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5 Tips for Reaching Out to Retailers

As a small business, it can feel daunting to reach out to retailers. But, it doesn’t have to be. Putting yourself out there with a variety of both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores means finding customers far beyond your reach.



Here, the team at CREOATE has shared their top tips for reaching out to retailers about stocking your products (and shopping them wholesale on CREOATE!).

Remember, you never pay commission on orders from retailers you bring to CREOATE.


5 Tips for Reaching Out to Retailers

1. Practice your pitch


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A great pitch tells a story, so establish yours. Really think about what makes your brand unique. List out your USPs, and think about why the brand came about. What is your background, as the founder?

Once you’ve got that part covered, start thinking about your brand in relation to the retailers you’re pitching to. Why would your products work well on their shop floor? Share insights into your target market, as well as demographic breakdowns and how it compares to theirs. Show them you understand your competition, and what you will bring to the display table that's unique and worth investing in. 

Consider preparing PR sample boxes to have available to send to interested brands. To save on printing costs for marketing materials, include any existing assets you have to hand, with the view to switch out to business cards with QR codes that link to your website, brand story page, or perhaps link to a new collection or product launch you're trying to promote. Alternatively, get the most out of your packaging and have your QR code, social media handles, and a brief introduction printed on the inside of your box lids, ready to greet retailers as they open it up.

brand-packagingWe love this example from Beautycon for its tone of voice, and the way it maximises the use of space to speak to the customer without crowding the packaging. Simple yet effective.

Sample boxes demonstrate professionalism by showing retailers you're serious about building an ongoing business relationship, and care about your brand image, while also letting them make their own judgements on quality and relevance by testing your products out for themselves. This also provides a talking point to follow up on when striking up deals and organising wholesale purchases.

2. Pick up the phone

It can take up to 10 contacts, if not more, to convert a cold lead, so pick up that phone. This goes for both brands and retailers. Speak with conviction, but don’t be pushy. Offer to call back at a more convenient time or request an email address if the retailer you call isn’t able to chat for long. Mention your brand name clearly and mention where they can find your products.

Understand that, like you, independent retailers and shop owners are very busy, and some may not appreciate cold calling. The effectiveness of cold calling as a sales strategy continues to be debated, so whether or not you decide to do is entirely a matter if choice. If, however, you're on the fence, consider reaching out by email to gauge interest and availability for a call time that would suit you both.

3. Prospect local retailers




We know that independent retailers like stocking local products, so approaching businesses in your local area is a great first step for getting your products into stores. Use Google Maps to search and locate retailers nearby that share your values, and who seem like a good fit for your products. Gather them together in a contact list and consider reaching out via email, call, or in person. If you do opt for an in-person meeting, be sure to pass this by them first, as arriving unannounced could end with you catching them at a bad time.

What about larger retailers? While you can take a pretty informal approach when it comes to reaching out to independent retailers, larger retail chains are likely to have a more formal pitching process. Take a look at their websites to find the best contact route. 

4. Drive traffic to your CREOATE store

Whether you're reaching out to new retailers or connecting with existing ones, encouraging orders through your CREOATE store works for both of you. Any retailer that you 'bring' to CREOATE (i.e. who signs up via your link) will get a welcome discount they can then use to purchase your products at no extra cost to you. You'll also never pay a commission to CREOATE for any orders from these retailers, and shipping is —as always— free. 

But what's the best way to drive traffic to your CREOATE store? Here are some key touch points to think about.

Your website

Insert our widget on your website for an embedded snapshot of your CREOATE store, or simply add a link.


Create QR codes to include on any marketing collateral, including anything you pack into orders or give away at trade shows.

5. Optimise your CREOATE store

When reaching out to retailers to join CREOATE and shop your store, you want to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward.

Give them the best possible first impression by enhancing their user experience. You can do this by making sure your store is fully stocked, of course, but also by tagging your best-selling products. Include multiple images of each product, and make sure you have written engaging store and product descriptions. 

An example of a well-optimised CREOATE store is as follows:




1. High-quality images: A high-quality store banner showcasing your products visually introduces your brand to anyone visiting your shop. Make sure you also upload a profile image so retailers can put a face or logo to the brand name. Whether it's of you, as the maker of Neve's Bees has done here, or your brand logo ⁠— stores with banners and profile images appear more trustworthy and professional to potential customers. One thing to keep in mind, however, is if your logo is text-based, it's unlikely to display as well due to the size of the roundel. In this case, consider using a product or maker image, or your brand initials.

2. Engaging store description: Your store description doesn't have to be long, but it has to give some insight into your brand. At a glance, Neve's Bees' description tells us where the brand is based, what kind of products they make, that it's a family business, along with its USPs and values. All this in 59 words. Short, simple, and to the point.

3. Highlighting best-selling products: At a glance, potential customers can see your most popular products and decide what to invest in first without having to scroll through rows and rows of products.

4. Setting up product categories: Product categories save customers time and effort, and improve their user experience when browsing your store. Not all of your products may be relevant to what they would like to stock, so filtering by category will make finding the products they want to add to their basket much easier.

For more tips on optimising your CREOATE store, check out our guide here.

If you build it, they will come

Trust us, just by selling with CREOATE, you’re reaching thousands of retailers based all around the UK, Europe, and the US. Joining the platform is the first step, and reaching out to get retailers on board is the next.

We hope these tips help you get some way to building up your CREOATE customer base and contacts list. For more tips and advice on selling with CREOATE, explore our blog today.

Not registered with CREOATE yet? Sign up now and start selling wholesale with us today.

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