Last year was challenging for the majority of businesses, but we want to make sure the past doesn’t have an impact on the future! This year UK’s Finest is here to help you achieve your exporting goals as we continue to champion Trade without Travel opportunities! We saw exceptional growth in 2021, with 1300+ connections and 5 export deals across both UK’s Finest marketplaces, and we’re not stopping there for 2022!
Our marketplace has been created to give you the opportunity to find buyers in your desired market and our search functions provide the ability to see if your products match the buyers criteria. Buyers love the fact that they can view a digital shop window of the very best UK Food & Drink products, and after passing the milestone of 100 buyers this month, we want to make sure all UK Seller members make the most of their listing on the marketplace.
One buyer connection on UK’s Finest is all it takes, and before you know it you could be shipping your products across the globe!
Lets start with your profile
Your profile will help buyers decide if they want to connect with you or not, therefore it’s important that it makes a strong and lasting impression. Here are some top tips to enhance your profile:
1. Aim for consistent imagery
Your product photography is the best visual tool you have for enticing buyers to connect, so ensure that your profile isn’t cluttered with a variety of images sizes, styles and formats. You can only showcase 6 product images, so make them count by making them consistent and clear so that buyers understand the types of products you offer. A white background is often the best to help products stand out.
When it comes to adding a description to your product’s, keep it concise. A few short sentences are usually enough. We’d recommend breaking up the text with bullet or vertical pipe symbol e.g | or • in a product description, as you are unable to format into a listed bullet format within this section.
2. Select the correct categories for your products
Buyers and Department for International Trade (DIT) Overseas Post frequently search for suitable companies using the Primary Operating Sector and Product Features categories. This means if you haven’t selected all of the relevant categories for your business, you risk your brand not being found by buyers you could be perfect for! There is no limit to the number of Sectors or Features you can select, so if you’re not sure between a few selections, then it’s could be better to select them all (as long as they’re relevant).
We’ve recently added new Product Features additions such as FDA – US Approved and No Added Sugar, so check back to see if your selections match your brand and product offering and update them for 2022.
3. Match your target markets with your brand’s export strategy
If it’s been a while since you reviewed your profile, it’s likely that the countries you are targeting may have changed or you could have recently started selling into a new market. Make sure your profile reflects your new export plan by updating your Countries of Interest and Currently Exporting To selections.
We’d recommend outlining 10 key target markets for your Countries of Interest selections. If you want to connect with buyers from all markets, make sure you select Open to Opportunities.
Keeping these selections up-to-date you’ll ensure that the marketplace notifies you of the most suitable new opportunities, buyers and exclusive events.
Best practice for pitching your brand on UK’s Finest
Think of your UK’s Finest profile as a short pitch to buyers who visit your page. You don’t want to overwhelm them, neither do you want to leave them wondering what you sell.
We’ve collated our top tips to help our Seller members get the best out of the marketplace.
1. Clear and concise is key
Being clear and concise throughout you profile is likely to lead to more connections from buyers.
Remember that buyers may not have English as their first language, so simple sentences and short paragraphs will make your profile more digestible for readers. Large paragraphs are likely to look overwhelming.
Don’t use complicated vocabulary and avoid slang and untranslatable phrases where possible, as this could alienate a potential buyer.
2. Do your research
We would always recommend targeting a handful of markets at a time, as this helps you keep focus with your export objectives. Your DIT International Trade Adviser can offer advice and support on this when you’re creating your export plan.
Once you’ve got these selected, market research is likely to follow so you can better understand the country you’re trying to sell into, and you can use this to your advantage when building your profile.
For example, if your research flags a key selling point that is desired in the chosen market, make sure that it’s highlighted throughout your profile. If a buyer then searches for this feature, you’ll make sure your profile displays in their results.
3. Stand out from the crowd
Buyers have a lot of choice on the marketplace, with over 300 UK companies to choose from, so it’s vital you make your profile appealing to stand out from the crowd.
When creating your profile, think about what makes your product unique. Do you use an ingredient that differs from your competitors? Are you focussed on fair trade practices and using sustainable packaging? Or are you a specialist when it comes to luxury food gifts? Your key selling points need to be highlighted in your pitch and throughout your profile!
4. Be personable and enthusiastic
UK’s Finest is proud to offer a range of value add events to help our sellers on their exporting journey and connect with new buyers on a 1-2-1 basis. Last year we hosted Meet the Buyer opportunities for our members to meet with buyers from Germany, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand and Israel, resulting in 74 buyer-seller meetings and 3 orders placed so far.
These events are an excellent chance for you to meet with potential buyers and sell your products in new markets, but you need to make sure you demonstrate you are a great business to work with.
- You are an advocate of your brand. Ensure you are enthusiastic and excited about your product. As they say on Dragons Den they are not just investing with the product but the people behind the brand.
- Do your research. Try and understand the landscape of the market before your meeting. There is plenty of information online – often DIT’s Country Guides can give you a good overview. Then make sure you research the buyer and what they sell. Are there similarities to your products, or is there a gap in their portfolio for a product like yours? This research will help you when you’re pitching in the meeting.
- Keep it focussed. Keep to the following key Principles when promoting your company:
– Be Yourself
– Be Structured
– Be Present
Update your profile for 2022
As our shop window of UK brands continues to grow, there is no better time to update your profile and make sure you are giving yourself the best possible chance to connect with buyers. If you need any further help or guidance on improving your UK’s Finest listing, please contact your DIT International Trade Adviser.