So you own a kids' apparel store, or you are thinking about opening one. But where do you start? You've got your name, logo, and sales channel; now what about the inventory? Where will you find that stellar product that will differentiate you from the competition and will keep your orders notifications popping up on your screen?
Here's when we come in to help you. Buying wholesale can be a little frustrating, but finding the right partners makes the process more efficient and even fun!
First things first, do your research:
- Find all your potential suppliers by organically searching the web, reviewing wholesale directories, and asking for referrals.
- Reviews can help you more than you think! Listen to what both the end customers and wholesale buyers have to say about the brand, the service, and the products quality.
Get in touch:
- Now, make that direct contact with the person behind the screen. Wether that’s a sales agent, marketing specialist, or the brand owner itself, shoot them an email or give them a call to establish the relationship and in some way “test” how approachable they are, and how effective could this professional relationship be.
- Remember behind the product you are trying to buy, there is a person behind, working to get it to your hands, so make sure you can trust them and easily communicate with them. This relationship should be win-win, so pick your suppliers carefully, because their success or failure will lead to yours, and vice-versa.
- After you’ve found that person who you will be communicating with, ask all your questions without leaving anything aside. From shipping, pricing, rewards, and ask if there are any additional ways in which they can support your growth!
Start planning your buy:
- Okay, this is the supplier you want to buy from. You are in love with their product, you trust them and have found a common ground. Now, it’s time to buy, but where do you start?
- If you are a new business, you will want to get specific on your target audience and think about what they want and need, and what they already have and what they are missing. How can you fill in those gaps? How can you add value to their kids' closet? Whether your store will focus on 3 to 8 years old elegant girl dresses, or comfy and cool apparel for pre-teens, you will need to focus on the needs of the users of your product and the essence of your brand, while catching up on fashion trends and offering essential items.
- If you are an established business, it is fundamental that you review your sales reports and flag your best and worst sellers and learn how to read the trends in your sales history. This will tell you a lot and give you an action plan for your next buy. However, don’t rely solely on data, get creative and purchase some statement styles that will catch the eye of your customer and express the personality of your brand. This are called the “press pieces” and are usually purchased in fewer quantities. Having a defined style or product assortment will make your decision-making process easier.
Time to shop:
- Begin placing your order. This can sometimes take days, and even weeks. Revisiting your cart, switching sizes and styles and changing your mind are all okay, just don’t get too caught up in analyzing, because time runs out and some pieces you love might be out of stock soon.
- Use your preferred payment method and always ask your supplier if they offer Net D or have any rewards or special discounts based on the volume of your cart.
Track and act:
- Now is the time when you can relax (not really). While you are waiting for your order to be delivered, take this time to upload the product names and SKUs to your site if you are an online store, or to your inventory system if you are brick-and-mortar.
- Do everything from expectation marketing campaigns, coming up with photoshoots ideas, and preparing your sales channel to receive the inventory. Don’t let your order catch you staring at the order tracking bar for days, this is your time to get hands-on!
- Now that the tracking bar is filled to the end, it is your time to start selling! Push that “publish” button and start strategically promoting your products.
- Pull aside some styles to do a photoshoot with kids. These can be your children, nephews, or a friend’s son, but always take real product images with real humans. Again, the person making the buy is a human too and we love to see happy faces, not only plain product images.
- Get creative and make sure you transmit your brand’s personality through all your communications.
Now you are sold out!
Visualize it, you sold out all of your inventory. Your product selection and strategy were a total hit and customers are asking for more. Use all that you’ve learned in this buying process and apply it on the next one, and each time you’ll get better and better. Remember to constantly review your numbers and look for growth opportunities. I am sure you got this! I hope this article gave you some clarity on the basics of buying wholesale and if you have any doubts, questions, or need support, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always eager to help!