Finding best selling products for your store is an exciting yet daunting experience for every shop owner. Obviously, looking for new products can be fun and creatively fulfilling. But for shop owners, there’s always an element of pressure to pick winning products. New products need to fit the tone of your store, have profitable margins, and most importantly, they need to sell.
One of the best things you can do as a store owner is to widen the net you use to find new products. This includes both in person and online product sourcing. By checking new places, you’ll diversify the products you’re encountering and raise the chances of seeing a winning product. Check out these different techniques which experts agree are the best ways to source for new products.
1) Go To Local Art Events And Farmer’s Markets
Discovering local artists is one of the best ways to stock your shop. Not only are their products unique, but they have a fan base that lives close to your store. Plus, supporting local artists keeps money in your local economy, which in turn encourages like-minded customers to support your shop instead of going elsewhere.
By going to your local art shows, art walks, and other craft events, you’ll also tap into what’s hot right now in your community. You’ll be able to keep up with trends and make sure your store reflects what people want.
2) Keep An Eye Out While Traveling
Anytime you’re traveling is a new opportunity to find best selling products. Every city and town has local artists you can discover. Next time you’re on vacation or a business trip, take some time to check out local makers. By doing competition shopping or checking out the same type of events you go to in your own area, you’ll find a ton of makers you would never have seen otherwise.
3) Ask Current Customers Where They Got That Awesome _______
Your current customers are a great resource for finding new products. They’re your exact target market, they already come to your store, and people love being complimented on their taste. Next time you see a customer wearing clothes, jewelry, or carrying a purse you think would be a good fit for your store, ask them where they got it.
Not only will you be able to reach out and stock the item if you’d like, but you’re also doing valuable market research. By learning where else your current customers are shopping, you can make sure to do competition shopping at those locations.
4) Don’t Shy Away From Competition Shopping
If you have any reservations about competition shopping, work on letting them go. Your competitors have their own ways to find best selling products, and you don’t want to miss out on what they’ve found.
Every major retailer does competition shopping, it’s a natural part of our capitalist society that we all know and love. By checking out the competition, you can make sure there aren’t any trends you’ve missed, and you can cherry pick their selection and see if there’s anything you want to sell as well.
Plus, competition shopping can also act as a great way to brainstorm new ideas. Maybe their displays remind you of a way you could organize your own windows.
Don’t just focus on what your competition is doing right, their mistakes can be equally as valuable. By noting everything that isn’t working, you can make a list of things to make sure to avoid in your own establishment.
5) Attend Trade Shows Old And New, Big And Small
Trade shows are one of the most traditional ways to find new products, and they’re still very useful. Firstly, you can discover tons of new vendors. Secondly, you can see what new products your current vendors are releasing for the upcoming year, and even make your orders on the spot.
Start by researching the trade shows in fields relevant to your store. Then, make sure to attend a variety of sizes. Trade shows range from thousands of brands in hundreds of categories, to small shows of a few dozen brands in one niche area.
6) Keep An Eye On Visual Sites Like Instagram, Pinterest, And Etsy
There are some websites which just exist to feature beautiful images. These are great places to find beautiful items for your store. Just like with competition shopping, keeping up to date with scrolling through these sites has a dual purpose. You can search for things you’d like to order for your own shop, and educate yourself about the newest and hottest trends.
7) Don’t Forget About Other Networking Sites, Like LinkedIn and Facebook
Although sites like Etsy, Instagram, and Pinterest are designed with visuals in mind, other websites can still be great places to find new products. Spend some time going through a click tunnel on Facebook, especially in relevant groups and the marketplace.
LinkedIn can also be a great connector. Some buyers report that LinkedIn is one of the main ways they are introduced to new products. Another benefit of these sites is that if you make yourself visible as a shop owner, people will reach out to you in addition to you reaching out to them.
Throughout your selection process, there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure to value products that are high quality, unique, and match your shop’s brand. Getting new products in all these ways can be overwhelming, so start by adding one or two at a time to your current buying techniques.
Buying can be an overwhelming process. You have to think about logistics like pricing, shelf space, and longevity, all while listening to your instincts and emotions. By diversifying how you find best selling products for your store, you’ll increase the chances of finding the exact best version of what your shop can be.