Pre-Launch Retail Market Research: A Checklist

Zach DeAngelo

Purchasing “syndicated” sales data, that’s pulled from many retailers by third-party vendors, is expensive. However, that doesn’t mean you should fly blind when it comes to understanding how your product fits into the broader marketplace. You just need to get scrappy. 

Whether you’re focused on direct-to-consumer or retail, you need to dive deeply into online and offline channels to see what’s already out there, what’s working, and what’s not.  Specifically, walk into a retailer where your target customer shops and answer the following questions about the current product set.  


What’s the price point of the competition?

Where do I want my price point to be? (e.g. low, middle, premium)


How are the current products packaged?  

What are the primary benefits? 

What claims do they make? 

What ingredients do they use? 


How are the current products being promoted? 


What category are they in? What stores are they in?

Movement (aka velocity) 

How many units/SKU/store/week do they sell?

Different retailers and categories have different “thresholds” or “tolerances” for sales. The easiest way to find this out is simply by asking the buyer for your category.

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