Ready, Set, Grow: Four Tips For New Product Success
North American Precis Syndicate
small-business owners feel like they need to crack a code to know what will
In fact, they do need to know the best ways to go
about using a UPC barcode.
(NAPSI)—You've got a great product—now what? As a
small-business owner, you likely get only one opportunity to launch a product
successfully and set your brand up for growth. Here are four practical ways
to prepare your product for liftoff.
1. Barcode your products (the right
way). While selling direct to consumers can be profitable, working with a
retailer partner can propel your brand forward and increase sales. Meeting
retailer requirements may be daunting, but the rules are in place to help
retailers sell products successfully. Small businesses can avoid lost sales
opportunities and unnecessary costs associated with relabeling
by learning and meeting requirements from the start. Companies working with
retailers and online marketplaces need a different UPC for each product they
sell and product variations require unique UPCs to
distinguish one variation from another, such as different flavors of candy.
US has been the source for a product UPC, the number that appears under a
barcode symbol, for more than 40 years. When used properly, a UPC uniquely
identifies a product when scanned at various points in the supply
chain—including the checkout counter in a retail store. Each barcode
can be printed and attached to a product or incorporated into the package
design. Make sure you have proper placement, sizing, and quality printing to
help your product sail through the checkout process. GS1 US has solution
partners that help small businesses with barcode and package printing. More
information is at www.gs1us.org/solutionpartners.
It is important to ensure that the UPCs assigned
to your products are authentic and contain numbers that link your brand with
your products. The GS1 Company Prefix is a number embedded in a UPC obtained
from GS1 US. Purchasing UPCs that do not have a
Company Prefix assigned to your brand may hurt your chances of building
future key relationships with retailers. For a guide to help businesses get
started, see www.gs1us.org/getstarted.
2. Get discovered digitally. Small
businesses can reach a much wider audience in today's digital age-an
entrepreneur can sell products on Amazon halfway around the globe in a matter
of seconds. Online marketplaces also want to delight consumers with a wide
product selection and rely on small businesses for variety.
With proper product identification, the right product can be surfaced in
search engine results—consider it your product's global passport to be
sold anywhere, anytime. The same numbers in a barcode are also used online,
making it easier for your products to be found in Web searches and classified
for online marketplaces. On e-commerce platforms, if you want your product to
be searchable, random or proprietary numbers won't work—your products
need to be identified according to the retailer's requirements or they may be
hidden from search results.
3. Provide complete product
information. In a store, people use their senses of touch, sight, sound
and even smell to help them decide if a product is right for them. But what
about online? Imagine how important product information becomes in helping
customers decide to buy your product. Remember—you never get a second
chance to make a first impression, so launching a product with detailed
information can be a great point of differentiation and help sell your
product versus the competition's.
First and foremost, keep your audience in mind. For example, parents
thinking about buying children's hockey gear need a full scope of the product
before deciding if it's right for their child. They may need to know about
durability, safety features, whether it's machine washable and more. Think
about your own shopping experiences—observe how products surface and
are presented in different marketplaces and pay attention to the data.
A network of Certified Content Providers that serve as a resource for small
businesses seeking guidance on gathering the right kind of product data to
market their products can be found at www.gs1us.org/ccp.
4. Help the consumer picture it. A
picture is worth a thousand words, especially online. Clear imagery is
necessary to complement product details and more pictures can mean more
sales. Professional photos of your product taken at different angles can mean
outstanding reviews and increased sales rather than complaints about having
to return your product. In today's competitive marketplace, photos are
critical to confirm that your product meets the consumer's expectations.
Moving forward, it's important to remember that you're not alone in facing
these startup learning curves. The process of launching products can seem
complex at first, but understanding consumer behaviors, retailer requirements
and how retail has evolved can mean long-term success. The winning
combination of your business ambition and retail best practices can help you
plot out a new path for the next big growth opportunity.
Further information about tools and services to help small businesses
achieve their goals can be found at www.gs1us.org/smallbusiness.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)