How do you take an e-commerce brand and get them on shelf at major retail?


Bringing together a team of seasoned experts seems like a no-brainer, but it can be a double edged sword if you don’t do it carefully. The pursuit of retail must remain top priority at all times. If you’re trying to condense what takes some brands months or years down to a 6-8 week sprint, you must consider everything outside of the pursuit of retail a distraction. This includes things like social media, trade shows, and onboarding new hires. These things are time consuming and draining in a period where time is crucial.

It's time in the process where everyone needs to focus on one of the most serious topics: pricing and channel conflicts. Before you can move further toward retail, all stakeholders from various business units must sit down and collectively align on a pricing and channel strategy. Business leaders are often territorial about control of pricing, and it may sink your retail entrance or expansion. Until a system of control can be implemented for their own brand e-commerce site(s), Amazon, big box retail, club and specialty stores, resellers, and any third-party sellers the brand is not ready for retail. Entry without a clear and concise top-down alignment on pricing strategy will result in a quick exit from retail thus digging a deep hole which most brands can never recover.

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As we pointed out earlier, the most efficient and effective way to structure a team is with a Sales leader based in the US. This can be a cause of tension when working with international companies that have found success in other channels such as ecomm. A huge hurdle to overcome as he or she builds out a support team is ensuring communication and participation on a global scale. Your leader will have to collaborate with international teams to understand successful strategies and tactical approaches, share research, create genuine relationships and build a culture of assurance and cooperation. A disjointed international effort will fall short 100% of the time. You must pay special attention to creating and maintaining an optimistic and transparent relationship.

For brands that have had success in other channels, one of the best ways to foster this camaraderie is by getting to know the products better and asking for information on the product roadmap. This allows the leader to create a balance between teams, and also allow for a relatively lean remote site team to stay focused on the pursuit of retail placement.