When a company decides to start importing its products, two scenarios can arise. The first is to import the same products as those already sold to date (a change of supplier) or alternatively, to take advantage of the many benefits of importing in order to expand its range and start selling new items.
The advantage of the first scenario is, although it is going to change suppliers – which obviously has certain consequences – the product is known. There will be an existing plan about your design and packaging, and a consumer profile will already have been created, etc. In short, you already know the market and you will only have to make certain adjustments in relation to the new provider.
However, the planning changes when a company decides to import a totally new product. In this case it is essential to carry out a complete market study that will ascertain if the business is profitable or not.
This pre-import analysis must consider the consumer and market needs, product characteristics, all aspects of the brand and its competition and, last but not least, the marketing strategy, in detail.
Study of the consumer and the market.
When analyzing the product’s target audience and its environment, different factors should be considered, including the consumer’s profile; age, sex, education level, income, etc. and their consumer habits. To help us to know our potential clients in depth, we must design and create surveys, interviews and a variety of tools since a small survey among acquaintances or clients of other products is simply not sufficient.
Furthermore, we must not forget about the market itself. This is the environment in which the consumer makes their purchase. The specificity of this market will determine the commercial strategy. In this sense, the market structure should be analyzed in detail; online, offline; small businesses, shopping centers, etc., the number of competitors and/or their brands and the main characteristics of their products, which will undoubtedly help to differentiate our product from the competition.
The part of the market study specific to the product should analyze everything that is related to the merchandise in detail, including its design and materials; the size, qualities, finishes, colors, models, etc., its packaging including protective packaging, shape, branding elements and the final price of the product, which will directly impact its demand.
Likewise, it is important to consider the distribution channels and the characteristics of each of them. For example, if the product is sold in stores and on the official website, will it be sold for the same price? It is equally important to consider the distributor’s potential requirements to market the product.
Far beyond the logo on the product packaging, the brand (our brand) has to lead the many details that will influence the product. A good example of this are patents and legal protection of the product, which if necessary, will inevitably affect the price.
At the same time, the analysis of the impact of the brand on the product must answer questions about the guarantee, after-sales service or maintenance. These aspects help to build the brand identity and can help the consumer to choose our product over that of our competition.
An extremely important factor, which starts with market research and considers the type of advertising that the new product needs; points of sale, advertising on TV, press, Internet, influencers, Google Ads, etc. It should be considered alongside the promotional campaigns that will be carried out throughout the year with their specific objectives; Christmas campaign, Black Friday, Summer campaign.
It is also important to analyze whether all promotions will be created from the brand; which is the most common or, whether our wide commercial network, although sharing certain criteria, are individually responsible for implementing their own promotion in their own way.
As we have seen, the market study must analyze the entire product environment in detail in order to verify its commercial viability. Based on the results of this study, we will know if importing new products is a good strategy for our business or not.
When the market analysis yields encouraging and optimistic data and the company, therefore, decides to import, the second part of the job (importation) starts. This task is not always easy, so a purchasing consultant is usually recommended; especially when we decide to import from China.
The purchasing agent will ensure that importation is a simple process, will accompany you in all the important steps of the process including; the choice of suppliers, manufacture, transport and delivery and, most importantly, they will always have a solution in mind should the import suffer from any of the most frequent problems.
That is exactly what we do at S3 Group. For more than 15 years, we have been working to make importing a simple and reliable process for any company. We believe in your business and your products, and if your market study has given you the green light for a new product, we will be there to support you to make the import a resounding success.