Moving from ecommerce to retail is a big step for any business to take. The payoff could be huge—big wholesale orders, new customers, and getting your products into destinations they’ve never been before.

Getting your product into stores sounds exciting, because it is. But it’s also a move that requires strategy to pull off just right.

Michael De Los Santos, better known as Mike D, since that’s the name you’ll see on his line of barbeque sauces and rubs, walks you through the process of getting your product on shelves. 

6 steps to get your product in stores

  1. Understand when you’re ready for retail stores
  2. Know what makes your product unique
  3. Perfect your pitch
  4. Join online wholesale marketplaces
  5. Consider trade shows (are they worth it?)
  6. Don’t rely on retail stores alone

1. Understand when you’re ready for retail stores

Mike knows a thing or two about how to get your product into stores, and he’s here to share his best advice for other entrepreneurs. 

Mike D’s BBQ can be found all over the eastern United States. Mike started online, grew his own store in Durham, North Carolina, and now his sauce can be bought at dozens of retailers—one as far away as northern Wisconsin.

Image of Mike D standing outside his supply and general store
Mike D’s BBQ

As a small business owner, getting your product into stores isn’t something to rush into. In fact, Mike waited until he knew his business could support retailers. But how do you make that call?

The most important thing to consider is whether you have enough product to support both your own ecommerce sales as well as wholesale to retailers. You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you can’t ship your own sales because of fulfilling wholesale requests, or not being able to supply retailers because you’ve sold too much online.

“You need to make sure that going into stores works for you at that moment,” says Mike, adding that scaling too quickly can just lead to “disaster.”

Take a hard look at your manufacturing process and assess if…


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