Preparing your product for retail display.

So you’re considering bringing in a product which will end up sitting in a retail store. What do you have to consider before you go and order your product and packaging from China?

 Jumping in and ordering your product with packaging, before you know your customer (the retailer) is a bit of a risk. Different retailers place difference degrees of importance on different product elements in their retail environment. One retailer may be focused on the physical space your product takes us, for what return. Another retailer may not care so much for this, and be more interested in how or where it can be displayed in store. It extremely costly to make changes to your packaging after you have landed the goods. Think through what’s important for your product, weigh up the costs involved and deicide on the best strategy to meet the retailer’s needs and display your product to sell.

 So what do you need to consider when retailing your product?

 How does the product need to be displayed?

There are two main options in a store. Your product sits on a shelf or your product hangs on a hook (hang sell). Obviously, there are other options (such as side stacks and pallet drops) but we’re probably getting ahead of ourselves thinking we’ll command that sort of space in a premium retailer at the start. So what’s the difference between the two options? Hang sell suits smaller products. It allows more flexibility in plan-o-gramming (laying out product to display) and it’s generally considered the best option for faster moving goods.

One downside is, in a space competitive retail environment an empty hook tends to be captured and overrun quicker than empty to space on a shelf. So, if you get the space, it may be harder to maintain your presence. When you hang sell, typically the retailer will want you to have a hook or hole on your product (so they don’t have to stick one on). Make sure you consider this in your packaging design if there’s any chance you may hang your product. A product designed to sit on a shelf has its own issues. Your packaging will need a flat based to ensure your product sits proudly on its feet and on display. Larger products/goods are more suited to this type of display.

Some of the finer points of packaging.

Bar-coding your product is essential if you want to sell it in stores that keep scan data. Barcodes must be unique to your product/business. No two barcodes will be the same. Worldwide barcode registries are maintained by different organisations responsible for the recording, sale and allocation of various barcodes. In Australia, GS1 is the place to go if you’re after a wide range of barcode numbers allocated to your business. This will suit you if you plan to grow a wide product range particularly quickly, but not so much if you’re only after a few here and there. Ongoing registration fees aren’t that appealing for just a few barcodes. Online companies like www.barcodestalk.com are filling the demand for smaller once off barcode allocations at quite competitive prices.

 Another point to consider is whether you need the country of origin on your product. Country of origin laws are both strict and policed, so know what you need to know. In general if your product is produced in China, you must state ‘Made In China’ on it. In some cases where significant value (50%) is added to the end product here in Australia, you may be able to claim ‘Australia Made’. Austrade and Australia Made are both websites you can research this further on.

After your product lands you can make any amount of changes to the packaging or product you like, but believe me, it’s far easier building everything you need done into the brief and samples you sign off on with you Chinese supplier. Trying to repack product in Australia will be expensive and time consuming. Knowing what your retail partner will need in terms of product packaging, display, bar-coding and other information prior to sampling with China will ensure you land your product with the least value-adding work required. This will protect your bottom line and give you the competitive advantage you need.

Related posts:

  1. Importing from China? How to package your product to sell and specify what you want.
  2. Product Margin and Selling Price Calculator – How to Import Successfully

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