Nothing can give you a bigger buzz in a product business than a best seller flying off your shelves. In this article, Catherine Erdly outlines what you can learn from your successes, and how to use them to power your business forwards.
Don’t you just love it when a product sells like hot cakes? Who doesn’t love to see their products flying off the shelves (real or virtual!)? It’s not always easy to establish what will and what won’t sell well in your business when you’re browsing catalogues or wandering through trade shows, but if you’ve got a product (or a range of products) that is particularly popular, it’s important to take a little time out of the day to day running of your business in order to establish what prompted the growth in sales and why you’ve had so much success with that product. I highly recommend sitting down and asking yourself four key questions – what, when, why and how…
When you are constantly having to replenish your stock, it’s simple to identify the products that your customers love. However, it’s not always that easy! Do you have a particular product that isn’t necessarily selling huge quantities but that it is getting a lot of attention in your shop or online (if you’ve got a website, a tool like ‘Google Analytics’ can clearly tell you which of your web pages or products are particularly popular with your audience)? If this is the case, it’s worth having a look at the product images, description or price point to see whether a slight adjustment could help generate more sales.
Did your product become popular at a specific time of year or in line with a seasonal trend? If so, this could help you identify what specifically prompted the up-turn in sales and to determine whether sales are likely to slow down over the coming months/seasons.
To find out what exactly your customer love about your products, you have to ask them! Why not reach out on your social media channels, or ask them in person what it is that prompted them to buy the product? It could be the colour, the material, the price-point, the way you’ve described the product online – whatever it is, try to identify the common theme in customer responses so that you can build upon your success in the future. When it comes to establishing ‘why’ a product is successful, guesswork is not your friend! Your judgement can easily be clouded by your own personal feelings and experiences, so be objective when considering success in your business and try to approach the analysis scientifically.
Once you’ve established what is popular, when it first became popular and why your customers love your product so much, you’ve got a great baseline to work from in the future! In business, it’s essential that you keep pushing forwards towards success; there will always be obstacles and set-backs, but if you do what you can to try and replicate (or exceed!) past successes then your business is likely to have longevity and be a sustainable entity. Not sure how to compete with your current ‘hero’ items? Why not try a different colour or a new shape of an old favourite to see whether that is equally popular with customers? Just make sure that you test the water first and don’t invest in huge quantities of stock before you are certain that the new product is popular with customers too.
Want to know more about how to cut through the overwhelm, get clear on your strategy and take your product business where you want it to go? Join Catherine’s FB group Female Founders In Retail to get encouragement and support, as well as weekly tips.
Catherine is the founder of Future Retail Consulting and is on a mission to help people create the life they want by growing successful product-based businesses. She helps them make money by developing a clear strategy focused on their product offering, their pricing, and their sales channels.
Catherine brings nearly twenty years of industry expertise and an inspiring passion for product businesses.