For many D2C consumer product companies selling on Shopify or Amazon, one question always comes up: “Should I be selling to other retail channels?”

Online retail is very effective and sometimes the best way to start selling to consumers. But as consumer product startups grow, they inevitably think about expanding into other retail channels, like stores, catalog companies, TV shopping networks, and other channels.

Offline retail can be a great idea, and a great way to grow your business, but only when you have a clearly defined target market, the right type of retail fit, and a well-thought-out business plan. If you’re considering entering the retail industry, it’s important to do your research and figure out if it makes sense for you. Some important questions to ask yourself include:

– Who is your target market?

– Where are they shopping?

– Where will you find the best retail/brand alignment for your product?

– How much money do you need to invest to support marketing and customer service, and how will you sustain it?

– How will you market your store and bring in customers?

– What are the local laws and regulations related to operating a retail store?

It’s also important to consider the current economic climate. A rapidly expanding economy typically means there is more demand by offline channels for new product but there will also be a lot more competition. Conversely, in an economic downturn, budgets are smaller but it is sometimes easier to get buyers attention if you are unique, have a competitive price advantage, or can provide more store support. You’ll also want to take a look at the competition when considering offline retail channels and see what they’re doing that’s successful, as well as any potential gaps in the market that you can fill.

Lastly, it’s important to understand the risks associated with retail. You’ll need to consider things like inventory costs, store maintenance, and labor costs. These can add up quickly, so you should create a budget and stick to it as much as possible. Additionally, the retail industry is highly competitive and there’s no guarantee that your business will be successful – so make sure you’re prepared for the worst-case scenario.

At the end of the day, no one can tell you with certainty whether or not retail is a good idea for your business. As an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision based on your research. It’s essential to be realistic about your expectations and make sure you have a detailed plan for success before investing in retail.

Looking to launch your product into retail but don’t have the time or experience? Contact us today to get more information.