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Making Products Discoverable

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The Problem

It isn’t easy being a product manufacturer. And it isn’t easy being a retail buyer. And it definitely hasn’t been easy for the right buyers to find the right suppliers. Until now.

Having spent significant amounts of time developing their products, brand owners and manufacturers then have that one small hurdle left to overcome; getting their products noticed and hopefully listed by their target retailers. It should be easy, right? Pick up the phone & connect, drop the buyer an email, meet over a coffee to discuss the merits of your newest market-changing creation?

I’m sure many buyers would love to be able to develop their ranges in this way, but the reality is different. Most buyers receive dozens of contacts from potential suppliers every week. For some buyers, it runs into the hundreds. One buyer I know well has topped out at over 800 contacts in one week, so clearly, the coffee idea isn’t going to fly.

The Traditional Methods

Trade shows can be a good way of showcasing your brand and product offer to buyers, but there remains a significant number of ways for that process to fall down. Even if a supplier manages to attract their target buyer to their stand and generate interest, in almost all cases, they still have to ensure that the sales process continues with the buyer after the show, becoming one of the hundreds of weekly contacts again. And then, of course, there is the cost…

For buyers shows can be an invaluable source of new product ideas, but finding time to follow up with the dozens of products noted over a short period of time can be a challenge once ‘back in the office’, especially when it often means locating one of the dozens of leaflets or samples they have collected.

Away from the shows buyers can still use social media, insights from market specialists and physically shopping the High Street to remain aware of trends and current and up-coming market-leading products, but the reduction in admin support and greater responsibilities and demands being placed on individual buyers makes it more and difficult to do this effectively.

Why it matters

While the brand is certainly by no means dead, how consumers shop has changed, and it isn’t as important as it once was. We are shopping on trend, values and ethical considerations and functionality of a product more than just on the brand name.

All this matters because retail is changing, and consumers are demanding more. Discount offers across the grocery market, and the High Street are changing the value perceptions of consumers; we can get a huge amount more for less. So retailers are being forced to ensure they are at the front of market trends to ensure that they remain relevant destinations.

And lets not forget Amazon. And the other online offers. A huge range of products offered (normally) for a competitive price, delivered at low or no cost and with the ability to return for free if they don’t work out for you. Many retailers have to ensure the breadth of their offer is sufficient enough to compete with the range products offered through these online channels.

So, it is critical for most retailers to find relevant, market-leading, differentiated products. That means searching deeper into the supplier base for SME suppliers leading the way in innovation. And that wasn’t always easy.

Enter Product Guru   

Having spent years selling into retailers across the UK High Street and grocery market I was painfully aware of the challenge (to both buyers and suppliers) in getting the right products into the right hands at the right time.

Buyers do want to see products that will drive and innovate their ranges; but that can be a challenge with such a huge volume of potential products being received throughout the year – all in different formats. Not surprisingly great options get missed.

For suppliers the huge cost of attending shows, sending samples and of business development, in general, can be prohibitive and can ultimately be for nothing; often just because they can’t get their products in front of the right buyers at the right time.

Product Guru has been designed to overcome these issues. Our platform allows suppliers to showcase their products to relevant buyers, at the time the buyers are ready to review those products. It provides details of products to buyers in a uniform way, allowing them to make clearer decisions and it gives them the information they need to isolate the products that meet their criteria.

After that, it’s up to you. Arrange samples, meetings, stay in touch through the platform to track the on-going performance of the products to drive a future listing, all we will do is facilitate the introduction.

A buyer from a well-known UK supermarket chain who was good enough to help me in the final testing phase of the platform came up with the best description we’ve heard yet: “You’re like Tinder for retail buyers and product suppliers”.

Love it. Here’s to swiping right!   

 

For more information about our service to suppliers see our supplier overview pages