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Product sourcing in Europe in 2022: How To Guide

Product sourcing will always be an extremely important discussion for many, from manufacturers to those looking to start their brand.

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Product sourcing introduction

The product sourcing process is every activity that includes the identification and assessment of potential suppliers. Moreover, it also includes selecting and engaging an appropriate supplier who offers the best value for your company and brand.

A lot of products that are sold in Europe, but also worldwide, are being imported from China. Approximately 90% of goods are manufactured in China; therefore, it makes sense to source them from China, as the price is a lot lower at the source.

Aerial view of container ship sailing in sea

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prices started to rise, making it more expensive to source products directly from China. On top of that, there are people and companies that simply do not want to obtain their products from China, and would gladly opt for alternatives, such as sourcing products from Europe.

Another important aspect that played a great part in shifting the way products are sourced, while also skipping the wholesalers or the middlemen, is the rise of D2C brands (Direct to consumer). The wholesale model is slowly dying, while the D2C business model is continuously expanding.

Numerous brands are dependent solely on their own channels of distribution, skipping additional steps. Hence, they also want to have complete control over their product sourcing, while also making sure that the highest quality is provided. Moreover, as the influencer economy is growing, there needs to be as numerous sourcing alternatives as possible; as influencers tend to start their own brands and launch their own product lines.

Product sourcing in Europe vs. product sourcing in Asia

It is essential to mention that products from China are usually sourced in extremely large quantities – the larger the quantity, the cheaper the price of shipping is. If a European brand, for example, or an individual wants to launch a smaller product line, it would be cheaper and more efficient to do the whole process in Europe. Shipping for an order, for example, 100 samples, will cost a lot more than the product itself, therefore, alternative sourcing options come to mind.

Some other benefits to consider in sourcing in Europe:

  • Faster delivery times
  • Minimum order quantities can be smaller than in Asia
  • Large order quantities are also possible
  • European Union provides confirmations and certificates such as  “Made in Europe”
  • Better quality control
  • Higher quality products (usually)
  • Secure payment methods

Of course, it should be mentioned that you should always find a European manufacturer that can offer you a competitive price but also cater to your needs and wants.

Where can you find a manufacturer for your products? That is where we get to Wonnda.

Wonnda: The tool to launch private label products for retailers & e-commerce companies

Wonnda was built to take out the guesswork when it comes to sourcing and launching a product line through private labels.

Here at Wonnda, we work with top European manufacturers for private label production and contract manufacturing. The first step in getting your business to market is probably the most crucial – finding the right production partner for your project. But even when a product line is launched, later on, you can expand your business portfolio with other product lines and products.

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The great advantage of wonnda.com is that you can simply let our platform do the heavy lifting. On wonnda, you can find product ideas and inspiration, as well as the right manufacturers. With our collaborative sourcing tool, you’ll be able to launch your next best-seller, fully digitally. Sounds interesting? Then sign up on wonnda.com.

Once you find a perfect manufacturer, we will also list some steps that will help you on approaching a manufacturer with your product line idea.

If you want to start your own brand or product line, having a manufacturer is an extremely important part of the process. Both you and the manufacturer are looking for a long-term relationship, so it’s very important to establish a good connection from the very first contact in order for the production process to go as smoothly as possible.

In order to do that, make sure to put effort into the request and put as many details as possible about your product idea. This way, we can find the best match for you, and the manufacturer can have all the information to make your idea come true. Let us list some essential steps to follow when sending an inquiry to the manufacturers.

No.1: Being descriptive and precise as much as possible

It is important to make sure to give all the details of the product you want to launch. The more information the manufacturer receives, the better the outcome will be. We can then make sure to pair you with the perfect manufacturer to turn your idea into reality, and for you to launch your product line.

It’s okay to not know every single detail about the product you want to launch, especially if this is the first time launching a product

No.2: Manufacturers love benchmark products

Were you walking on the street and saw a product very similar to the one you want to launch? Or perhaps while scrolling on Instagram you saw the packaging of your dreams? Don’t be afraid to share that along with your request. There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other brands, and it helps manufacturers to understand the idea you have in mind.

Collection Cosmetic Beauty Products Accessories. Essentials. Layout. Fashion Makeup Set. Trendy Design. Lipstick Brushes Eyeshadow. Creative Pastel Color. Art Concept Style. Flat lay.

If you don’t have a design that is your own, the best way to illustrate your idea is to use other products as a reference.

No. 3: They want to know about the features, values and effects a product aims to have

When formulating the request, be sure to communicate to the manufacturer the values and affects you want your product to have.

They don’t know anything outside of what you tell them. For you, something that seems obvious or unnecessary might not be known to them. So make sure to tell everything that is essential in the production. The very first inquiry you send needs to be as specific as possible.

Ask yourself, what can’t be left out of the process? Which features are fundamental? What is essential for you, and what do you value?

No. 4: Explain exactly how you want to sell your product

If they think your idea is worthy, manufacturers will be interested in maintaining a long-term relationship with you.

Be clear about your distribution strategy and how you plan on selling it, whether it’s online or offline, etc. Give them a clear view of your distribution and make sure to present it like you know what you’re talking about – even if you don’t.

Manufacturers need to know when you plan on launching your product, so they can personalize the production line and deliver everything in due time.

However, don’t forget to be realistic. If you work with a private label manufacturer, for example, it can take 4 to 8 weeks after the order confirmation, for your product to be shipped.

White labeling, on the other hand, is a faster process, while contract manufacturing is a long one since it’s more adjusted for your needs.

It’s important to always keep in mind that this is not an impulsive process that happens overnight, it takes weeks of planning and adapting to produce and deliver your product.

Are you a first-timer and don’t know what is the difference between white label, private label, and contract manufacturing? Click here to find out more!

No. 6: Be transparent and reasonable

When you have an idea, it’s normal to want to start producing right away and have samples on your table Monday morning. However, this is not realistic. You need to be reasonable with manufacturers and understand the complications that come with the industry. Depending on the product, the supply chain can be complicated and is constantly affected by external forces.

Be aware that the unstable era we live in can slow down the production process even more. It can happen, for example, that a supplier is having a hard time getting the raw materials needed, and because of that, the production line is delayed. This is just one of many examples that can affect the production and product sourcing process.

To dig a bit deeper into requests specifically, let’s now list the 3 most important parameters that are to be included in your product inquiry.

In every request, there are three parameters that should always be included, in order to be as specific as possible with the manufacturer.

These elements are as follows:

  1. Quantity
  2. Target price
  3. Total budget

The ideal would be to include all of the items in the list above, but sometimes that is not possible, so make sure you include at least one of the three. These elements are necessary for the manufacturer to be sure that they can provide you with an estimate that matches what you have in mind.

Are you ready now to launch your own product line? Let us know because we are here for you!

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