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Sell Your Products to Retailers

Lesson 8 of 31

Your Ideal Retail Customer

Megan Auman

Sell Your Products to Retailers

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

8. Your Ideal Retail Customer

Lesson Info

Your Ideal Retail Customer

You know, we talked about some of those pricing fears and and I think really what they all boil down to is if I raise my prices will I still find customers to buy my products right? That's really what we want to know is who is going to pay that price? Am I really going to get that? And we were talking about this a little bit off camera with a studio audience where if you aren't the kind of person who's paying those prices, it might feel completely foreign to you that there are people in the world who would spend three hundred five hundred two thousand dollars for a necklace or whatever product it is that you're looking at so now we want to do is actually figure out who is gonna buy our products who was gonna pay those prices who is going to keep us in business but not only that is gonna love our products is going to buy them on dh ultimately what we're doing in this segment is we're talking about your ideal retail customer so we're going to come back and translate this all the stores l...

ater but I think it's really important that we start with your ideal retail customer because that's who's going to end up with your product and some really important that we know them so let's talk about who buys your products and I want to talk first really generally about the types of people who you might find who we're going to buy, kind of what we have, which, for lack of a better word, we're going to call luxury items regardless of what price point you're in luxury is kind of a good way to describe it because we're not selling things that are a necessity. Nobody quote unquote needs our product, so we're going to call it luxury for lack of a better category. So I want to talk about who buys these products, who you might likely see, and so I'm not generally a fan of of generalities, but I think it's helpful to kind of understand some of the buyer profiles that you might meet, that you might encounter in your customers because not everyone is motivated by the same reasons to buy. So when we start to understand how different types of people make their purchases, that is really going on lhp us so you can see here we've actually got six buying profiles, but four of them are way more important than the other two, so I'm gonna break these down for you, but we've got collectors, selectors, accumulators and impulsive, and then we've also got bargain hunters and non shoppers, or you can call them reluctant shoppers I like to think of that is my husband, who I have to drag to the store when his clothes were out, those of the people that are really not not shopping at all so let's talk about these categories and and what they might mean, and whether or not they might translate into being some of your customers so first up are collectors and collectors is a little bit of a tricky word, because when we tend to think of collectors, we think of people who collect a very specific type of thing, right? Look, I collect figurines, or I collect vintage nike shoes or something very specific like that. But not all collectors actually identify as collectors, and so it kind of represents a broader category of how people think about shopping, so collectors tend to use their purchases to establish their identity. So if I'm a collector, what I buy says something about me collecting those vintage nikes says something about who I am so that's part of it. Now, they may collect a specific category, a broad category or a brand, and I say again, collect loosely because they might not self identify as a collector. So I'll give you example. My sister is definitely what I would call a collector personality what someone else might call her isa fashion e stuff, so fashionistas or someone who are motivated by that same the same thing as the person who's going to collect those figurines are going to collect those vintage nikes, but they're not necessarily collecting a specific type of thing. What they're interested in is having the clothes buying the clothes they want to know everything they can about it and they're using it to kind of communicate to the world who they are they're the people who you would typically think of as experts are connoisseurs, so they know a lot of about things they buy so this is where that fashionista comes in again. My sister knows a lot about clothes she knows way more than I do she spends away more time shopping and thinking about clothes, and I spent a lot of time shopping and thinking about clothes, so so it but again, it might be someone who is very specifically collecting those categories the vintage nikes, whatever it is that they're collecting and I think one of them the things that's really important collectors is that collectors enjoy the thrill of the hunt they're like the rum injures they don't mind digging, finding that's really interesting to them and they want to talk about the experience of the hunt, so when we think about things like the high end art jewelry galleries, they're also trying to cater to a collector, someone who wants to be able to come in and say I stopped in this gallery I found this amazing piece that's really important you let me tell you all about it I want to feel really good about making that purchase so that's a collector a selector is someone who is on one hand kind of gonna drive you crazy and on the other hand going to give you a lot of money so selectors air I think what we think of when we think of ah lot of people they take longer to make a purchase decision they have to think about it they have to take their time they went away their options they also want to be outwardly motivated by a reason to purchase so my friend danielle is a classic selector she is not just going to go out and buy a new dress because she wants a new dress I went about buy a new dress because I want a new dress danielle is gonna need a reason so she's going to a conference you know she's got an event coming up she's going to need that reason and then she's going to spend some time thinking about which dress she might look at a couple different options she might ask her friends so that's the next thing about selectors they're going to research and contemplate so if you think about the car buying process that process turns most of us into selectors wait read things we learned we kind of do that selectors also tend to prefer quality over quantity right? So they want the goods time life they wanted to be better and this is what makes them so important for us as a as a purchasing example is because they want to spend the money they want to make the investment and that's really important to them, but they're all so frustrating because it takes them longer to get to the purchase but typically once they get there they're going to spend a little bit more. Then we have accumulators on dh I would be I would certainly fall into this category they tend to buy faster than selectors but slower than it impulsive, which is our last category. So they're not going to make a decision always immediately because what accumulators value is consistency maybe with some options so I see a pair of shoes I tried it, I bought it. I love it. I'm gonna go buy five pairs one in every color that's an accumulator your case that might be the case. You might want some accumulators I saw this necklace, I love it now I want one in every color. So that's, what an accumulator is going to dio accumulators take a while to get warmed up to a product, but once they do, they tend to be very brand loyal, and they will certainly stock up when the opportunity presents itself so they could be someone who takes us a little while, but then once you love it like you're hooked and you wanted all the time that said accumulators tend to get a little bit frustrated when things disappear. So that's why having things like the signature collection is really important because they don't want it to go away, especially if it's something that wears out and the last one are impulsive. And we love these people, particularly when selling two stores because they're the people who are going to come into a store and if for them it's really all about the experience of shopping and the experience of purchasing, they're going to make that purchase based on that instant emotional decision. I see it, I love it, I'm going to buy it, it's coming home with me, we love these people and the range of impulse purchase price is really gonna vary by level. So impulsive is really, I think, form kind of an important backbone to the retail industry without them, probably none of us would've businesses. We need those people to make emotional decisions from time to time, but what becomes an emotional decision or an impulse buy for one person is very different for someone else, so for someone, an impulse buy might be that thirty dollar bag of coffee from sheila but for another person that impulse buy it might be a three hundred dollar necklace for me or even that two thousand dollars long bone necklace, so they're impulsive as pretty much everywhere. So just because your price point is higher than you would make an impulse purchase doesn't mean it can't be an impulse purchase for someone else. So beyond that, this is not a hard and fast rule like there's no like I'm always an impulsive I'm always I'm always this I'm always that people tend to gravitate more towards one, but they may also be a sort of mix, so I said I'm an accumulator I'm an accumulator who was also sometimes and impulsive I see it I like it I want to buy it probably doesn't make enough money from my own products that I can do that how that works I my prices are high and all my profit margins are good I see it I love it it's coming home with me but different brands or different product types may also bring out more or less of these traits so I am not a selector at all. I don't think I don't research but when I bought my last car I kind of felt like I had to be like I actually really wanted to just make that gut decision and everyone wanted to discuss numbers with me right like that really that fuel economy and if you buy this you know, are you really going to make that money back and your savings? And I just really wanted the car it wanted, but so certain types of buying processes or products tend to turn us into other categories, so your price points higher you might get more selectors now that said, most cars are going to turn people into selectors muster selling really crazy, stupid, expensive, pointless cars in which case that's like impulses or maybe accumulators or maybe collectors were there going in there and they're like yet give me the lotus walking out the door so just because it's higher price isn't necessarily mean it has to be selectors, but your product mix does likely dictate who you attract s I think we mentioned susan petersen from freshly picked and she makes these moccasins, this absolutely encourages her customers to be an accumulator, right it's the same product and she just keeps releasing it in different colors and people are going to keep buying that helps that she's also dealing with kids so they grow out of it. But in general it's like, oh, I want that color we want that color we want that color so she's really hitting that accumulator market, so we talked about that, you know, lindsey, you're the same way I think you could hit accumulators no, shelley, you're kind of a different saying where people are going to accumulate simply because your product is expendable, which is awesome that's perfect, anything that people go through is fantastic, but you're also going to definitely get a lot more impulsive because let's try new coffee, but then you're also going to get the collectors people who view themselves as coffee connoisseurs like I know a lot about coffee let's try to strand there the people in the chat rooms who are talking about the differences between the kona coffee and the volcanic soil and all of that stuff that I don't understand but makes them sound super impressive and make certain people pay absolutely pay more for your product, so you're not going to need to kind of really quantify who those people are for you, but it's important to understand that they are all out there because they're going to make up your customer mix. I know for me I tend to attract ah lot of selectors, people who need to think about my product a little more, they want that special occasion, they want that reason, but then I'm going to mix in a few impulsive sze in there too, so you're going to see a little bit of everyone, but the important thing to remember is that all of these categories are people who spend disposable income on things they don't need they're the ones who are buying your product and so you understand what motivates them can really help us as we start to drill down into your ideal customer profiles now I hadn't quite mentioned those bargain hunters and non shoppers yet but we don't want those they're not your customer so you know, we haven't talked about discounting because we're talking about selling the stores and really just counting doesn't play into that model but a lot of people try to do a lot of discounting especially when they're telling director customers because they assume that everybody is a bargain hunter right? First of all, not everybody is a bargain hunter I am not a bargain hunter that is way too much work for me s o there are definitely people out there who are not chasing the deal they're not chasing the bargain and if they are if that's their primary motivation to purchase we're not gonna worry about them it's not who were interested in we're not gonna worry about it not our crowd we're also not going to worry about those non choppers. Those reluctance is people like my husband too what doesn't need to be in a store ever it is just a disaster so those people not our customer they're not spending money either, but those other four they are fortunately big segments of the market and that's who were really looking at so let's talk about who is your ideal retail customer? We're going to start to build some profiles that you guys can actually use as we move forward into our futures you know, future segments so we're going to talk really clearly about demographics so some of you may have either sad in or listened it on terra gentilly is last workshop and terror really is about kind of identifying customers based on their needs based on their once based on all of that on dh that's all super important, but we're also going to really specifically talk about demographics we're in particular we're gonna talk about geography and the reason for that is very simple we're selling the stores stores exist in physical places so we need to drill down into some of those demographics so that we know what stores we should be targeting and where our customers are. So some of you are probably thinking okay, right? This is a thing about selling to retailers why does it even matter? Do I actually have to understand my ideal customer? Do I have to know who my stories were selling to? The answer is definitely yes because when we have those ideal retail customer profiles, when we know exactly who is buying our product, it makes everything we're going to dio over the next couple of sessions so much easier because if we know who our customers are and we know where they live and where they're shopping and what they like to buy it makes it so much easier to research and target stores it helps us choose the right trade shows I know so often when we're thinking about doing a trade show people are like was it good should I do it well I can't tell you I was good or bad for me but that doesn't mean it's gonna be good or bad for you because you need to know who your customers are where they're shopping and then if those stores are shopping at a particular trade show it makes all those decisions about price branding marketing makes everything easier because any question that you have about your business you can put under the filter of would my ideal customer shop there are they going to like this how are they gonna respond to this is this going to help them make a purchase decision so it's going to make every aspect of what we're going to dio as we're building up all those details of your wholesale business is gonna make every aspect so much easier now I wish I could tell you that there was like a charter a lister a magical website that you can go to that's like input your products in your price point and whatever and then it just spits out your ideal customer when that denies its not so instead of what it is this is actually an exercise in imagination what I'm gonna ask you guys to do over the rest of this segment is I want you to pretend I want you to use your imaginations a little bit you're all creative people I know that you've got him I know that maybe this is slightly outside of your creative wheelhouse of designing products but that's okay if you could do it there, you can do it here so what we're gonna do is we're just going to start out by imagining who our customers are we're going to use all of those empathetic skills that we have and we're going to think about who our customers might be and then from there I think it kind of turns into what I call it a bit of a science experiment it's like a hypothesis this is who I think my customer is and then over time we're going to confirm that I am going to pay attention to them the people who are buying for me I'm going to pay attention to who's responding to my product and who isn't responding to my product and then I'm gonna make changes in that ideal customer profile from there like maybe you thought one thing was happening and then it turns out changed a little bit um and we're also going to help each other as we're working through this so we're going to talk this out hey, no, I think your customers this you guys concert we share in the chat rooms as we get into defining these customers but we're just going to start by imagining this is who I think my customer is we're gonna go from there so first let's be clear a couple things up not everyone is your customer so I called the myth of universal appeal, right? So we want to be like my customers everyone it's all women between twenty five and eighty who are like it's everyone in america who has a baby right that's what that's what we want to say that is so not the case yes you're always gonna have anomalies you're always gonna have people who don't fit your customer profiles but when you try to appealed it everybody you actually don't appeal to anybody. We have to drill down and think about those really specific customers. I heard this great example a couple of years ago where this person was talking about ideal customers of fast food. So right, we think fast food is it appeals to everybody right? Because it's fast but everybody goes there, but if you look distinctly at each of the fast food brands, they're targeting very different people like mcdonald's targets moms with kids like they want the kids under six, but so they're really targeting their moms and everything that they do focuses on that burger king they want like the eighteen to twenty five year old males think about like everything's bigger it's, manly it's that's who they want means the king wendy's when he's been pretty clear in the advertising of who they want, they want that like a thirty year old woman who's kind of health conscious but you know wants to feel like they're healthy while they're going too fast food so three fast food chains they're targeting three very different demographics, so even things that we think of us completely ubiquitous aren't trying to target everyone and that's what helps them build these stronger brands. Now the other thing that I want to very clearly get off the table that you're idle customer is not you they might have some similarities to you, but there are probably two reasons that your ideal customers not you number one you make your product they can't or they don't want to either way, they're not making it so that puts you in a different place in there. The second thing is, for now I think we've established for most of us your ideal customer can afford to spend more than you can write eventually we're gonna get to the point where we can spend as much as the ideal customer and it's gonna be awesome, but for now your idol customer is probably not in the same financial position that you are and typically, that means that they're probably also not in the same financial position as your friends there's that kind of theory that if you take your five closest friends and you average their income, your income is going to fall right in there. It's I don't know who decides these things that apparently it works so the same thing, your friends probably air similar rackets to you if they're not. If all your friends have a ton of discretionary income, you're like, five steps ahead. You probably also not paying attention to this because you're making so much money just selling to your friends that you don't need to sell stores, but for the rest of us were probably not selling to our friends. We're focusing on the people who have more of that discretionary income and who are interested in spending it on our products. All right, so let's, talk about first off, we're gonna get into those demographics, but we're gonna do a few exercises to help us drill down towards them first. And the first is just to identify your customer by a need or desire, because if we know who needs our product, then we can start to imagine you know who that person is, how old she is. I'm just going to use she for this conversation. Some of you, especially online might have male ideal customers, but I think everyone in this room for the most part it's probably a she so we're going to use it because it's easier than they so you know what need does she have? What is her desire? What is your product filling? So I give you some examples so it might be my customers looking for something to wear to an event in a few weeks. This is a really big need of my customer uhm my customer wants relief from the stress of being a busy mom. Maybe your customer wants a non cheesy souvenir from her vacation. It's also happens to be some of my customers maybe it's my customer wants to take a few minutes for herself in the morning, whether that's their coffee or through her really awesome soap that's going to make her laugh. So when we start to know these things that helps this drill down. So if you know that your customer wants really from the stress of being a busy mom, you're going to assume that your customer is probably a mom of a certain age, right? You know, there might be the working mom so that's gonna put them in a certain age record you consort to kind of make these assumptions again we're using imagination here like I know if my customers someone who was looking for something to wear to an event you know, she's buying specifically for the event she's probably little older she might be in her forties but she's got, you know, places to go just gotta go to the dinner with her husband's boss or things like that. So you start to make these assumptions about people based on what you know the need that you know that your product solves for your customer so before we get into those demographics I want to start here what you guys all to tell me? One need that your customer might have that you are products self just one for now there's probably many monica um that she wants to feel chic so even though and I think it's important quantity even though she's a mom yeah oh, yeah sorry, yeah she's a mom, she still wants to feel she right? She wants to feel chic. She wants to feel put together totally awesome. My customer wants relief from high content sugar foods. So do you think that there is a deeper need behind that? Like, is she doing it? Because she has existing health issues or because she's concerned about preventing or just because she gets both seen a documentary and now knows that sugar is really bad right now, I would say it's both, but maybe mostly we don't become aware of what they what's going on with their body until they're already there. Okay, so maybe it's the first one that she wants to rico, you know, well, structure. So all right, my customer wants to be ico friendly without being associate it with I want to make that negative. Ah, while being intelligent and sexy rather than like kitty to be my customer wants to be organized. Awesome. My customer needs to feel stylish and unique, my customers busy, so she wants to feel polished and put together in transition from day to night, and my customer needs unique gifts to celebrate a little person in their life. So you're thinking that your customer is not actually the parent that's the person buying for the parent, sometimes it is apparent, but I'm finding it's a lot of, like aunties or, like godmothers or best friends. Gasam all right, and we were getting online, uh, that their customer has need for unique wall art for home decor. Jan my customer needs to save money and roxana, my product fulfills people who are allergic to synthetic fragrance and provides an option for them. Yeah, and so those are awesome. And one of the things that we want to do is kind of take a step back so that you're not necessarily describing your particular product so it might not be that they need wall art. It might be that they want their home toe look really good when their friends come over for a party. So they're looking for something. You know, that score. They're looking for a piece of art that's going to make them smile or something to make them smile on the way to the bathroom, you know, walk down the hallway. So thinking about how you can kind of take it a step further back, another would be like my customer wants to belong to creative community. Yes, that's absolutely want michael once belonged to a creative community. You know, I think another one could be like my customer wants to feel like you know, her purchases are doing something good in the world. I think that's a case for several of people here. S oh, there's, there's a lot of reasons. It's certainly not one like you guys consider actually sit down and make a list. You know, there are multiple reasons why someone going about your product and the end if we go back, teo, those profiles that we looked at those buying profiles those different types of people are going to be motivated by different things. So, you know, my selector profile, the selectors that are my customers, they're going to be the person who's looking something for something to wear to an event in a few weeks, they're thinking about it, it's on their radar, they're planning their building up their pieces. Um, but someone who's more impulsive is probably, in my case, going to be someone who wants a non cheesy souvenir from her vacation. She's gonna go to the museum store and she's going to buy that awesome necklace. And when people ask your ship back oh, I got it on my trip to san francisco, so you're gonna have more than one need for your customer? Absolutely. They're gonna they're gonna serve different customers. So we'll talk about those profiles, but starting to get those is really helpful. All right? So, that's, the first thing that you could do is come up with those needs and then start to assign, you know, demographics to them. So, you know, in anna's case, if it's going to be the people who are buying it's gonna be the aunties it's going to be the friends, so they're going to fit that certain range, but probably in a lot of cases. They might not have their own kids yet, right? You're finding that so it's a it's a person who they don't have kids but they were just like it was the best cardio and I have ever seen on I have to buy it for whoever and then they're literally doing the mental inventory of look okay who's having a baby you know, I know with a toddler at my shows right? Because they're so bright and part of it is to that those people feel a little less guilty about making that kind of purchase spending that kind of money because they're they're impulsive I love it I got it crap it all, baby all right? This person just had a baby s o right? So that's, what helps you learn some things about your customer? Do they tend to be single in relationships are a little bit of mix of everything kind of a mix generally have a bit more money. I do have people that like this is like select like this is their aspirations teeth you know there are thirty four dollars but I have to have it so there is a bit of reason there but generally yeah impulsive else anyone else kind of see how these people like in your case lindsay so those people who want to look how did you describe them stylish you don't think so so what is that who are they kind of a little bit more so I think no they're definitely like college educated traveled I think um some of them shop that leak kate spade or anthropology so they like something bright and you need something very personal to people that you would say I kind of want to reflect maybe a vibrancy in their personality did we say are they are they single are they hey, we're in that kind of fall in that range I think it's a mix the hard part about selling online for something your rights I don't have a lot of face to face contact so I'm imagining right you have you have some perceptions right but you don't know everything for and that is definitely a challenge and as we kind of move forward and I talk about why I loved trade shows so much this is actually one of the reasons why is because even though I'm selling to a buyer who is them telling to an end retail customer a lot of these profiles that I've created still play out like I see these buyers and I'm like that's that's a susan you learn about susan and I'm like that's that's bernie's like I see it that's not my customer and then they just walked by and I'm like yep I get it so it helps you kind of really see it and start to understand who those customers are so the other things that you can start to think about when you're thinking about those demographics are what else is your customer spend their money on? So you mentioned shopping it kate spade they're shopping anthropology you know what else are they spending their money on because that's going to help us figure out who those people are? So, um you know what restaurants to the eat at what movies do they watch? Maybe they don't watch movies at all, you know, maybe they're buying certain books. What car did they drive again? Maybe they don't have a car at all, you know, maybe they are the people who are using uber that's, you know, clear demographic that's coming out, you know what other brands do they buy? So that can help us start to figure out who our customers like monica who? What? What else is your customer buying? They were buying like, you know, nice purse is anywhere from, like michael cores. Do louie baton something like they want to feel like a stylish, trendy mom probably driving a beemer. Maybe mercedes um, is spend money on getting their hair dye and nice fancy make up they're going to get their nails done every other week like it's, a very polished mom awesome and I think it's an interesting case with yours to where you know, you might have people just like with anna, who are kind of more aspirational, so, like, we have friends who they are, I think they're constantly, like, always broke. But then when she was pregnant with their first kid, she wanted a juicy couture diaper bag that was like being number one that she had to have, and that was so important to her, and so of course he bought it for her. So some of them are going to be the ones driving the bmw and driving the mercedes, and some of them, some of them are going to be the ones who wish they were. You going to get some of that, too? Absolutely. And so what helps us with these demographics is then, like, if I know that my customer might be driving a prius and I have no idea what that demographic is, I'm just gonna have on a google me like prius driver demographics or, like anthropology, demographics, there's a fantastic article that fast company did a few years ago that was literally the entire buying profile of anthropology is customers because google fast company, anthropology fire. So really helpful article just in terms of seeing how a major brand profiles they're customers, but so we can do this. And it's gonna help us start again narrow in on some of those demographics especially if you don't know so you might not know because you've been shopping on your customers and buying online you don't exactly know but if you can imagine what other brands there buying and you can start to get the demographics of those it's going to help you narrow down too so I want you guys to share online and we'll talk to a few more people in our studio audience what other brands does your customer love you know what else are they buying so monica we did you shayla customer buying urbanoutfitters they're buying their buying a lot of um world music okay world inspired music um what house they go to booty grocery stores let's see so does your customer tend to be a little bit younger than you know the urban democrat urbanoutfitters demographic is a little younger it's going from it looks like it's going from twenty fire toe like thirty minutes skips and then I get ladies that are like forty eight fifty five because I'm thinking those of the ladies that want to get their vibe back of the vibrant back so when I'm urban outfitters just kind of casing out the place I still see old early right in urban outfitters that's true there would actually be a skip because I feel like it's someone in my thirties I walk in urban outfitters and I think I can not shop here anymore I got uh but I guess you are like your fifties or sixties and you didn't carry you go back there it's a school interesting is like yeah and I think you know with you I would be curious to see do those kind of demographics hold up is you get the product out more because I look at you and I think like you are clearly a person who shot serving outsider you you have that grand so as your kind of interacting with people that's probably who you tend to gravitate towards until you're kind of bringing in on and so one of the things that I think that you're gonna have to think about as you're adjusting your price point is do those brands still hold true like is it still the urban outfitters? I think it might be the urban outfitters buyer at fourteen ninety nine is it the urban outfitters buyer at thirty dollars back cobbling so that's something that you might want to think about so your your profile might shift a little bit? Okay warren, what else they're your customers buying? I'm having I'm struggling with this one because in my head they're customers that are buying seven dollars so from a farmer's market and so I'm trying to still picture of my ideal customer right on dso in my head some of the things you've been saying like their uber takers over their shopping in anthropology and um how these ones in my head right called me so it's finding the higher price point customers I'm still yeah, I actually think the number one is a great one for you because that tells us you know, so that their their urban right they're not using uber like I only use it when I travel because where I live I don't even think it's a thing um so like no one in my tiny little country town is gonna roll up in there and they're prius and pick me up way know that there had to be more urban you know they are they probably don't drive a car they don't have a car that's why they're using over so you can start you know, but they're also tech savvy they have a smartphone so they kind of so it's kind of starting to hit in there so that's I think for you may be a good place to start just like who is using over and you can kind of go from there we talked about kind of some of the other brands that your customers tiffany where else one other brands of your customers loving her, buying her using and their shopping in nord strom maybe twist um smaller boutiques awesome what else if they buy him? I'm yeah having to switch just right now that I'm in the higher price point that I've committed teo um I know that they're wearing tom's okay because that brand you know, communicating specific message as well as shares are like community commitment so definitely that we align with they shop at whole foods and also the farmer's market as well um they like supporting local so like little boutiques rather than you know, the big box like target kind of thing. Yeah, awesome. So what we getting online? What other brands are people's customers loving? Caroline says her customers are also buying at macy's and nordstrom. Cicely margot my customers are buying betsey johnson uh serena tarantino ah no relation you never know um tula bloom says gallery art just guessing okay, yeah, so starting to think about it again this is it. I love that you said I'm guessing this is absolutely what we're doing right here like we don't really know for a fact that lawrence customers were using uber but it's a pretty safe bet that they probably are right? So we're not necessarily trying to, like, be super accurate and you also don't have to think about the things that are specifically related to your to your products. So I love that shayla wasn't trying to tell me like these are the the coffee brands that they buy you're like the shop in urban outfitter like their this is their life and then they're also buying my coffee so you can start to think about those kind of big picture scenarios um another really useful exercise is to figure out who isn't your customer because that can really help you drill down on this is again where we kind of test that hypothesis so I remember there was like a hot minute where I thought oh yeah like fashion girls like they're totally goodbye my product and then I went to do a trade show in new york and I watched every twenty something fashionista walk on by my booth walk on by my booth never even turn a head never even look house like oh twentysomething fashionistas are not my customer but then I get seriously all right? Well they're not who is buying my product so you want to kind of rule people out as well because that's going to really help you in terms of drilling down on your customers to do any of you guys in the studio audience have a really clear like this is not my customer tiffany you got um well, you know, I've done some flash sales and I was very clear to me like that bargain hunter kind of younger twenty something I shop at target I'm looking for you know as much hillary's I can pick up right? Yeah, not your cops not my customer drifting that's yeah so that's good to know that like the bargain hunter not yours. And that's. Cool. You can let them go then. Yeah. Anyone else know what? Look, I'm not it's, okay? If you don't, we can work on this. Lauren, do you kind of look like maybe you thought ones that are currently that now you can sit down and you can use it? If you know who was carly buying and you know that they're probably not gonna be your customer. The new price point. You could sit down and make note of that that's not my demographic anymore. I'm gonna make some changes to move out of that. So that's totally okay, yes. Feeling needed, everybody that, like you didn't. Because there are some of those people who are going to come with you. Absolutely. They are like those of people who are right now, such a steel like, like, let me stock up on all the on all the products. So, uh, you are goingto you're gonna be alienate some of them, but you're probably not gonna alienate all of them. So

Class Description

Selling your products at local art shows and craft fairs is a great way to network in your community, but it’s not the easiest way to grow your business. Landing your products on the shelves at boutiques or other retailers is the key to success. Join designer, educator and wholesaler Megan Auman to learn how to navigate the complex wholesale market like a pro and get your goods into stores everywhere, by learning how to sell your products to retailers. .

Drawing on her own experiences selling her products, Megan will take you step-by-step through the terminology, policies, pricing strategies, product creation and even distribution methods that you need to successfully work with retailers. You’ll learn everything you need to know about the two parts of a wholesaler’s target market: the store buyer and the eventual retail customer. Megan will also help you navigate the tradeshow landscape. You’ll gain an understanding of buying cycles, finding the right shows, designing a booth, creating and promoting your tradeshow line, and preparing line sheets and catalogs.

Whether you’re an Etsy seller who’s ready to diversify their product line, or a long-time wholesaler ready to expand, this course on selling to retailers will give you concrete, easy-to-apply tools for using wholesaling to bring your products to a larger audience.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Sample Order Form and Wholesale Terms

Trade Show List By Month

Trade Show Packing List

Private Facebook Group Access

Store Prospect List



Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

This is the first course I have bought. That's how valuable it is! I have a wish list of courses I dream of owning, but alas I'm on a 'starving' artist budget. I wish I had more time to watch all the free courses on CREATIVELIVE. I WISH I could 'save' a once for free watch time. they aren't 'conveniently' timed. And there are reasons I don't buy w/o seeing what the course entails vs. cost etc. I might buy more if I was able to do such. There are so many I am interested in but time constraints for watching it or catching a re-run are really prohibitive. I won't buy 'blind' and funds are limited. So I must be selective in choosing what to buy. It has to fulfill multiple requirements for me personally. Perhaps others have this dilema and CL could work on that. Or hey, maybe everyone just has more $ than they know what to do with. That said I am astonished that there are only 2 reviews that are lukewarm at best. This course crosses over so many platforms that whether or not I am ever intending to sell to retailers (which I have zero interest in) it is jammed so heavy with idea's and info on how to expand your mind and creative thinking processes that it's inspired me into action!!! My brain is on fire. Thank you Megan! I'd shave my head to own everything that Sue Bryce has taught. Megan is in that league of sharing insider info that is impossible to put a price on! I was only able to listen to a small percentage of Megan's free class, but it was enough to know that it was pure GOLD! Such Inspirational and visionary idea's are dense in this course. I also have sitting next to me two bags of coffee from one audience member! I think Creativelive is the #1 most amazing source I could ever hope to find and I still can't get over the steller excellence of the team that runs this. I live 4 hrs from Seattle (on a good day) and crave to be in an audience...but I love watching from my forest hideaway! The glitchiness in streaming during this course was annoying. I have broadband and multiple browsers to avail upon but there's something afoul in the air possibly because each browser had issues. Either audio was not working or visual was not working. I had to open 2 browsers. One for hearing and one for seeing. I hear from other brick and morters that make me think it is/was statewide. I will put the blame on Century Link because that was the common denominator. I'm following through on that one. They have been quirky ever since they took over Qwest. I'll end with major kudo's for the fantastic offerings that CREATIVELIVE has given to creative's everywhere! My life was changed when I stumbled on this tremendous opportunity. I am so forever grateful!

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This is the perfect class for me! Was looking for this kind of information about doing trade shows and getting in to retail stores and found driblets of info here and there online. But, this is the whole deal and real deal. I think Megan is an AWESOME teacher and find her so easy to connect with. I love that she is funny and engaging and she clearly cares about the studio audience. She's a talented metalsmith and talented teacher. The information she gives in this course is so so so valuable. I feel like after going through this course and having it as reference I will be so ready and confident with taking my jewelry business to the next level. She makes it so approachable and breaks everything down. Thank you Megan!!


Absolutely fantastic! Meg's course was one of, if not THE, most comprehensive and educational pieces I've seen in a long time. The knowledge she shared was dead on, inspiring and very, very generous and gracious of her. Meg presented the materials very well and the added bonuses were...well, just awesome! I've followed her blog for a long time and now I'm a fan of her classes. I'll be taking/buying more! Thank you SO much, Meg and Creative Live! 10 out of 5 stars for this class! - Ronda