Expanding your product range – should you, or shouldn’t you?

A lot of retail businesses have peaks and troughs in their sales. Usually it’s because of seasons, weather, or a particular event, such as Christmas. And when there’s a lull in sales, what can be done to boost turnover during the quieter times of the year? Is considering expanding your product range the answer?

If you sell a single type of product, then expanding into another line can feel risky. If you already have a large product range, what value will it be to add more to the mix?

There’s no right or wrong answer, but I thought I’d write some tips for you to consider and add some practical steps to take before you make the leap and add to your existing product range.

changes to your existing products

Before you consider a completely new product, can you make changes to existing products to expand your range?

Instead of going all out and introducing something completely new to your range, firstly can you make changes to your existing products? Yes, there will be manufacturing implications to consider, but it’s worth exploring.

What sort of product?

What type of product are customers likely to buy alongside your product?

Put yourself in the position of a shopper. What type of product are they likely to buy at the same time as they purchase yours? If you’re an ecommerce business, step away from your desk and visit some stores. Look at what retailers are placing on the shelves near your product type to give you an insight into possible products to add to your range.

Think price

Check price points in store so you know what cost price you’ll need.

And whilst you’re out and about, do some price point research, looking at the products you’re thinking of introducing. This will help you with your costings as you’ll be clear on the cost price you need before you approach possible suppliers.

What does your customer think?

Ask you customer what they think.

Before you dive in, wouldn’t it be great if you could get some insights from your existing customers? You can conduct market research with a questionnaire, asking thoughts on your social media, or running a focus group. The information you get from your customer will be invaluable.

And what if you want to attract a new customer profile? Then research is really important! Please don’t wing it and jump in without asking what their thoughts are.

Testing, testing

If you’re expanding your product range into a bit of an unknown, can you find a supplier who will produce small quantities for you, or offer small minimum order quantities? Yes, the initial unit cost will probably be higher, but your risk will be lower as you’re unlikely to be left with tonnes of stock should it not work out.


Can you see if the new product is likely to be a success by co-promoting with another company? Perhaps there’s a business that has a similar customer profile to your own business that would be a perfect fit.

Benefits of expanding your product range

Adding to your product range can increase sales and possibly help you to break into a new market.

The above tips should help you make an informed decision before expanding your product range. Apart from increasing your turnover (and profit), a benefit to adding to your range is that you can also break into a new customer market.

Make sure you consider all the angles before you go for it and don’t be tempted to go with a product if it doesn’t quite fit. You’ll have a much harder sell and possibly be left with stock as a consequence or be faced with returns.

Want to know how you can build returns into your marketing strategy, take a read of my blog by clicking here.

But if you do find that product which expands your range and increases sales, then happy days! Go for it!

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