Exhibiting Your Candles & Associated Products at a Home Show

Although Home Shows can be quite expensive to exhibit at, they are presenting you with all the customers you can handle over a period of a few days.Here are some reasons why exhibitions work.
o Exhibitions allow you to demonstrate products, answer questions, and meet your market face-to-face.
o They allow you to harness all five senses to drive home your message.
o They are the perfect retail location where the walk-by traffic is numbered in the thousands.
o They are a unique place to sell your product for a limited time only (Create a feeling of urgency with customers which encouraging them to buy)
o Exhibitions bring your most active prospects and customers to you and provide the opportunity to sell directly or expand your database. (Statistics show that 80% of visitors are likely to buy something from a show.)
o Further virtually all of your marketing goals at the same time
o Long-term brand building- get your brand known(use Aroma marketing)
o Immediate sales which helps to cover your costs.
o Research the market- feedback from customers on your existing products and what they would like to see in new products.
o Generate media coverage- promoting your products to the media with press releases
o Launch new products. Great if you have next fragrances arriving.
o Meet existing customers.
o Collect high quality leads- expand your customer base.
o Educate prospects – show them why soy candles are so much better.With the number of customers going through these big exhibits they should be seen as a marketing exercise as well as a selling exercise. As with markets you will be up against a huge number of businesses, particularly large companies, so it is important that you do it well.
Your stands need to look professional. If necessary hire them (Shops For Shops) for the duration of the show. It may work out cheaper this way unless you need stands. They need to look clean and crisp. Don’t make your stand look too cluttered.You may be a Microbusiness (1 -5 employees), but you should think and act like a large business would.Remember, this is a Home Show and customers are purchasing products that will suit their home decor.You may want to concentrate on larger, decorator pieces or promote the fact that you can fill their own containers and match colour schemes.Selling can be one of the most exciting parts of your business when you know how to do it properly and remember candles are a high demand consumable product that people want to use and you do not have to explain, how it works, what is does and why they should buy it.

Got A Brilliant Product Idea! Now What?

You came up with a great product idea and you want to go for it! So what should you do next?

When you think you’ve created the next big thing, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and go full force with the idea. Passion is indeed a component for success, but it’s also important to remain focused and realistic about your expectations. Launching products can be extremely exciting and fulfilling, but it can also become pretty overwhelming.

Taking baby steps especially if it’s your first product launch may be just what you need to get you prepared and well-positioned to grow your business successfully. It’s not always good to go full force even if you have the capital to fund your idea.

Here are three things that may help in the process.

1. RESEARCH & PLANNING. Gathering as much information in the beginning is so important. It is always best to understand the marketplace – what the market demands, your ideal clients and what they’re willing to pay for your products.

At this stage, shop online and at retailers that you think would carry your products, visit showrooms, gift marts and tradeshows as part of your market research. If your product happens to be in the gift category, for instance, there are several gift shows across the United States that are mostly held twice a year. Check out your potential competitors, find out what’s doing well, talk to retailers and get their feedback – they’re a great resource.

Shows are also a great way to get ideas for your products and connect with possible sales reps to represent your line…although I often suggest to my clients to start on their own first and then entertain reps at a later date. The reason for this is you have to pay a commission to a rep which will decrease your profit margin. Besides, YOU are your best sales person. Although this may take up a lot of your time, there is no one more effective who can sell your products than YOU.

Of course, there are advantages to hiring reps. If you choose to do this, just be sure that you have their commission built into your pricing model and that you remain profitable (more on this to follow).

2. PRICING. Pricing is a major factor when doing a product launch. You could have a great product but if the market cannot accommodate the price that you have in mind, it will be a challenge to sell your product. Look at your competition and check out how much they’re selling their products. Do a price comparison on your product line. Make sure before you even go into production that you’re going to be able to sell your products at a price that is PROFITABLE for you! I know this may seem obvious but I’ve seen so many people launch without having a pricing model.

Keep in mind that you may start online because it’s the easiest and more profitable way to sell your products, but you may have plans to grow and sell to independent boutiques and possibly to department stores and major retailer, which means you’ll eventually have to hire reps. So you need to make sure your pricing works for all scenarios. Having a pricing model can ensure that you’ll still be profitable even when adding reps, working with smaller margins or adding additional expenses such as warehousing, etc.

I always tell my clients to make sure you look at pricing across all market channels even if you don’t have any intentions to sell to larger chain accounts. It will be challenging to change pricing once your products are already in the market. AND, you can’t have a product selling online at one price and a different price at a retail store. The last thing you want to do is to create competition between you and your customers (retailers). If you must, just make sure that your customers are aware of this from the get go.

3. TESTING. Testing is key when launching a product to the marketplace. The internet, faires, bazaars, shows and expos are all great ways to sell your products initially. A lot of successful business owners started by selling their products at these smaller venues. It’s also particularly a great way to get feedback on your products before doing any large volume production. Most retailers, especially mass chains usually do a test run before committing to a larger P.O (purchase orders) on any product lines especially a brand new line and a brand new company, so you should do the same. You can start by selling your products on your website, sell them on other sites such as etsy.com and amazon.com.

Also, when you approach a buyer, one of the things they may ask is how much sales you’ve made on your product line, so having sell through number to present to them demonstrates that there is demand for your brand new product line in the marketplace.

Know These Cutesy Themes for an Online Baby Products & Toys Shop

Busy parents these days scroll through different websites and online apps to get things for their kids. They hardly get the time to visit supermarkets or big shops, but all they want is to make their kids happy and satisfied. While eCommerce stores are helping them a lot to get everything from food, clothing to toys and stationeries, the retailers too got a huge opportunity to expand their market reach and sales overnight. However, if you are into the selling of baby and kids products, you need to design your store with lovable themes and elements that would complement it well. Only then a store looks appealing to the eyes of parents and convinces them that you truly have an idea of kids’ needs and have the best items for them.To make that happen, there are hundreds of baby themes and templates brought by different eCommerce platforms and below are mentioned some of them.#1 InfantThis is a 100% responsive theme from Magento to suit all infant products, from clothing (girls and boys) to accessories and toys. With straightforward installation, clean design and easy navigation, it also best suits mobile sites. Its playful background and mild colour tones create an ambience of a carefree childhood. Best store features:
List/Grid view for categories

Icon fonts

Language translation (Localisation)

Slider/ banners with real images

#2 ClaudineDesigned by OpenCart with love and care for babies and kids, Claudine is a drag and drop responsive theme. Its playful navigation, eye-catchy elements, and superior resolution images help parents to view the products with complete detailing. Key features:
Drag and Drop layout composer

Revolution slider with multilayer, image, video caption and text

Mega Menu with easy drag and drop interface

Products slider

Unlimited colours and fonts

Featured categories

#3 BambinoIt is a responsive WooCommerce theme and comes with advanced features and fancy design for baby stores. Website customisation is simpler with Bambino. It helps to make pages colourful and elegant with catchy elements like Cherry PopUps, countdown timers, product badges, special giveaways (free images based on category), social options, star ratings etc. It makes sites mobile-friendly too!Some of its exceptional features:
One-click installation

AJAX Filter

Compare and Wishlist

Quickview

Products Carousel Widget

#4 KiddoAgain a Magento theme, it is best known for kids fashion items. Site created with it quickly adapts to any devices, irrespective of the screen sizes and do not restrict visitors with respect to the locations. Its exclusive set of features:
Newsletter Subscription Pop-up

Film Slider

Sorting Options

TM AJAX Search

Catalog Images Grid

Featured Products

Special Price Countdown

#5 KidFunIf there’s one template for toys store that can woo the young ones and their parents, then it is KidFun, designed by OpenCart. It is a well-documented and custom-made template that showcases games and toys in pro way. Moreover, intuitive navigation with product quick view and drop down cart offers the buyers a hassle-free shopping experience.Special features:
Parallax

Theme Colour Switch

Multi-currency

AJAX search

Product Badges

Facebook Like Box

Cross Browser Compatibility

Valid Semantic Code

Babies and kids store themes need to be clean and colourful and must have a mix of elements that can capture the attention of parents. These customised themes and templates adhere to all of these. So, if you have thought of launching such a store, personalise it using one of the above that will best help you represent your products.