How to Market Your Retail Launch and Fly Off the Shelves


ongratulations — you got your new CPG product on the grocery store shelf! Whether you're an emerging brand or a billion-dollar manufacturer, getting into retail is a challenging feat, and you should be proud. However, staying on the shelf can an even harder task. Did you know that 80% of CPG brands who launch in grocery store don't meet retail velocity thresholds and fail? To be among the winning 20%, you need to have a marketing strategy in place that will make your retail launch successful. Here's your comprehensive retail marketing solution, containing all the 5 core online and offline marketing strategies to ensure you fly off the shelves.

1. Drive Free Trials

Provided your product is exceptional, you should be aggressive with getting free samples to the right customers, with the assumption that a good percentage will convert to paying customers. Make sure you're doing your CAC to LTV conversions, factoring in sampling into the customer acquisition costs, and aim for a 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 LTV:CAC ratio. Bonus points if you know your free sample to purchase rate. You can offer free samples in two ways:

In-store demos

Assemble a small team of outgoing and personable people to set up a demo station and hand out samples in the store. Especially for brands that are pushing the boundaries on existing categories or require a little bit of education, talking to a real human being about this product can have huge impact on a potential customer.

Virtual Samples

The following platforms are leaders in getting samples in the hands of a brand's target audience:


Drive people to a landing page set up by Aisle where you collect their phone number. Send customers to the store to pick up the product, text a picture of the receipt, and get their reimbursement via Venmo.

Social Nature

If you're a natural product, you can get it it in the hands of thousands of passionate natural product fans via Social Nature's platform. You can also receive valuable customer data that provides insights around your target audience.

2. Create Retail-Specific Content

It's one thing to put out mouthwatering, controversial, or knee-slapping hilarious content and attract an engaged audience, but failing to educate customers about where to find your product is a huge missed opportunity. Include a call to action like "run to Harris Teeter to buy this right now" to get them over the line. You can use two different approaches for this:

Influencer content

Rather than putting your influencer marketing budget into 1 or 2 macro-influencers, diversify your reach by splitting your influencer marketing budget among multiple micro-influencers. This not only increases your chances of finding that perfect high-converting influencer that you'll want to use repeatedly, you now have a robust library of unique content that you can leverage for your own handles and paid advertising campaigns (provided you have permission). When executed effectively, leveraging influencers to post videos promoting your brand and where it's carried provides social proof, increased purchase intent through FOMO, and will ultimately drive traffic to those stores.

Licensed user generated content

Tap a handful of UGC creators to shoot content of them going to the store, picking up the product, taking it home, preparing it, tasting it, and reviewing it. Use this content for your geo-targeted paid ads, and post it on your social media handles to make your current following aware of where to get the product. Not only does this type of localized content drive retail sales, it also helps build and maintain great relationships with your retail partners.

If your internal team is too bandwidth constrained to put together large-scale influencer and UGC strategies, reach out to learn more about Crafted's solutions, powered by our network of 8.5k vetted, geo-tagged food and beverage creators.

3. Set Up Geo-Targeted Ads

If your retail launch is regional, set up ads on Meta that are only served to users in areas where your product is carried. Besides video ads, look into Google AdWords, Instacart ads, and retail media networks — a great option if you've launched in a top retailer and have a meaningful marketing budget.

4. Get Positive Reviews on

Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on to increase the visibility of your product and build trust with potential customers. Include a call-to-action in your product packaging using QR codes, or run giveaways on social media or via email, incentivizing people to leave reviews for the chance to win a prize. Use tools such as Bazaarvoice, YotPo, and PowerReviews to collect reviews and syndicate them across retailers, social media platforms, and your website. Crafted also runs review programs specifically for food and beverage brands with a focus on retail. Feel free to reach out if you're a brand looking to increase reviews on your product listing on For more info, check out our article detailing step-by-step how to get more positive online reviews.

5. Physical Mailers

Physical mailers are a fantastic way to not only target consumers in specific geographic areas, but also break through the noise. Customers are constantly flooded with digital content, but how often are they getting good deals via snail mail these days? You're likely to create a lasting impression with this unexpected touchpoint to add to the marketing mix. There are two ways to do this effectively:

Mass Promotion

Take a tailored spray-and-pray approach by sending out flyers and coupons to residential addresses in your targeted area using Every Door Direct Mail. You're able to send mailers to recipients based on factors like age, income, and household size.

Targeted Promotion

Another approach is to build an omni-channel marketing campaign that connects digital interactions with their physical locations. You can do this with Modern Postcard's retargeting capabilities. By targeting warm consumers with personalized offers based on their online behavior and interests, you can maximize the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns.


Launching a CPG product in retail is a significant achievement, but the real work begins once your product hits the shelves. With a failure rate of 80%, it's essential to have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place to ensure your product is successful. By implementing these five tactics as part of a broader retail marketing solution, you can maximize retail velocity and ensure the success of your CPG product launch. Don't hesitate to reach out if you're seeking additional support and guidance in executing your marketing plan. We're happy to help!

Feb 27, 2023
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