When you discover the advantages of importing products from China or other Asian countries, you may well be encouraged to expand your sales portfolio to offer your customers new goods that meet all their needs. Doing so can bring clear advantages to your business, but you should not forget that you will need a strategy to define how to introduce a new product to the market.
First of all, you must bear in mind that it is not the same to incorporate into your commercial repertoire a product that is similar to the rest of your range than one that is quite (or very) different; in the latter case, we always recommend that you really analyse the reasons for doing so, beyond economic expectations.
The introduction of a new product to the market must respond to a user need (existing, or that you can create through an appropriate strategy). In this sense, the efforts you will have to make in your commercial strategy will be different depending on the reason that has led you to expand your catalogue.
Define a buyer persona
Usually, companies sell products in a certain segment, aimed at a target audience which, although it may be more or less broad, always shares some characteristics: age, needs, hobbies, etc. Despite this, introducing a new product on the market always forces us to redefine the buyer persona, a fundamental exercise to start outlining the sales strategy and which allows us not only to define what our target audience is like, but also how this new product can improve their experience.
Define the sales cycle
It is important to define the sales cycle before focusing the commercial strategy. Can your new product be used all year round? Does it have a calendar of special sales campaigns? Depending on what need it covers, we will develop a specific commercial strategy that allows us not only to meet our objectives, but also to consider what we do during periods when sales drop (if any).
Define the objectives and… the strategy
Once you have defined who can buy this new product, for what reason and when, it is time to establish the objectives of your new commercial launch and the strategy to achieve them. We have already told you that the purpose of expanding the catalogue is not always to increase the sales volume. In many cases, the introduction of a new product in the market responds to a request from existing customers, so the incorporation of a new commercial reference is due to a search for loyalty (if your customers need a product that you cannot offer them, they will end up buying from the competition).
Define the budget
Depending on the objectives, the commercial strategy will be one or another and we will have to dedicate more or less effort and, of course, a budget to it. Although the money allocated to a new product must be adjusted to the economic possibilities of the company, you must be clear that, in many cases, a lower investment than necessary can lead to an unsuccessful launch and, from there, the commercial viability may not be easily recoverable. Analyse well whether your company is at the best moment to launch a new product and, if not, postpone the idea for a moment when you can assume the associated costs.
Prepare a marketing plan
The marketing plan should include all the details that will help us to achieve the sales objective: from those characteristics that differentiate us from our competition (and how to promote them), to the promotional channels, pre-sales, post-sales, temporary campaigns (Black Friday, discount sales, etc.) and all those commercial actions that should be carried out at all times.
Bear in mind that, if the product is radically different from the rest of what you sell, the marketing plan should be carried out after a thorough market study, and both documents will complement each other.
And at last: time to launch!
After having carried out all these steps, you should now have everything ready to launch your product on the market.
Logically, the launch date must be previously planned and, in order not to miss it, we must take into account all the work forecasts, including the import deadlines.
It is important to remember that rushing and importing are a bad combination, so it is always advisable to order your products in good time, especially if you are manufacturing in Asia, as the paperwork and transport inevitably prolong the lead times.
In that sense, if you want to avoid import scheduling problems, we recommend using the services of a sourcing partner to manage and control the entire production process. These professional services, such as the ones we offer at S3 Group, are the best guarantee to avoid schedule setbacks and, in addition, they allow you to focus your efforts on finishing the preparation of the launch of your new product on the market.