Faced with the current climate, it’s easy to believe that everything in the world of retail has stagnated. With less people heading outdoors to shop and with spring/summer launches being paused, the beauty industry has certainly shifted thanks to Covid-19.
However, it has far from come to standstill!
In fact, more customers are switching brands than ever before, as trends are being fast-tracked and customer wants are changing at lightning speed. Because of this, buyers will be reviewing what’s working and what isn’t about their current selection. They’ll be really considering how they can freshen up their assortment.
So, whilst there may be the appearance of stagnation, now is not the time to sit back. If you want your brand to be stocked by retailers, it could actually be the perfect time to start preparing yourself for success, post-crisis.
Based on my years of experience working as a buyer at Selfridges and helping brands to stand out to buyers, here are my suggestions for what you can do right now:
Define your ideal retailers
Just like customers, every retailer is different. So, getting clear on exactly what you need your retailers to be and what you need them to do for you is a really valuable exercise in the run up to pitching it. This will save you serious time, as you’ll only be talking to the right people.
The main thing to do is research retailers that align with your ideal customers: Where are your customers shopping currently? Could you be stocked there?
Plus, look into how they have fared in our current climate through studying trade press and what they are focusing on at the moment, marketing-wise. Are you a good fit for them and are they a good fit for you?
Plan your pitch around current trends
Making your pitch appropriate to the current period is essential for success.
Some trends that are absolutely booming at the moment include self-care, skincare, bath and body: All of the ways that people are making themselves feel better amidst the uncertainty! On the other hand, makeup is likely to surge once people begin socialising again.
Trends and movements are all being fast-tracked in the face of Covid-19: Take a look at the predictions for 2020’s beauty retail trends that we made at WIZZ&CO at the start of the year.
Get clear on what you’re adding to a retailer
When it comes to pitching, always focus on your USP and why you’re right for the retailer. As you plan, focus on what gap your product truly fills in the retailer’s portfolio.
Tailor each pitch to the specific retailer: This will help you to stand out alongside the brands that they currently stock. Your pitch needs to be really different and exciting, otherwise it will get overlooked.
For more advice on this topic, download my masterclass on how to stand out to buyers, by signing up to the WIZZ&CO mailing list.
Start compiling contacts
Researching the contacts for each retailer can be time-consuming. To save you aggravation in the future, create a spreadsheet with buyer names, emails and which retailer they represent.
Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later!
In summary, research and preparation are absolutely key to the success of your pitch to a retailer. A buyer can tell from a mile off whether a pitch has been tailored to them, so the current climate is the perfect opportunity to carve out time for doing just that. Get clear on who you want to contact, compile their information and then really nail down on why you’re the perfect fit for them.
If you want a complete guide to crafting the perfect pitch, our upcoming course has you covered. Sign up to WIZZ&CO’s mailing list to be the first to hear about the launch of “Contact Your Dream Retailer: An insider’s guide on how to approach buyers.”
About our guest author
Wizz is the founder of Wizz&Co, a retail strategy consultancy. Formerly Head of Beauty at Selfridges, fifteen years in the industry have provided experience across brands at all stages of their development.
WIZZ&CO offer unique, specialist advice to help brands and retailers create, develop and grow sales, engagement and loyalty. We focus on how the consumer interacts with luxury brands, what they expect, how to communicate with them, how to create advocacy with a resulting commercial benefit.
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