In the Big Leagues: 4 Tips to Get Your Product on the Shelves Faster

Finally, it has happened. Months of hard work and sleepless nights paid off. You saw your dreams turn into plans, your plans turn into prototypes, and your product is here at last. Fully developed and manufactured, ready for the mass production stage. Naturally, you can’t wait to deliver it to customers. At this point, nothing can be more frustrating than some unexpected challenges to fully realize your project. In this blog post, we will present 4 practical tips on how to avoid some common pitfalls and get your product on the shelves faster.

1) Figure Out Product Codes and Their Cost

Every product sold at a retailer’s store has its unique Universal Product Code, or UPC, barcode. This system of numbers and lines has been designed to speed up the checkout process and facilitate inventory organization. Without this code, it’s virtually impossible to get your product on the shelves in any supermarket or retailer’s store. So how do you get it?

Simply speaking, you need to apply for it. The authoritative body that regulates and grants UPC codes is called the Uniform Code Council (UCC). Manufacturers must apply for permission to enter the UPC system and pay an annual fee for it. The code itself contains 12 digits and it encodes information about various qualities of your product such as size, color, and others.

If you plan to sell your product in smaller stores, a cheaper option would be to work with a broker company that resells UPC codes for less. However, bigger retail stores usually require individual products to have their own unique codes.

2) Packaging Can Make or Break the Launch

The design of your product is one of the keys to its success on the market, but so is its packaging. How so? f you want your product to have an allotted place on a shelf or the floor in a distributor’s brick and mortar store, you must be prepared to pay a certain fee. As a matter of principle, the less space a packaged item occupies, the less money it will cost you to keep a large number of products in a retailer’s store.

So how can you make a good estimate of how much money you will need to allocate for it in your business plan? Entrepreneur suggests that visiting your favorite retailer and comparing sizes and packaging of similar products will give you a good idea of how much floor space you will actually need. It will also help you decide if your product should be stacked on shelves, hung up on racks, or organized in another way. All of these factors will help decide if you can design a suitable packaging and display method yourself or if you need to hire a specialist to do it for you.

3) Know How to Pitch Your Product

The bigger and more popular the retail store is, the larger the audience for your product will be. This means not only more product awareness and potential buyers, but also a good amount of additional product marketing for your brand at the same time. However, large retail stores receive an equally large number of applications for new products. So how do you make yours stand out?

While you yourself might be convinced that your product is unique and customers will love it, its many outstanding features may not be as obvious to the store’s representatives. Practice and rehearse your pitch. Entrepreneur advises that while pitching your product to a retail buyer, you need to have the following highlights of your product prepared:

  • A sample of your product with packaging, a barcode, and pricing
  • A product brochure
  • Marketing and promotional plans
  • Proof that you will be able to deliver large sales volume
  • Your business history and your business plan

4) Be Prepared for an Increased Demand

Even if the product launch is initially successful, the inability to keep a sufficient quantity of product on the shelves may lead to a variety of issues that can quickly limit your profits. You want to make sure your current manufacturing process can handle an increased demand. This is especially important if you previously sold your product online and the manufacturing process is suited to deliver only a limited number of items.

Manufacturing a sufficient quantity to satisfy the demand once your product hits the shelves may require some changes to the production process—which, in turn, may entail some unforeseeable challenges. It is then important to make sure you can increase or decrease the production without any essential changes to the product’s design and without sacrificing its quality.

Getting a product on distributors’ shelves is a dream many entrepreneurs have and is often a key factor in making your business’s growth and profits soar. It can be a challenging stage for your company, so being adequately prepared for it is crucial.

While the advice we gathered in this blog post may help you take into account many essential aspects of this process, you will still likely run into some unforeseeable issues and difficulties along the way. If you’re currently trying to introduce your product to larger audiences and you find yourself in need of legal advice related to manufacturing, patents, trademarks, or IP rights, do not hesitate to contact BRADFORD, LTD. We offer comprehensive legal assistance for businesses and we will help you keep your ideas safe and your business thriving.

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Bradford LTD specializes in IP protections and maximization for startups and small businesses. We also provide scaled legal services to our clients, including fractional legal counsel and value-based rates. From trademark, copyright and service mark protections to patent protection and outside inside counsel, we help position entrepreneurs and owners for long-term success.

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