What do you do with all the retailers who want to sell your product?

The answer is to limit the distribution, opening up select new retailers.

First, make sure it is easy to buy and fast to ship from your own website. Focusing on english speaking only, you eventually want to make it convenient to buy your product from anywhere in the world.

Second, open up a handful of e-commerce partners who can hep you reach customers, deliver a great experience, and provide data. You need online retailer partners who can use a variety of marketing tactics to help you reach different demographics, while providing you consistent data on what is and is not working.

Third and only when the two channels above are working really well, can you add select specialty retailers with a high touch experience. You are looking for partners that will experiment with you on point of purchase, training, packaging, local events, etc. You have a lot to learn in being successful at retail so assuming you can just open a national account without any understanding of what works, is a massive recipe for disaster. Remember, retail is expensive.

Keep in mind that if you hire an internal sales team they will blow this distribution strategy up. They will push you to open every door saying, “We have one shot with this retailer, we have to do it now!” You can always find consultants or independent reps that can help you open these initial doors until you are ready to grow distribution.

This guide was first published on Oct 14, 2013. It was last updated on Oct 14, 2013.

This page (Building Retail Distribution) was last updated on Oct 13, 2013.

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