t have nearly the legwork as sellers, in preparation, but it’s worth the time in, if you can get your brand retail ready and on the right shelf.
What Qualifies A Brand As ‘Retail Ready’?
A retail ready brand has very specific criteria to meet. A lot of brands think they are ready when they simply aren’t, and this might be because the most popular platforms don’t have qualifications for brands. So let’s get specific. A retail ready brand will have:
RangeMe just opened a verified program so their buyers know, when they connect with sellers on their platform, that those products are truly ready to go on the shelf. So whether you are a buyer looking to deal with verified sellers, or a seller looking to get verified, this program has tremendous benefits.
Innovation Is Still Key
Both Greg and Nicky agreed wholeheartedly that, in order to compete, everyone must innovate, and part of that innovation process is working your strengths and hiring experts, or taking advantage of these amazing platforms, to do the rest.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.