Ask yourself; what will draw consumers to buy your products in 2010?
The combination of speed to market and innovation is more and more important in this slumping retail landscape. Product developers need to have the consumer in mind now a days, and in the far future, when they are developing and bringing to market their ideas. They cannot afford to design products that they like, it is all about the consumer and what they want to spend their smaller expendable incomes on.
Shoppers are prompting retailers, and retailers are relying on product developers to address the main questions shoppers are asking “Convince me why I need this. Otherwise I’m not spending my money in your stores.”
Shoppers will remain more cautious, deliberate, and value-oriented, the Internet has empowered shoppers with information. Shoppers have not rejected brick and mortar stores, but they do want to be dazzled and have an emotional experience when they shop. Retailers must understand their shoppers on an emotional level and can no longer focus solely on demographics. They need to tap into the core of why people shop, and how that has changed forever now.
In order to create a compelling reason to bring people into their stores, the retailers will be heavily dependant on the type of product can categories they can offer the shopper at reasonable prices. Like I blogged about some time back, people want to shop, they need too, however, they want the right product at the right price. The best way to achieve this is for the retailers to stay on top of trends and have new and exciting inventories for shoppers to be interested in.
So, again, that versatility and variety is going to come from us, the future product developers.
What retail buyers are telling me they need to see from new product vendors!
In my talks with retail buyers, it is quite clear that Kim has truly nailed it – retailers need to drive traffic to their stores and that traffic comes from consumers who desire fun and useful products that they desire to own.
Customers also want true value. High perceived value. Not a so-so product in a plain old package. They want cool products. Products that look like they cost allot but that they don’t have to spend a lot to get.
Green is in and here to stay! Consumers are now seeing more and more companies that are making products that don’t leave such a big footprint on the environment, and if you have such a “green” product it may give you an edge when presenting a product to a retail buyer, that the next guy does not!
I am also seeing that retailers are starting to take some risks again. It is not as much as it was in the heydays of the 90’s when economic times were great and retail chains could afford to take chances and have some products perform poorly in their stores.
It is more important than ever to have a product that is well made, priced right, and offers true benefits that retail buyers can get excited about. Whether you have created a simple item or a complex one, retailers just want to know you have made it safely and with a reliable manufacturer. This gives them comfort in knowing you will act like a reliable vendor who fully supports their retail business.
Even in tough times, retail stores must still offer new products to consumers….they will just be more picky about what they choose to sell!
Jim & Kim
Your retail product specialists!