How do retailers & distributors find new products in the current situation


Hi, everyone, it’s Victoria at Bolst Global, and I hope you’re doing really well.

So this month’s FAQ is the following. How do retailers and distributors source new products in this current situation? This is a question that we’ve been asked quite a lot lately. And a lot of brand owners and manufacturers are wondering if there are even any global opportunities out there at the moment. Is there an appetite for retailers and distributors to continue searching for and listing new products?

Well, we would say from our experience, it’s definitely been the case. In the last month alone, for example, here at both Global, we’ve had two separate consignments of containers going out to overseas brand owners on a private label basis for some new products to launch into their market. And equally for our clients, we have had over half a dozen new orders in the last few weeks alone for several markets around the world. And these are brands that are new to market and new to being imported.

So the opportunities are clearly there, however, like we say, where are retailers and distributors finding these new products?

Well, obviously, there is a lot to be said for cold approaches, reaching out and finding brands, particularly, obviously using online methods and social media, etc. to find products that they know could be interesting for their customers.

However, again, from our experience, that can be challenging because some of the suppliers and brand owners may be unsure as to whether it is a bona fide legitimate request for product, is there is really, truly an appetite? And also often there can be quite a lot of fear from non exporting brands and suppliers in terms of how would we even service that customer, how would we get the products there, etc. So often when it’s a new, I guess, a new aspect of doing business that they’re unfamiliar with or a new market or culture, there may be some hesitancy. And actually, in some cases, suppliers are so busy at the moment, they’re not able or confident enough to reply back. So that can be an issue when distributors and retailers are looking at doing their own outreach.

Other aspects, as well as in terms of relationships, which I just think is really important at the moment, more important than it probably ever has been, and particularly with existing ones, networks and partnerships that people are working with in their supply chain. It’s so important to have that trust and ongoing collaboration with all the various stakeholders involved. And what we’ve certainly seen from our aspects and ways of doing business this year is that within the buying mode side of things, there’s a real opportunity to work closer with partners, with suppliers and be able to build more opportunities together.

I think sometimes we forget the opportunities that are there in front of us and the existing relationships we have that could be cemented further and expanded. And it’s really useful to do that with existing partners because obviously they already know your way of working, they’re familiar with some of the marketing and the cultural norms in terms of supplying that market and also product requirements, which we shouldn’t overlook and some of the documentation complexities as well.

So I think what I would say is there’s definitely lots of opportunities out there and retailers and distributors are looking for new goods still, that they still want their new product development. And actually, by being able to respond to that positively, there are clearly opportunities to still do business and keep trading overseas.

I hope you found that useful. And thanks very much, as always, for listening.

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Victoria Boldison

Victoria Boldison

CEO & Founder

Victoria is a multi-award winning Chartered Marketer and has worked internationally for all of her career within start up, SME and large corporation environments marketing and selling food, drinks, supplements and medical devices around the world.

Multilingual with an MA Hons from the University of Oxford (French, Spanish and Portuguese) and an executive MBA from Leeds Business School, Victoria now runs Bolst Global, an international business consultancy and export solutions provider, supporting those businesses operating in global food, drink and supplement sectors.

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