Pitching and Selling Products at The Home Depot (Part 2)

Selling Products to Home Depot

Once you’re in, congratulations! Your hard work paid off – but this is, by no means, an end. Your work has only just begun. Now you’ll need to work to stay in-store and to convince customers to choose your product over your shelf-mates.

Think About Inventory

The last thing you’d want to happen is to be out-of-stock when a customer looks for your product. Now you can use the CAR system that HD has to offer. It’s an automatic replenishment system based on a seasonally adjusted sales history. It considers the weeks of supply, supplier turnaround time, transit and review time, and minimum order quantity.

But if you really want to ensure your products are always well-stocked, you’ll have to keep track yourself. Sales are volatile. What happened previously might not be what happens now. Additionally, in the case of a promotion or some other sales driver, previous sales history may under-predict how much will be sold. Keeping all these factors in mind, your business can make up the difference in supply between what you expect and what CAR predicts.

Promotions and Pricing

Be sure to actively promote your product and encourage they head to HD to buy. There are a number of methods to promote your product- email, direct mail, social media, your website. Even HD flyers can be a great way to promote your product (though you’ll have to convince them that your inclusion will result in additional sales.

Consider pricing as well. If you’ve figured out your financials and decided that lowering the price will increase your volume and then up your revenue, it may be worth it to introduce and a new lower price. Pay attention to your competitor’s prices and the margins you get from the sale of your goods when determining a new price.

Omnichannel: Important to You, Important to The Home Depot

Businesses adopting omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year retention rates than businesses that do not. Further, HD was named Omnichannel Retailer of the Year by Internet Retailer. With it being so important to HD and the stats showing it provides a significant boost to retention, why wouldn’t you want to provide a consistent and positive omnichannel experience?

In 2016, HD made $5 billion in sales from their online site alone. Additionally, 88% of customers will research products online before then buying in-store. As a result, your online presence matters. Provide all the information and photos you can to HD for a good product listing on their website. On your company’s website, provide the same information so that customers don’t get confused. Because they can learn about your product from either site, you should make sure the information is available wherever they look.

The other tips focus on in-store success. If you can provide a good experience both online and in-person, and make sure the message remains consistent throughout, you’ll keep customers happy.

Customer Reviews: The Ultimate Support for Your Company’s Claims

Consumer reviews are immensely popular with shoppers nowadays. Reviews are important feedback. The more reviews the better; it shows others are using your product. Quality is just as, if not more, important than the quantity, however. A customer is more likely to buy a product with 2 5-star reviews than 1,000 1-star reviews. The best way to keep customers happy and giving a good review on your product is to provide a good product. If there are any customer service functions for your product, keep that mind as well, and ensure customer service experiences with your company are positive. You can even use customer reviews to help identify what people love and dislike about your product. You can then use this to emphasize the positives and improve the negatives.

Newer product with few reviews? Consider The Home Depot Seeds Program, which lets reviewers try your products so that they can then review them. This will then bolster your review count.

Education Nation

Education can be a very helpful tool in a store like The Home Depot. Local HDs often have regular education programs. In-store demonstrations are very effective for selling to customers because many are homeowners looking to learn to do their home improvement projects themselves. They’re looking for education and you’re providing it, increasing your odds that they’ll purchase your product when completing the job.

It’s also effective at building your relationship with HD employees. Associates taking advantage of your demos will be more knowledgeable about your products’ benefits, improving the likelihood that they’ll present it to inquiring customers.

Prepare for Company Reviews

The Home Depot will periodically review its suppliers and products.

Business Reviews, for example, review the supplier itself. Merchants will review supplier and product performance and question its future initiatives.

Product-Line Reviews, on the other hand, will review multiple suppliers in a particular category. They tend to do this when they’re looking to make major changes within a category, like a new assortment. PLRs will likely only affect a portion of your product offerings.

In order to be prepared for these reviews, work year-round on company and market analyses. Treating it as an ongoing process will mean you’re always prepared and more likely to have a positive review. Never mind the fact that the information gained from these analyses can be used to make good business decisions.

Go Above and Beyond

If you want to be successful at The Home Depot, then keep track of how your company is performing there and elsewhere. Understanding your performance and using this data to then improve performance will greatly improve the likelihood of success. Also go above and beyond with education, exceptional omnichannel experiences, and other tactics. The Home Depot does give you access to a vast customer base, but they also a variety of other suppliers’ products. You have to prove to The Home Depot and the customer that you’re the best in the category.

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