Whether you are starting a new business or wish to expand your existing business, you must be well aware of the art of product sourcing. As a retail buyer, importing high-quality products to stock your shelves is essential for the success of your business. Without the right products, you won't be able to get the right customers to your store. And, of course, no business survives without the customers.
There are multiple methods of buying products for your business and then selling them to potential buyers. One of the best methods of getting the products for your business is importing them from other countries.Do you know what product sourcing is? Are you aware of the steps involved in importing a product from other countries? Do you know what factors you must keep in mind while sourcing high-quality products from China? If not, this article is a must-read guide for you.
Here we will discuss product sourcing, its steps, and the factors to keep in mind while sourcing high-quality products from China. So, stay with us and read this article to disclose all information you need to know about product sourcing.
What is Product Sourcing?
In simple words, product sourcing is defined as the process of finding the best products that you can sell through your business. The idea behind sourcing a product is, buy the products from the best suppliers and resell them to your potential customers. The products can either be sourced domestically or internationally.
Before sourcing products, you need to ensure that your business is up and running successfully. Otherwise, you might end up stocking products on your shelves.
7 Steps to Successful Product Sourcing
Sourcing new products can be pretty challenging. It's not that simple to find a new product and simply put it in your stores. There are a lot of factors to consider before sourcing the best products for your business.
That's why we have listed a few steps here, which, if followed, will make product sourcing much easier for you. If you carefully perform all the steps discussed below, you can make your sourcing task more manageable.
So, grab a pen and paper and note down the steps listed below to ensure that your product importing experience turns out to be a successful one.
Find the Best Product
The first step of successful product sourcing is conducting thorough research to find the best product. Retailers need to conduct market research, find the most in-demand product and offer the least competition when they sell it.
Choosing a product to sell without proper research often leads to failure. Some of the things that need to be encountered while conducting research are:
Gather data to analyze, see what the numbers are depicting from specific stores. Is there enough potential for sales and growth for the product you choose, or do you need to shift to another product?
Analyze the consumer trends. See what consumers are searching for and what they are talking about on social media. Pay importance to the concerns of the consumers and try to launch a product that resolves their concerns.
Try to analyze which products are trending in that particular category. Also, look for which companies are trying to address these trends.
Gathering all this information will enhance your chances of success. All this information makes it easier for the buyers to make crucial decisions because the more they know about the product, the more the chances of their success.
Get in Touch with the Suppliers
Once you have finalized the product you will be selling, the next step is to find the best suppliers to source your products. This step is very crucial.
China is the best country to import high-quality products. We all know that China is the largest market hub globally and has gained a reputation for delivering premium quality products to countries all across the globe. You can also source high-quality products from China.
Now you might be wondering how I can find the best suppliers in China, especially when I know nothing about how the business operates in that country? Don't worry. That's where sourcing agents can help you.
Hire the Right Sourcing Agents
You can get in touch with some best sourcing agents in China. They will handle all your product sourcing-related tasks. Sourcing agents are responsible for performing various tasks such as helping you find the best suppliers, negotiating with them on your behalf, and delivering your products safely in your country.
So, it is always advised to find the best sourcing agents and get in touch with them so that your entire sourcing task turns out to be successful.
Once you have finalized the deal with the sourcing agents, it's time to request product samples. Requesting samples is essential because no one would love to buy a car without test driving it. Similarly, analyzing samples before placing the final order is necessary as this is a great way to get feedback from team members.
Once you receive samples, you can analyze the product with your team and see if the supplier is providing the right product or not. Ordering samples is a great way to know how the supplier handles his first transaction.
Also, requesting multiple samples is an integral part of your sourcing strategy and is the best way to test the quality of products.
Place a Trial Order
Once you have analyzed the samples and finalized the deal with the suppliers, it’s time to place the trial order. This means you can ask your sourcing agent for a certain number of units to be trialed across a retail chain. This indicates that you have to test the product in certain stores.
As a buyer, you can choose to trial certain products from the supplier’s overall lineup instead of ordering the entire lineup.
While analyzing the product, the buyers can set specific parameters and key performance indicators during the trial run, such as how long the trial should run, sales ratios, customer feedback, etc.
Evaluate the Supplier and Sourcing Agent
Either to move forward with a supplier and sourcing agent or not entirely depends on how they perform during the trial run. Evaluate the performance of your suppliers and the sourcing agents based on the parameters you have set for your company.
When the trial run ends, check if the product meets expected goals or not. Did your product over perform or underperform? Check how the product was received in the stores. Were the products delivered on time?
The answers will help you analyze the performance of the suppliers and the sourcing agents and decide to retain or choose some other people. In short, these details will help you to decide to make or break the relationship.
If you decide not to pursue a particular sourcing agent, honest and constructive feedback will help you understand why the relationship didn't proceed further.
Consider Other Supplier/Sourcing Agent as an Option
If your experience with a particular supplier or a sourcing agent doesn't turn out to be a good one, skipping that supplier should always be an option. You should have multiple options in your mind. It's unnecessary to work with a particular sourcing agent, even if the experience was terrible with them. Instead, you can choose some other sourcing agent among plenty of sourcing agents available in the market.
Your success depends on how good you are in dealing with your suppliers and conducting research in finding the best sourcing agents for your sourcing task.
There are plenty of benefits of keeping multiple sourcing agents as an option, such as; you get better prices for the products you purchase. Resultantly, you get the best products at the most economical price. Also, you get a better quality product when you are working with multiple suppliers.
So, research to find the best sourcing agents to ensure that your business turns out to be a successful one.
Sourcing high-quality products for your business is never easy. It requires a lot more research and sincerity. As a buyer, you have to research to find the best product to source and then get in touch with the best suppliers through the best sourcing agents.
Sourcing agents perform various tasks, including finding the best suppliers, negotiating with the suppliers, and getting your products delivered in your country.
You can request your sourcing agents to send product samples to you, which you can analyze and then decide based on performance to continue working with them or choose some other suppliers.
So, you must keep multiple supplier options in your mind to ensure that you get the best products delivered to you at the most economical prices.
FAQ | All You Need to Know About Product Sourcing
What Are the Responsibilities of Sourcing Agents?
Sourcing agents can either be companies or individuals who help business owners import high-quality products from one country to the other. They help business owners find the best suppliers and get high-quality products delivered at the most economical prices.
How to Find a Good Sourcing Agent?
To find a good sourcing agent, you have to search online or ask for recommendations from other business owners. Once you get in touch with the sourcing agents, you can interview them and ask relevant questions. If they provide satisfactory answers to your questions, you can make a deal with them.
What Questions Should I ask Sourcing Agents?
Ask them about their experience, work history, suppliers, delivery time, and the payment method they accept.
Why Do I Need A Sourcing Agent in China?
Your sourcing agent in China will take full care of the entire sourcing process and ensure that you get premium products from the best suppliers and at the most economical prices.
What is the Payment Sourcing Agents Payment Procedure in China?
Generally, there is no standard to pay sourcing agents in China. However, business owners have to pay somewhere between 5%-10% of the order cost as a fee.
My name is Bill Zhong, and I am a professional content writer. Currently, I am working as a marketing manager at Sourcing Nova. I love to write high-quality and SEO optimized blog posts on various topics including; digital marketing, innovative technologies, online businesses and much more. I have been writing quality articles and blog posts for the last five years.
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