I'm the CEO and co-founder of Uncorked! Games, and we created a wine-tasting game called Read Between the Wines! We are currently selling only on Amazon and would like to get into retail stores..
Read Between the Wines (RBTW) competes in a category where there are several large-selling items and there are also many unique items that consumers want if and when they can find them.
Amazon, and online retailing in general, are the way to sell an item like RBTW. Why? The game is more of a shopping item — someone is looking for an icebreaker/word game — RBTW is probably not a convenience or impulse item.
A brick-and-mortar retailer is going to ask how many games they are going to sell and who they are selling them to. Inventory management is more of a limiting factor for a physical store than an online retailer.
First, when your product comes up on Amazon, you are immediately compared with five or six competitive products — most priced well below RBTW. Look at your sales over the past few months. Can you track purchasers that came from your website to Amazon vs. customers who were on Amazon and came to you? You may be driving more traffic to Amazon and paying more than you would with the addition of a shopping cart feature on your website.
Second, look at your current online channel and review the customer recommendations on RBTW and its competitors. Sure, many are written by friends, but these recommendations are probably the best way to get a quick snapshot of who uses your product and why. Look at the why and ask how you can find more people with the same motivation.
Now devise a timely social media campaign building on the recommendations; Father's Day, birthdays and bachelorette parties quickly come to mind.
Remember, a retailer — brick-and-mortar or online — wants to sell me something, regardless of who made it. As a manufacturer, you have to make your product stand out.
About the author
Jonathan Seltzer is a professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.