How to Source Products for Your Retail Store
Sourcing products for your store can be a time-consuming effort, but finding the right products for your customers at the right price is the key to successful retail merchandising.
Before choosing where and how to source, you will want to look into if a product is viable. To determine that you will need to ensure that your product has enough demand to sell and that it is going to be profitable for your business.
You can research a product's demand in several ways. First, you can look at Google Trends to see how the product is trending for online searches. It is recommended to look into at least three years of trend information to determine if the product demand is consistent or if it is declining.
Another way to research demand for a product or product category is to use online sites and filter by "best-sellers" or "highest ranked" products. For Amazon specifically, I like the Jungle Scout app.
Another product I use, although it is not free and can be pricey is Semrush. Using this tool you can research which product pages are getting the most traffic on your competitor's website. It can be pricey but there is a free trial, so if you know what you are looking for you can get all your homework done in that 7-day timeframe.
Another old-fashioned but very impactful way to research products is to comp shop. Comp shopping is going out into physical stores and seeing what items they are pushing through their displays. If there is a lot of one product on the floor that means the buyer believes in it.
Okay, so you have some product ideas- great! Now how do you get the product?
There are several ways to source products, and before you start selling, you’ll need to identify which is best for your business:
The most common way small businesses source products are through a wholesaler. If you source products from a wholesaler, you will purchase products directly from them at a lower price and sell them at whatever cost you feel comfortable with.
A common way to source products is to attend trade shows. Some of the largest trade shows for boutiques would be NY Now, Atlanta Mart, and Dallas Mart. This is a great way to see products in person and meet the companies that are selling them. Of course, there is also a lot of focus on digitizing product sourcing. My favorite website is Faire .
You can also create products in-house and own the whole production process. This ensures that you are offering a unique product assortment to your customers, but can also come at a very high price.
Product Research and Sourcing can take a lot of time and energy, but it is some of the most important work you will do for your retail store. If you ever need help putting together product assortment ideas, based on thorough research, Point of Sale Strategies is here is help!