Five Things to Do When Offering a New Item in Your Store

If you own a retail shop, you understand the importance of offering new items in your store. It keeps things fresh and interesting, but there’s more to creating an inventory that will actually sell than simply picking items that you like.

There are specific things you can do when you’re getting ready to offer a new item in your store to give it the best chance of success with your customers.

Make Sure It’s Safe

An often overlooked step to offering new products in your store is doing some research to make sure they’re safe. After all, you don’t want to get stuck in the middle of a dispute with an attorney who’s pursuing compensation under product liability statutes for an item you sold to one of your customers.

Research reviews online to see if there are other customers who have used the item in the past. Research the company that manufactures the product to see if product safety is something that they take seriously, or if their stuff is potentially dangerous because it’s cheaply made.

You should also look up whether the product has been recalled. Not only can you look up specific products, but you can also look up specific brands. If a particular brand has one or more recalled items, you might not want to risk carrying their other products in your store.

Know Your Customer

It isn’t enough to simply like a product yourself. It isn’t enough if the product fits into the aesthetics of your business either. What’s most important is that it’s something your customers want. That means you have to know your customers.

There are a lot of ways for you to get to know your customers better:

  • Create a survey that asks existing customers questions about the types of products they would like to see in your store
  • Host an event, like a workshop or an open house, to get to know your customers in-person
  • Read and respond to both positive and negative reviews to better understand the customer experience
  • Be active on social media by posting consistently, responding to comments, and starting conversations with customers in their DMs

Demo the Product Yourself

A lot of products look good on paper, but then you’re underwhelmed when you see them in real life. Before you go all in on a big order, have a few shipped to your store so you can demo the product with your employees. You can also have a few friends or family members try out the product.

It gives you a chance to try the product out for yourself, but it also enables you to get some feedback from people you trust. An employee might have a hard time getting it open, while a family member may notice it’s a hazard for people with pets, which are things you might not have noticed.

Generate Some Buzz

Once you’ve decided you want to offer a product in your store, it’s a good idea to generate some buzz. You might have a countdown behind the counter that alludes to the new product you will be offering, or you might set up a display with a “Coming Soon” sign so customers want to come back and see what ends up filling the shelves.

You should also generate some buzz online. You might profile the new product on your website with its own landing page or a blog article. You can talk about the launch of the new product on social media and host a giveaway by releasing the product to a few winners. Hopefully, they turn around and tell all their friends and family about it.

Consider Partnering with an Influencer

Another great way to get attention for an upcoming product is to partner with an influencer. Believe it or not, but influencers have a high ROI, and they can help you establish social proof while inspiring purchases.

Start by looking at the accounts that follow you on social media to see if there’s someone who is already a fan of your store and has a following. Keep in mind that their following doesn’t have to be huge. Even micro-influencers can have a big impact on sales.

Outline what kind of posts you want and how often you want them to promote your product. If it goes well, you can build a long-term relationship, which means you’ll have a built-in way to garner attention every time you bring a new item into your shop.

Set Out a Demo In-Store

Once your product has landed on the shelves, you’ll want to invite customers in for a closer look. That means displaying the product prominently and making sure it’s at eye level, but it also means giving customers a chance to get hands-on with the product.

Set out a display that allows customers to try the product in-store. You can also demonstrate how the product works yourself during a special event or whenever customers show interest.

You can demo the product online too! Create a short-form video to post to your social media channels and embed a link to a YouTube video showing customers how to use it. 

Keep Track of How It’s Doing

You can’t breathe a sigh of relief just because you have finally gotten your product onto the shelves in your store. You need to keep track of sales metrics to see how the product is selling.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a complicated process. You might set a goal to sell a certain number by a certain date. Then you can see how well the item sold. If it didn’t sell well, you might want to revisit ways to market it better, or you can reduce the price, sell them out, and try a different product.

You have to offer new items so people keep coming back to your store. The trick is to offer items that they will actually buy. With these tips, you can bet that your new item will be a big hit with your customers.

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