A proven strategy to successfully sell home decor products and go international (PART 3)

by Tiina Wilen

If you have launched a home decor product line, the next essential step is to get your products in the hands of your buyers – and do it quickly. In this article, we discuss how to sell home decor products.

In the Physical Product Line article series, we cover

In this article, we cover how to sell your products.

  • First, what is your future vision for your product line?
  • Second, do you plan to go international?
  • Third, what kind of sales channels do you plan to launch?
Sell home decor products by Avenue Method TheAveneur
Sell your own collection of home decor products

What is your future vision?

Is this collection going to become a big collection in the future? You most likely start with a few items but do you plan to keep it small or do you plan to launch hundreds or thousands of products? Will you be launching several types of products or keep it narrow?

The pros of launching a large collection are that you have the possibility to attract many customers and sell several items to your loyal customers. But it will require far bigger investments than if you plan to keep your collection niched and neat.

Niched collections with one or a few product categories and styles have more narrow markets, but also allow you to focus on your core products and essentially become known for that.

In my opinion, niche collection is preferred, particularly at the start of your business.

Start with vision casting: what does your collection look like in 10, or 20 years? What’s the size of your total collection, and what kind of product do you sell?

Do you plan to go international?

If your local market is large enough, then going international might not be part of your plan. However, many designers and professionals launch collections to be able to international and build a global brand, which operationally can be a challenge with a service-based business model.

If you plan to go international, which parts of the world do you see your brand and products to available? Can your products sell at international markets, or are there some restrictions to consider? Do you need to localize your products to be able to sell overseas?

For example, if you sell bedding, the sizing is quite different in the US and in The EU markets. This could mean that you can’t sell the same products in both markets, or at least, you need to localize your being collection to suit both markets,

If you sell products with certain materials and ingredients, are they approved in the markets you’re going to, or do they require some special approvals?

What language should you use in your marketing?

For American or any other native English-speaking brands, this is often a non-consideration, but for the rest of us – it’s highly important to consider. When launching on international markets, you must translate all your materials to suit that market, or at least, to English. Also, this might cause some imposter syndrome – for some (me included when I got started) it feels unnatural to use English in marketing, particularly if your brand is personal to you.

What language should you use internally?

If you are building an international business, you most likely will add international colleagues to our team. When you decide to do that you, also need to consider changing your internal communication and documenting in English. This might also feel unpleasant for many small businesses, but it opens your small business to the rest of the world, and enable you to attract team members from all over the globe – which in turn can increase your brand awareness, local know-how, opportunities, and profits.

What sales channels will you activate to sell home decor products?

I recommend you consider multiple sales channels to maximize your chances for success. Launching internationally is expensive, and you want to make sure that you have the right resources to do that.

Does your pricing allow you to leverage different channels?

Many businesses make the mistake of only calculating their profits based on certain sales channels. For example, your e-commerce profits are likely bigger than your wholesale profits. But keep in mind: selling through e-commerce is not free, you need to pay for technology, hosting, and marketing.

Nobody will find your e-commerce store by accident. Selling through e-commerce requires high-level marketing skills together with big budgets for brand building. Of course, if you already have an established brand, you can launch your products for your current audience and grow from that.

That is why adding a home decor collection as an additional revenue stream to your already successful interior design business is a great strategy!

International e-commerce

If you choose to launch an e-commerce sales channel, you want to make sure you choose a platform that allows you to grow. You also want to make sure the platform has payment systems and integrations in place, as well as features for calculating taxes and shipping based on the customer’s location.

We recommend either WooCommerce (if you have WordPress skills in-house) or Shopify. If you are selling only a few items, then a sales cart such as ThriveCart is a great solution.

Sell home decor products internationally
Sell home decor products internationally

Internationalization with partners

If you decide to go international with partners, then first figuring out what kind of partners you need and then finding the right ones will be part of your sales strategy.

Different types of partners

  • Resellers
  • Agents
  • Distributors

Resellers

Resellers are often stores or showrooms, or any other professionals that sell directly to consumers. They can operate a brick-and-mortar store, an e-commerce store, or sell through projects, such as interior design and decor projects.

The resellers buy your products and keep stock, and you need to agree on what kind of terms, both in terms of product quantities (MOQ = Minimum Order Quantity) and prices they get.

Agents

Agents represent brands in their local areas. In some countries, this could cover the whole country, whereas, in other countries, they only cover a certain area.

Agents don’t generally keep stock, aside from the sales samples. Agents sell your products to resellers, and not directly to consumers. Some companies act both as resellers with their own store, and agents selling to other stores.

Agents get usually paid a commission per sale.

Distributors

Distributors own their markets and have exclusive rights to sell your products – they also set prices for your products in their markets. Distributors often stock your products, and sell to agents and resellers, but rarely to consumers.

Margins that make sense

Noe that you know the different ways of selling your products through partners, you need to calculate your prices to have proper margins for each channel. You also need to create price lists that are specific to these different types of buyers.

International marketplaces

You can also sell your products through international marketplaces. You can launch a store on Amazon or Etsy, to get your products sold. This is a great way to get your sales going, but they should not be your only channels. You can’t control how these platforms work, and when you are building your future, you need to keep control over the sales channels and customer relationships.

Are you ready to sell home decor products?

If you have an idea that you want to develop into a product line, you should consider launching it and quickly growing it to become an international brand. This is one of the Growth Activators we help our clients implement when they are ready to add new revenue streams and expand internationally.

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