Boutet outlined how to consider price, margins, rebates and logistics and special demands. He concluded by challenging the audience to examine their own companies’ SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats before entering European markets.
Practices vary on these key factors:
- Price: how to calculate your prices? Know the category levels in the country and the prices changed by competitors.
- Margins: vary by country and distribution channels.
- Rebates: prepared for different demands before negotiations to include in your estimated costs. Rebates may be structured to include net price + marketing bonuses, listing bonus, payment terms
- Special demands: not calculated in cash, but in your time: showroom installation, testing
- Logistics: depend on country, channel, category and volume. Aspect include warehouse or store delivery locations, special needs for promotions.
How to approach and access specific markets
- Analyze markets you want to approach, where can you can enter successfully.
- Who/where are your competitors and potential partners
- What are your strengths—innovation, design, quality?
- Weaknesses: you are unknown –they don’t know you, your products may ship from distant locations.
- Opportunities: each country has big leaders. Competing big suppliers can’t offer flexibility to small stores.
- Threats: Many competitors, many items direct from China and low price
For example, with a delegated approach with a wholesaler—he will know the market and can do business quickly. You send prices, samples and documentation. However, disadvantages include your distance from your customer and can be expensive for fees and your frequent trips to Europe.
In a structured approach with partner, you work under your own name, can sell your own complete collection, you control your concept, you keep the data and information.
To be successful in the EU market, you must be well-prepared, have a winning strategy and adapt that strategy for each client.