What to expect at a Notonthehighstreet Pitch Up event

No primary category set

Today I went to the NotOnTheHighStreet Pitch Up in Richmond to see how many sellers turned up and what type of products Notonthehighstreet are looking for.

There were literally hundreds of sellers, about 400 during the course of the day came to show their wares with hordes of Notonthehighstreet category specialists excited to see new products and hear seller’s stories.

Everyone from home and garden sellers, to clothing and food and drink retailers turned up. Although only about one in five would be accepted to sell on the marketplace those who weren’t were given valuable advice on how to improve their products, either with a view to be accepted in the future or genuine advice on how to improve their products and grow their business.

What are Notonthehighstreet looking for?

Notonthehighstreet are often accused of being picky when it comes to product acceptance but that’s a good thing. It’s a unique marketplace majoring on gifts and the unusual and they’re not willing to lower their standards to accept the mundane. They know what they’re buyers are looking for and they’re generally early adopters, trendy and willing to pay for the right products.

Examples of this are that whilst Notonthehighstreet sell clothing, their category managers always have one eye on the gift market. Hats, gloves, scarves and handbags have a much higher chance of acceptance than jeans and jumpers. It’s also not enough to have a product which fits their existing categories – you may have lovely lamp shades, but they already have lamp shade sellers, what makes yours unique and trend setting that will grab a buyer’s attention?

It’s also very obvious that Notonthehighstreet customers demand premium products. You could have the best product in the world but if it’s not presented well it’s not going to make the cut. Think about the buyer’s experience when they open your item. Whilst at the end of the day you could be just be selling a silk scarf, there’s a big difference between shoving it in a jiffy bag and beautifully presenting it in a custom embossed gift box which not only looks great but will also command a premium price.

Often it’s not just the product that’s the hook, it could be the story of how you came to be selling or making that product and Notonthehighstreet are brilliant at helping translate your story into a compelling product offering online.

Are you ready to scale your business?

One interesting tip I picked up is that Notonthehighstreet think about scaling your business. If you self manufacture products you need to think about how you would cope if you suddenly started selling 50 times your current run rate.

Notonthehighstreet promote their new partners in advertising, email marketing and possibly home page exposure. They want to be certain that if they partner with you that you can meet the demand without the quality of your product slipping.

Trend setting

Perhaps the nicest thing about the day is that some of the businesses are at an early stage of product development and whilst the answer may be “No” today, the category managers were keen to explore the business, hear about future plans and very willing to make suggestions on how the seller could successfully apply in the future.

Spotting an early trend or unusual gift is what the Pitch Up is all about. Even the sellers who are accepted were asked how they see their business developing, how they’ll adapt to embrace new trends and changing seasons and how they can keep Notonthehighstreet’s customers engaged and buying.

Attend the next Notonthehighstreet Pitch Up

If you missed out on today, Notonthehighstreet have another Pitchup event in Edinburgh on the 9th of March.

Ideally of course we’d love to hear you rocked up and were instantly accepted to sell on the marketplace, but even if you’re not successful this time around you’ll find specialist category managers that know the gift business inside out and can give you tips to improve your products, packaging and grow your business.

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