During all of the presentations received by the big department stores every single day, I thought it may be a nice idea to list the top 10 ways how to attract retail beauty buyers to your skincare range. These top tips came across strongly from all three of the largest retail chains in the UK.
- Buyers are looking for innovation – you have to be selling something that people want to buy. That can be innovation in packaging, in your ingredients, in your products application, in technology, etc. Pretty much what ever you can think of to make your brand stand out from the rest. They want you to add value to their customers.
- Buyers want to see a buzz around your product. They want to see major brand engagement with your followers and people. Many buyers will look you up on social media and check websites such as Google Trends and Compete.com to see what people think of your products.
- If you are new on the market, that’s OK. Many beauty buyers will be open to showcasing new brands, but only if you really wow them from the get go. Certain retailers such as Boots UK will be on the lookout for unknown brands to feature in their #BeautyFinds campaign where you’ll get featured in stores around the country.
- You will generally need to cater for ALL skin types. If you have niched down your brand to target just one particular skin type, that’s obviously a great way of building up a loyal following and a successful online brand. But the larger retail chains will want you to appeal to a broader range of skin types so that you can be generic enough to appeal to more than just one slice of their demographic.
- You may need to be able to fill more than one shelf with your products. Many skincare entrepreneurs start with a capsule range of a handful products (which is a sensible step to take if you want to keep your costs down in the beginning). However, to be stocked on the displays of a large department store such as Selfridges, you will generally need more products in your range and you’ll most likely need to be able to fill more than one shelf.
- You need to be on trend. Make sure you keep up to date with what’s trending in other parts of the world. Certain stores in the UK will be closely watching trends from all over the world. Personalising beauty products is another popular niche at the moment, which large stores are watching with great interest. You need to know what’s happening in the world of beauty and you need to know what consumers are spending their money on.
- Naturals are growing in popularity. Stores are seeing that their customers are moving away from the traditional ‘scientific’ marketing and now want to understand what goes into their skincare products which provides an interesting opportunity for natural and organic brands to attract retail beauty buyers to their skincare range.
- If you’re approaching a beauty buyer, keep it simple. Some stores (such as Selfridges) receive 20 parcels of samples every single day. So when you send a package to them, include samples, a one-pager of information (keep it concise and don’t send too much info, they’re already overwhelmed with info), explain why you target their customers and take the time to follow up afterwards.
- There will likely be marketing costs for you. All of these big retailers will want you to contribute in some way if you want to be sold in their stores. Some stores will be more supportive to smaller brands than others, but be prepared to be asked to contribute to marketing in some form. Big department stores love retail theatre and you’ll need to be able to contribute to that somehow with your brand if you’re going to be stocked on their shelves.
- Do your homework. When pitching to a large store, show knowledge & passion, stand out, know your brand inside out and be marketing savvy. Retailers will expect you to have visited their stores, spoken to their in-shop beauty advisors (if they have them), spoken to their customers and done your homework. You need to show them why your brand fits so well in their store and why their customers will love your products.
Use these 10 tips to guide your decision on whether you wish to be stocked by large retail stores and to help you determine how to best approach their beauty buyers. And if you decide to go down the retail route, we wish you the best of luck and hope to see your brand on some shelves near us soon!