In this article, we will review best practices on how to communicate with retail buyers using RangeMe.
It’s important to put yourself in the mindset of a buyer. A buyers’ email inbox is typically filled with requests from suppliers trying to get products on their store shelves. It is no surprise that buyers are often unable to reply to every single message they receive, in fact, if they do not recognize the sender - an email might get filtered out of their view or even deleted.
Communicating with buyers can be tricky and that’s part of the reason why we created RangeMe. RangeMe is a discovery tool that allows buyers to source new products while protecting their personal inbox and direct phone line. There are three actions buyers can take while looking at a supplier profile: save a product, request a sample, and message a supplier. When a buyer saves a product that means they see potential in that brand and may reach out at a later date but it will not initiate a message opportunity. If a buyer requests a sample or sends a message, suppliers have the opportunity to engage directly with that buyer and highlight the key selling points of their brand.
Here are a few tips from our network on how to effectively communicate with buyers on RangeMe:
- While in the discovery phase, buyers will either want to know more information about your brand and products or request a sample. As a best practice, respond to the question or questions the buyer has sent within RangeMe messaging. The buyer will ask for your contact information if they’d like to take the next step of bringing your brand into their stores. Sending samples allows suppliers to get products in front of the right buyers. Just because a buyer reached out, doesn’t mean the retailer is a right fit for your products. If you’d like to learn more about the retailer before sending samples, ask additional questions before boxing up your product!
- The reply to a buyer should be as concise and straightforward as possible, think of the acronym KISS - keep it short and simple. We recommend starting your message with a quick introduction, about 1-2 sentences about yourself, and the brand. An effective format is your name, your role, and a general statement about the products offered. From there, you can answer any of the questions the buyer asked, ask your own questions about the retailer, or go ahead and let them know that samples are en route!
- Growth and sustainability are some things you should highlight when writing to buyers. Make sure to express why your brand is a great fit for the retailer you are messaging. Here a few questions to ask yourself when discussing your product:
- Who do you use as a distributor?
- How have your sales improved over time?
- Do you offer a minimum order quantity?
- What certifications do you have?
- How many stores are your products currently sold in?
- Do research against competitors in your category. A key fact to remember - Buyers have relationships with their existing supplier network. As a potential new supplier, focus on what differentiates you from their existing supplier base. Answer the question- What makes your product unique in comparison to the products that are already on the retailer’s shelves?
Below is an example conversation between a buyer and supplier on RangeMe Messages.:
Example message from buyer to a supplier:
We’re looking for products like yours. Before we can proceed, we would need to know if you are willing to ship and invoice to an individual store, the amount required for a minimum order (MOQ) and the amount for a reorder, freight terms, and cost of goods. Please let us know!
Example message from supplier back to the buyer:
Thank you for your interest in our product. I’m Megan, the Regional Sales Manager here at Megan’s Gloves. We have many customers buying our products on Amazon.com at retail price with 4.5+ star customer reviews for over 3.5 years. We have also expanded from 2 to 20 retailers across the Pacific Northwest in the last year. Our products are not made in China and do not contain latex, fragrance, or powder.
Please see the answers below for your questions!
1) Yes we can ship to and invoice individual stores.
2) MOQ - 300 boxes per store.
3) Freight terms – you could either arrange and use your own shipping service or we can help with the shipping. Fees depend on the qty order and store location.
4) Cost of goods - Please see custom pricing attached (with two options for display packaging available!)
We’d love to be your business partner and bring these great products to your shelves, so do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions. We look forward to hearing from you.
This is a great example of a response to an interested buyer. Megan was able to share information about her products, what makes her brand unique, and answered all of the buyer’s questions in a short and simple manner. Plus she shared her excitement to do business and continue the conversation with the buyer.
The last and final piece of advice we have for suppliers is to be patient. The sales cycle is different for each retailer and can range anywhere from filling an immediate need to scoping out new products for shelves in 18 months. Continue to update buyers who have shown interest in your product with meaningful updates to show your constant growth.