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Developing Your Product Line

By Micki Baumann, Deva Designs

One of the things I have enjoyed most about my more than 15-year membership in COVR is being a mentor to other vendors in our industry. Everyone needs a little outside perspective on their business from time to time and it was my privilege to help in this way.

One of the first questions vendors asked of me is ‘how do I get more customers and how do I get more orders from my existing customers. Here are a few things that have worked well for my company and others that have utilized some of my advice.

1. Bring new products into your line. When you have successful products it is very easy to sit back and relax but when sales start to drop the reasons is usually because you have saturated the market with your existing customers.

In talking to a number of our regular customers I found that most of the stores have a regular customer base. This is the number of people that return, on a regular basis, to the store. For many stores this number is as high as 85% of their monthly sales. Obviously, if a customer has seen your product in the store and liked it they have purchased it or they may not be interested. This means that the store only has about 15% of the customers through their doors that ‘might’ purchase the product. When sales drop on a product stores do not reorder the product.

By adding new products to our line you keep it fresh and since your other product or products have sold well they will very likely buy your new line.

In the over 27 years my company has been in business this has been a proven formula for success.

2. Diversify your line. Some stores do not carry a particular kind of products. Not all stores carry spiritual jewelry, some don’t stock pagan products, others don’t sell candles or incense. If your company has limited itself to a particular type of product for your line you are limiting your potential market. Diversify. If you look at the product lines of success vendors in our industry you will find that they carry very diverse product lines.

Give these two things some thoughts as you plan your business strategy.

© 2017 by the author. Micki Baumann is the Founder of Deva Designs, Sedona, Arizona.