Product Distribution Through Convenience Stores
Convenience stores, as the name suggests give us the convenience of buying things on the go. A variety of produce and products under one roof gives us the added convenience of not having to run around to different places in search of products. Have you ever wondered, with the variety of products and the sheer volume of customers visiting c-stores across the country, your product will get the right kind of exposure if distributed via a convenience store?
As an inventor and innovator you may have spent a lot in developing your product, maintain the necessary inventory and may have worked a lot on the packaging and product, but may be at your wits end when it comes to selling the product. Some efforts on your end may not always reap the benefits you had anticipated and it is best to go all in, but how?
You know you have a good product on your hands and given the right marketing process it will do well, but you need to sell the concept and convince others about just how good the product is. Direct sales efforts reap more benefits but most people who wish to sell their products are unfamiliar with the distribution process.
Convenience store distribution
Say, you have a product and it needs to be distributed via c-stores. You need to know how c-store distribution works to get into it and ultimately earn profits out of it. At the end of the day what you are really looking for is to sell your product and get it mass appeal for repeat purchase. You may start by calling and approaching local markets, participating in trade shows and invest a little more in a list you wish to market to.
To distribute your product you need to get in touch with convenience store buyers and c store distributors and pitching your idea, getting them to understand what the product is all about. The normal procedure employed by convenience stores for getting products in is by way of distributors. Approaching the distributors is the next step. Once the convenience store buyers and distributors have your attention getting your product out there will be a breeze.
How to get started?
When getting ready to distribute your product through c-stores, keep samples and presentations for buyers ready. A good way of getting a head start is heading to the local library and checking out the salesman and chain store guides in addition to c-store directories. List contacts you wish to get in touch with. Start initiating contact by calling or sending out emails or both have your calendar handy for scheduling appointments and acknowledge the appointment if any via email. Meet and get them to schedule a follow up meeting as well till you get your point across.
It may take a while but perseverance shall pay off, do not wait for them to follow up, follow up every day if you have to. Make sure you get an order and ensure that you are in a position to deliver that order that too on time and set a precedent. Also, run trials to make sure you can deliver and the quality of the product is up to the mark.
An alternate way of getting your product distribution through convenience stores is a special service that some stores provide. Certain agencies specialize in getting your product to convenience stores and have whole businesses based on this very principle. They also provide solutions to making the distribution profitable. They may offer the service for free initially, after which you may have to opt for a paid subscription.
Another way of going about it is employing reps or brokers who usually work on commission basis and are more when it comes to handling buyers and distributors. Getting a private label i.e. a company that you distributes your product under its label is another alternate. There are also specialty retail distributors, trade distributors and industrial distributors who specialize in what else product distribution. Wholesalers can also prove to be worthy distributors and channelize sales through c-stores and other retail outlets. In the end you will be the one deciding who is equipped to handle your product best.
The gross profit that convenience stores usually work off is 35 to 40 percent, which may be higher for novelty products. If you need to find out what your profit margins will be, talk to a few convenience stores about a product similar to yours. You will get an idea about what your margin shall be.
Getting hold of buyers and distributors
Most c-store directories provide the convenience of listing convenience store buyers and distributors along with their contact details. You can checkout www.cstoredistributors.com, www.cstoredirectory.com and www.wholesalegrocersdirectory.com. It makes your job easier and rather than having to find these details independently on your own, half the work is done for you. A convenience store directory comes in handy for this very purpose, be sure to have your sales pitch ready though and persevere. Not taking ‘No’ for an answer is one way of going about it as getting the buyer to like you and the distributor to approve of your product is your sole aim.
Convenience store directories gives you access to the company’s profile, distributors, consultants and various other levels of distribution. Relevant information such as contact details help you gain access a lot quicker to the specific leads you need to get in touch with to spread awareness about the product you wish to market. Start small, selling initially for a small profit is not half as bad as you may think. Selling at independent stores may also be considered, do not give in easily.
If your product is worthy it will get the eye balls and profits that you had in mind when you came up with the idea for the product. Get all the information you can as some c-stores have open days where they give vendors an opportunity to showcase their product. Most importantly do not get disheartened and keep at it.
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