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The Ultimate Guide to Retail Success for Startups

How to sell your startup products, find a distributor and get into stores

Contents

Why Do Startups Struggle with Retail? The Challenges of Big-Box Retail

How to Evaluate and Find Product Market Fit How to Create a Scalable Retail Strategy

How to Pitch to Retailers Why You Should Sell Online and How to Get Started

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Do I Need a Distributor? 27

Get Selling in Asia 32

The Ultimate Guide to Retail Success for Startups

How to sell your startup products, find a distributor and get into stores

Why Do Startups Struggle with Retail?

When your startup dominates a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, you feel like you’re ready to take the retail world by storm. But even the most successful crowdfunding endeavor can rapidly derail and crash into the abyss between initial funding and a foray into stores. This guide will take you through the preparatory steps to scale into retail and answers the questions “How do I sell my product?” and “How can I distribute my product?”This guide aims to give you everything you need so that you are confident to move from crowdfunding and into retail, not just in the US market, but across the globe.

Crowdfunding success may not translate to a retail hit

Statista examined the nearly 400,000 projects that launched on Kickstarter from its inception through April 2018. Of these, more than 36% were successfully funded – bearing in mind that Kickstarter is “all or nothing.” If you’re short of your goal, you get nothing.

By comparison, Indiegogo hosted more than 800,000 campaigns through February 2018. Indiegogo doesn’t publish its success rate as a percentage of attempts but does reveal that they’ve helped startups raise more than $1.3 billion as of early 2018.

If you’re one of the lucky ones that hit your goal, found early adopters, fulfilled orders to your backers and brought in money, that’s great. However, that doesn’t mean the initial enthusiasm for your concept will translate into retail success.

The hard truth is that 90% of startups fail even after they move successfully beyond post-crowdfunding or series A, B, or even C rounds of funding. Most of these corporate calamities fall to their demise in the “retail chasm” that comes after you fill crowdfunding pre-orders.

After the early adopters are satisfied, you must scale and launch yourself into the world of retail. If your team is all innovators rather than business minds, you’ll face challenges. If you don’t have an expert in retail in the management mix, you’ll struggle.

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The Ultimate Guide to Retail Success for Startups

How to sell your startup products, find a distributor and get into stores

Revenue from early adopters won’t be enough to get you past this hurdle. Retail is not an easy road, and you have to spend money to make money – and if you don’t have much left after you fulfilled your pledge to the crowd that funded you, scaling may be insurmountable.

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