Product Development · E-Commerce

Best way to get feedback/contact retailers regarding a SaaS product in development?

Vince Marconi Founder President at Price Patrol, LLC

May 23rd, 2016

My company Price Patrol is working on a SaaS / B2B product for retail companies (both eCommerce and Brick & Mortar).  The product is still underdevelopment, however we do have some mocked up screenshots and we are looking for feedback.  Who at a retail organization is best to reach out to?  What is the best way to connect with them? 

Patricia Neuray Cofounder at Ripe Daily Network

May 23rd, 2016

Hi Vince: Thanks - that is helpful….I think this would definitely appeal to the marketing group. I would try to reach the most senior person (CMO if possible) and make sure you have a very concise voicemail and email that articulates the benefits of the product in a few simple bullets at most. I would also make sure the headline of your email is short but articulates the benefits to them. It is so hard to get someone’s attention in email so the email has to give them a reason to open it. I would start with mid-size retailers rather than going after the largest ones. Chances are that they are being pitched by 20 companies a day so you are better off going to them once you have some clients. They will most likely not test something brand new in the market without hearing more from references and testimonials of current customers. If you don’t already have the contacts, I would try to hire a part-time lead gen person who has some retail contacts and could make intros. It would be worth paying someone on a commission basis to have them open the doors for you. I would also make sure your website is optimized to get as much organic search as possible. That is still going to be the best way people to find you. If you can have fresh content on your site, have your site optimized for mobile web and also make the content share-able through Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook etc. These three things are rewarded by Google and their algorithm will rank you higher from some of those best practices. Hope this helps! Patricia FD:Discuss New Comment on Best way to get feedback/contact retailers regarding a SaaS product in development? [Vince Marconi] Commented on by Vince Marconi Technology minded entrepreneur with success in multiple industries. Founder/CEO of Price Patrol, looking for CTO & Advisors to scale! For some clarity: The product would allow the retailer to see the location in real time of users of the consumer app that have searched for or saved to their wish list products that the retailer has in stock. The retailer can send offers and discounts to the shopper. Upvote | Downvote [social sharing] Read 6 more >>

Greg Gerik Growth & Revenue Marketing, Product Marketing, Data Fusion, Speaker

May 23rd, 2016

Vince, without more details regarding the exact product offering, it would be difficult for me to suggest any one group.  However, depending on what you offer, I would recommend you target reaching out to the group that would use the product within the hierarchy of a retailer and the group or person that would own the budget for the solution.  Depending on what you offer, I could see it sitting with the buyers, the procurement team, the commerce team, etc.

I would also recommend that you position the request as a longer term relationship than just a one-time request.  If you find the right alpha partner they can be invaluable throughout the entire dev process.  After you get through Beta, developing a customer advisory board for the same purpose will help to bring the feedback into development as customer needs and market conditions change and shift.
 
Depending on your ideal customer I would be happy to make some intros.

Ema Chuku Designer. Product Developer. Founder @ NuPad

May 23rd, 2016

Retailers are classified as either boutiques or mass stores.. You need to specify which and what industry. If it's in fashion, your best bet for boutiques is visit the store. You can try cold calling but from experience visiting the store (in person) is best way to go.

As for mass-stores, you have to find a way to get hold of the buying office (many are listed on their website "Abou-Corporate" page).. Or you can go straight to one of their branch stores, connect with an employee and juice them to give you full name of the Dept buyer. You can usually figure out email from there "[removed to protect privacy]"

That said, more info of your question is needed to give more accurate answer.

Please note, most retailers don't buy into "undeveloped products", they need to see and feel something before making their considerations.

Sidney Sclar SID the SECURITY PRO at sidthesecuritypro.com

May 23rd, 2016

Check out a resource like exhibitor.com.   You want to grab the attention of the Event Planner or the site location before seeking feedback from a single vendor.

Vince Marconi Founder President at Price Patrol, LLC

May 23rd, 2016

For some clarity:

The product would allow the retailer to see the location in real time of users of the consumer app that have searched for or saved to their wish list products that the retailer has in stock. The retailer can send offers and discounts to the shopper.





Vince Marconi Founder President at Price Patrol, LLC

May 23rd, 2016

Thank you very much Patricia and everyone who has assisted me here. This is excellent advise I will be using!

Karen Adams

May 23rd, 2016

Hi Vince,
I'm launching a b2b SME 
retail analytics tool aimed at bricks and clicks. We meet with potential collaborators on an ongoing basis. Would you like to have a chat?

I have some concerns though; 
  • You appear to have developed a product in the absence of retailer feedback
  • You are operating in a market place in which it appears that you have little expertise/networks
  • How certain are you of the pain point that you are addressing? (though it sounds fab)
We have a sizeable beta community signed up to our app. 
I'd be happy to have an initial discussion with you to see whether we can help one another.
Pl connect on LinkedIn if you'd like to.
Regards,
Karen


Patricia Neuray Cofounder at Ripe Daily Network

May 23rd, 2016

HI Vince: Can you share the value proposition of the product? That would definitely help in terms of providing some advice on best person to reach out to within a retail org. Thanks, Patricia

Patrece Bryan Product, Content and Communications Strategist, Communications Advisor at Apartment

May 23rd, 2016

I've had success targeting the user of a product within a company, along with the tech procurement folks and the budget holder/ decision maker.

Best of luck tou you!

Rill Hodari

May 23rd, 2016

Usually retailers such as Walgreens or Target have brand manager focusing on a category such as beauty products or apparel. Sent from my iPhone