How do you source products? As a wholesaler, you constantly need to provide your buyers with the products they want. This can change over time while b2b trends evolve. In order to stay in the loop and on top of the competition, you need to implement the right strategy. You can develop the correct strategy for your business using productive online solutions. Nevertheless, product sourcing is a worthwhile challenge.
Product research is essential if you have a wholesale business and you want to expand. Having said that, keeping your inventory stocked full of products that are in demand is a challenge. It is a difficult process to master. But also a necessary process if you want to see your business grow. Experience with b2b products will increase your ability to hone in on the products you need.
You have to know what products are available for your target buyers and which products they actually want to buy. Short of getting products custom manufactured, there are more cost-effective ways to source your products. In this regard, the internet has provided the b2b marketplace with a limitless source of information.
Why Does Sourcing Products Matter?
Don’t lose track of the reasoning behind sourcing your products. Your ultimate goal is not just to fill your warehouse with stock. The purpose behind this process is to find the products that your customers will want to buy the most. Focusing on customer satisfaction will help your business succeed faster. After all, the customer is who drives sales in the b2b industry.
Niche wholesale companies can use this to their advantage. Each wholesale company has its niche, so be sure to establish and define what you sell. Sourcing extremely specific products for a specialized portion of your customer base can prove to be an effective selling point. You will directly see an increase in sales as a result. The products you sell represent your brand, so take time to choose the best possible items. Having quality standards provides your customers with the peace of mind that they are getting the best possible products.
Market Research Is Just the Beginning
How do you know what products your buyers want? This question can be answered with diligent market research. This will take time to fully explore your industry. Social media can be a massive help, free of charge when it comes to researching customers. You can easily search for exactly which products you need. It is also very easy to search for a specific target audience. Some platforms are more useful than others depending on the type of business you have. If you’re not sure where to look, then do some digging into your target audience to determine the most popular social media platform for your niche. Usually, a specific demographic leans towards a more relevant platform.
Other online tools can provide a lot of information about your niche too. Google is the product keyword goldmine. It is a no-brainer to thoroughly use this tool to your benefit. They provide tools online you can use to determine ultra-specific information. You can find the information about your buyers and products if you simply put in the time to look. There are also a lot of websites and blogs online that debut new products relevant to every niche. Any b2b industry expert should have this knowledge before implementing new products.
A good method of determining which kinds of products are in need is to imagine what your customer is searching for. You must put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. In the wholesale business, it isn’t hard to imagine the challenges other businesses face. You have been a customer at least once in your life. At the very least, you can establish what the customer experience should be like. You likely have a lot in common with your business connections. These observations create the details about which products might be more successful.
Complete Product Analysis
Sourcing products based on trends is a tricky method. Trends are constantly changing and are not a reliable way to develop products. You can definitely take notes about these trends but proceed with caution. Don’t drastically change your inventory based on a recent trend. See how these product changes develop over a year or so and update your inventory accordingly. Again Google is the place to search for this information.
There is a feature called Google trends which enables you to see how certain trends have changed over time. This tool is valuable because it gives you the information to forecast your inventory realistically. You can also compare products to legitimately see which one is more popular among your buyers. Using this tool works for any product you have in the warehouse, not just the best-sellers. Always stay on top of b2b trends as they emerge and change.
Provide Yourself With a Checklist
Before you choose to add a new product to your catalog you should consult a checklist. Double-checking with useful criteria is a great way to ensure the best products make it onto your shelves. This also gives you peace of mind and confidence when selling the product to your customers. Think about the aspects of your products that mean the most to you and develop a checklist you can refer to. Some sample questions you can ask are:
- What needs for my ideal buyer does this product meet?
- What is the attraction of the product?
- Does the price of this product fit in with my other product pricing options?
- Will my customers be able to afford this product?
- What is the quality standard of the product?
- How does this product speak for my brand?
Go through each question on your checklist and make sure the new product is aligned with your goals. The idea of the product should make sense for your business. There should be no doubt or hesitancy about the item. If there is something you’re unsure about, then make an informed decision to add it to your catalog or not. After all, nobody knows your business better than you.
How Do You Get New Products?
There are a few different ways you can obtain a product to sell. Depending on the type of product you want to sell you can find the best way to get it. Start with the type of product you want, go through your checklist, and then do the necessary research on how to obtain it.
If the product you want to add to your inventory is an entirely new idea, then you have the option to approach a manufacturer to make it. In this way, you have the most authority possible over the character of the product. The branding and price of the product can be completely customized. The only downfall of this option is that it is a lengthy and costly process. If you’re a larger wholesaler and you can afford the costs, then this is an option for you.
You can also approach an individual instead of a company to make the product. More businesses are choosing this method of product development because it can be highly customized. An individual, as opposed to a manufacturer, is typically more flexible. The obstacles involved with this option are that it can be tough to find someone who is willing to collaborate. Also, the profits would ultimately have to be split between you and someone else. These challenges can be prevented if you choose a different route of product development.
Wholesalers and distributors are the next options for getting the products you need. If you already have the connections, this is a great way to improve business relationships in a mutually beneficial way. Start with the connections you have and see if they can provide you with further connections. Communicating that you are sourcing products can lead to stronger business connections. Every wholesaler likes to refer friends if they have someone in mind who can help. You don’t have much control over the pricing of the product, but this seems to be a popular method of sourcing products. The wholesale industry has always thrived through networking.
Sourcing Products Using SeeBiz
SeeBiz is an online platform that allows wholesalers to source products directly from the site. Firstly, SeeBiz is a b2b social network combined with an inventory management system. You can upload your entire product catalog online. In addition, the social media features of the platform allow you to manage your customer relationships. The insights and analytics provided by the CRM allow you to do all the necessary market research and product analysis on the same platform. The convenience of combining these tools helps you save time and understand new products quicker.
The product analysis is easily accessible using SeeBiz’s online product catalog features. In fact, the more connections you have on the platform will give you access to more products. You can connect with thousands of wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in the b2b industry. By using the platform you can also see every product in each wholesaler’s public catalog. Searching for specialized products is easier when you have access to these product catalogs.
If you’re researching b2b trends, then this platform can provide all the information you need. Each user is a leader in their own niche of the marketplace. You can view what topics are most popular and which products are being shared the most. The best place to search for popular products and what is thriving in the marketplace is among your connections. Include yourself in discussions and actively source your products among industry leaders.
Keep Your Customers Coming Back
Product sourcing is not something that can happen overnight. It takes time to perform the relevant research and get to know what your customers are looking for. Over time you will start to understand the nuances that will determine whether a product is a good fit for your company or not. You may not even be sure what kind of product you want to add to your warehouse. Dedicated research will help you understand these details better.
The process of finding the product characteristics that matter the most to you will also take time. Patience and planning are essential aspects of sourcing the right wholesale items. Anyone in the b2b industry understands how complex this can be. Fortunately, there are many tools available to assist you along the way. Be sure to take additional time familiarizing yourself with the best available tools for your goal.
Keep your main goals in mind as you search for new products. The reason behind such detailed product analysis is that you want your customers to keep coming back. Only add quality products that represent your brand to your inventory. By endorsing the best products you will set the standard for your business. Your products represent your brand. The standard of your customer relationships will improve as well. Your customers will notice these efforts and choose to make repeat purchases from your business.