One goal wholesalers and retailers share is delivering amazing products that customers want to buy and can’t get enough of. While the reasons a customer buys your product vary, obviously the best indicator as to whether or not your product is a “best seller” is the results – increased sales & profitability, quick turns and reorders, and a new benchmark of EXACTLY what your customer wants along with the intel on how they’re willing to spend.
As simple as this may seem, it doesn’t occur as frequently as we would like. Achieving this type of product selection mastery is one of the toughest parts of every buyer’s job. So what makes a product a best selling winner? How do you choose it from all the options out there? And how do you increase your odds in delivering your expected sales and profitability targets? This week’s Insights gives you the questions you should be asking yourself, and the answers you should be looking for, when selecting your next “best selling” product.
Where Is The Evidence?
It may seem like best sellers come out of nowhere, but there are always early indicators and evidence that you can use to recognize them – it’s simply a matter of knowing where to search, and taking the time to look for them. A few of the best places to look for these key indicators are:
- luxury fashion - where trends usually start months or years ahead of the mainstream
- social media and influencers favorites - check on all varieties including celebrities, musicians, and bloggers
- market - find out what’s working for others, what’s on the upswing and downswing, and measure your customer against others to determine the right timing.
- sales data - look to your own sales data and you may start to see silhouettes, styles, colors, or details that are starting to trend
After a little research you will quickly start seeing overlaps in ideas. Look for those commonalities in the products you are selecting in order to position yourself for a best selling buy.
What Does It Mean?
You’ve rounded down your prospective best sellers and now you are putting together your total assortment. Consider how each item plays into each other and how you can create an impactful statement across your entire buy. Review the total strategy and analyze your silhouettes, colors, fabric weights, and merchandise flows to build your strongest statement. Make sure your anticipated best sellers have “friends” or products that will merchandise together to compliment them and bolster the appeal in your customer’s eyes. Edit and re-edit your assortment to ensure that you have the all the various complimenting product that will build this strategic buy. Lastly, plan your merchandising strategy so potential best sellers are easily found on the floor and create your planograms around them. If your customers can’t find it, they won’t buy it.
How Will We Advertise It?
Advertising your prospective best sellers is an obvious no brainer but so many retailers limit some of their most exciting, and high yield products, by creating “all stores only” advertising rules. Other than a few special events each year, many retailers continue to limit their largest advertising channels to merchandise that can be found in all doors, and this is a huge miss.
Advertising is meant to get the customer excited about what you have to offer – don’t waste it on displaying your tired, old doorbuster puffer vest that is rounding out it’s 10th anniversary in your buy. (okay there is a time and a place, like Black Friday for those shenanigans but give the customer a little variety!) Showcasing some of your trendier items will draw in foot traffic and push the customer forward over time. Now I certainly understand not wanting to disappoint a customer by having them visit your store and being unable to find the product they are looking for, and there’s a simple solution - put it on your ecommerce site, offer free shipping to those customers who specifically ask for it, and call it a day.
Regardless of the advertising channel you decide to feature your product in, ultimately though the bottom line is advertising it is key if you want to sell out of it.
Is It Special?
Lastly consider if your potential best selling product is special. This is definitely a little harder to define but most products that really have legs will have a certain exceptional quality that will deliver an emotion or a value to the customer. The reason for the purchase may vary; perhaps the item is very trendy and appeals to your more fashionable customers or is very pretty and makes your customer feel beautiful each time they wear it. It may be very versatile and can be utilized for many different purposes, or maybe it a very useful item that will alleviate a problem for a customer. There are so many reasons that a customer may react to it. Being able to pinpoint what your customer wants and how this specific product will appease them by meeting their needs is the one of the biggest challenges for any retailer but also will deliver the greatest returns when executed.
We all want every product to be a best seller. Unfortunately though that isn’t a realistic expectation and we are lucky if we get a few each season. There certainly are some key points to consider that will help rebalance the odds slightly more in your favor. However it isn’t enough to just find and deliver an amazing product. It’s about fulfilling the entire merchandising strategy and perfect execution of your go to market plans. When you seamlessly bring all points together is when the magic happens and your vision and sales are achieved.
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