We just wrapped up our first RangeMe Deal Days: Summer Savings which took place August 1-5! During the week-long search, discovery, and purchasing event, buyers were able to take advantage of exclusive discounts set by suppliers and make purchases directly through RangeMe. Plus, we hosted several free webinars and business workshops led by industry experts for all those on RangeMe. Here’s our recap of the week!
During RangeMe Deal Days: Summer Savings, we saw more orders placed on RangeMe in one week than any week before! Of the suppliers with digital storefronts set up, those who offered special event discounts received the most orders and brand exposure. Hundreds of orders were placed and best-selling brands like Foods Alive, Plant Therapy, and Sogno Toscano – Tuscan Dream emerged. Some other notable mentions for popular brands during this RangeMe Deal Days include 365 SUN LLC, Di Bruno Bros., and Organic 3, LLC.
Now let’s dive into the webinar and workshop highlights! Our guest speakers covered everything from small team leadership and understanding consumer shopping habits to building profitable promotions and increasing your chances of reorders. Our team even hosted a few sessions teaching buyers and suppliers inside tips on how to better buy and sell products on RangeMe. Here are a few key takeaways from these educational sessions:
Communication is key
One of the best ways to gain buyers’ trust is showing up prepared and proving you are “retail ready.” Our guest speakers discussed how to create personalized messages unique to your brand that tell buyers why they should take a chance on your products.
Alli Ball, founder of Food Biz Wiz, cuts to the chase in our How to Increase Your Chances of Reorders webinar. If you want to receive reorders from buyers, she suggests keeping your communications via email, RangeMe Messages, and social media, short and sweet. Because let’s face it, buyers are busy. Each message you send to a buyer should have a clear purpose and call to action (CTA). After an order has been placed, Ball suggests sending four specific messages:
- A confirmation that the order has been shipped and tracking information is coming soon
- The tracking information once the order has been processed
- A personalized note 24 hours after the order has been delivered, asking when you can expect to see your product hit store shelves so you can promote it on your end
- Lastly, a short message asking the buyer how often they want you to follow up about reorder reminders
That’s it! Don’t become a high-maintenance supplier who sends an overwhelming amount of communications. Instead, stay transparent and build trust between you and buyers.
To build on the importance of communication, during Building Powerful and Profitable Promotions, Kate LaBrosse, founder of Kate LaBrosse Coaching & Consulting, walks through her step-by-step guide to incorporating promotions into your business plan and pricing models. Showing up to a buyer meeting with a promotional plan in place sets you apart from your competition and gives buyers a sigh of relief knowing there’s one less thing for them to worry about. Having a deep understanding of your category and a promotional plan that’s easy for retail buyers to “just say yes to” shows them you are ready to play in the big leagues, even if it’s your first time. Another great tip from LaBrosse is using promotions to re-engage with your buyer after you’ve already found a place on their shelves.
Conscious consumerism isn’t going away
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen conscious consumerism play a large role in consumer trends, and it certainly won’t be the last. NielsenIQ’s Hannah Polk discusses the global pandemic’s role in accelerating the push for e-commerce and how it paved the way for need-based shopping during Understanding Consumer Shopping Habits with NielsenIQ.
As people focus on being better for themselves, the planet, and their pets, sustainability becomes a key focus across categories, with social responsibility and animal welfare seeing the greatest growth. Polk shares that 30% of U.S. consumers are more likely to buy products with sustainable credentials and 77% of consumers expect product labels to be more specific and transparent. Online shopping makes conscious consumerism easier since brands can list their certifications, ingredients, and social responsibility efforts more thoroughly than they can on-shelf. About 85% of retailers are now offering some sort of health and wellness filters on their websites to meet this growing interest.
Product promotion isn’t the retailer’s job
One mistake many brands make is thinking product promotion gets passed along to the retailer once a deal has been struck. But product promotion is forever an ongoing effort, beginning with your digital presence and continuing after you have made it onto retailers’ shelves.
If there’s anyone that understands the importance of having a strong digital presence, it’s Emily Page, CEO of Pearl Resourcing. Buyers will inevitably search for your brand online before making any purchases, making first impressions everything. In our Creating a “Retail Ready” Digital Presence Workshop, Page says, “everything you tell a buyer, should be reflected on your website.” Whether it’s your best-selling product or what retailers you’ve already partnered with, consistency is key. This goes for your RangeMe profile and social media presence as well. To make the most of these platforms, and therefore promote your products properly, Page emphasizes that imagery is vital. Your banner, logo, and product images are the best places to draw in buyers, so make sure your brand name, value proposition, and products are able to stand out. Consider using digital mockups and think about what size product your target retailer would be most interested in. At the end of the day, make sure everything looks professional and proves your brand is “retail ready”.
Labrosse stresses that promotions are essential to building brand awareness and driving trials for new products entering the market. Though they may seem costly at first, promotions done right can become very profitable and are a great way to gain insights from retailers and consumers. When going into a buyer meeting, make it clear you understand another product lost its’ shelf spot to give yours a chance and you’re willing to do what it takes to increase sales in their store, including promoting your products at a discounted price.
Wondering if your product is priced right for its category? Check out Labrosse’s recent blog here.
Predict the unpredictable
The last couple of years have been more unpredictable than ever. Everything from a global pandemic, supply chain delays, material shortages, an economic downturn, and shifting consumer habits are just a few things that have hit the CPG industry. While these circumstances are out of your control, our guest speakers have a few tips to feel prepared.
During Forecasting Predictable Growth for Brands in Unpredictable Circumstances, Sean De Clercq, CEO of Kickfurther shared helpful hints on how to optimize your supply chain. Having a plan in place not only builds resilience but allows you to have backup options should trouble arise. Clercq suggested having two things in place – a product spec sheet and an inspection spec sheet. These resources will allow you to request samples and compare costs and timeframes from other manufacturers with ease and inspect products before they leave the factory floor. Leveraging financial partners to increase inventory is another way to reduce strain on your supply chain, unlocking volume discounts and ensuring your order is prioritized when production is limited.
While NielsenIQ can’t actually predict the future, they can share some of the fastest growing product attributes, so you can stay on top of what’s trending in your category. For food and beverage, Polk noted that gluten-free, vegan, and kosher are continuing to dominate the field and clean or “natural” labels have skyrocketed over the past three years. Polk elaborates that brands not listing these attributes (and others such as sugar-free, dairy-free, keto, plant-based, etc.) on their packaging are missing out. Sales growth has been significantly greater for brands listing these attributes vs the brands which don’t, even if both products qualify. Within the health and beauty category, vegan and cruelty-free products have increased most in sales within the past year and shoppers are looking for functional ingredients that match their health and wellness journeys. Meanwhile, the humanization of pets and sustainability are big trends in the general merchandise category.
Be savvy when it comes to shipping
Shipping logistics can be an overwhelming hassle for brands just starting out. Understanding ways to simplify the process and cut down on costs is something Paul Jarrett, CEO & Founder of Bulu specializes in. During our Shipping Tips and Traps for Brands Workshop, he shares invaluable insights from his own experiences.
Many brands hold themselves back by overcomplicating the logistics process. Knowing who is accountable for owning each relationship and managing each part of the process keeps things simple. “Logistics isn’t complicated once you break it down to know where to go for what you need,” says Jarrett. Another trap brands fall for is thinking they can’t yet get good prices on materials. To this, Jarrett responds, “ask, ask and ask again”. Let the distributors know there’s some competition when it comes to doing business with you and find out what other local companies are paying. Also, be resourceful. Ask for advice from experts online and in-person, see how many supplies and software subscriptions you can get for free, and repurpose excess or damaged inventory. The final trap Jarrett brought up is thinking you already have good shipping rates. In reality, shipping rates are fluid and require constant management. Reading between the lines, negotiating verbally, and consolidating items are just a few of the ways he suggests cutting costs.
All of our RangeMe Deal Days: Summer Savings guest speakers shared their incredible knowledge of the CPG industry and their thoughts on where the future of retail is headed. To watch a recording of one of the webinars mentioned above, click here.
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