Brick-and-Mortar or Direct-to-Consumer?

Power Your Retail Strategy

Why Yishi Selected a Retail Strategy to Grow

With the rise of e-commerce platforms like Shopify, it’s never been easier to launch a retail brand. The DTC (direct-to-consumer) retail model has risen in popularity, with small retail startups looking to build meaningful connections with their target audiences. By cutting out the traditional retail middlemen, DTC brands thrive on digitally native consumers while challenging established brands that have ruled their categories for generations.

But did you know that if your company sells solely through online platforms, you’re twice as likely as brick-and-mortar brands to report a decrease in sales? While pure DTC might help you reach your audience directly, it may not help you reach more customers overall.  

Learn From Yishi Foods

In today’s competitive retail world, it’s important to meet your customers everywhere they are and consider what makes the most sense for your business.

Learn more about this from Lin Jiang, founder and CEO of Asian-inspired breakfast brand Yishi Foods, who opted to sell in retail stores over DTC. She found that using GS1 Standards such as Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) and UPC barcodes helped her prepare for retail expansion. Her products—which include oatmeal, featuring unique flavors such as Taro Bubble Tea and Matcha Latte; pancake mixes; and oat spreads—can currently be found on the shelves of Whole Foods, Walmart, and Costco.

Three Key Takeaways From Lin’s Story

1. Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes. 
“We’re making a breakfast item, and where that really lives, where people shop for it, is in the grocery stores,” says Lin. By thinking through her own shopping preferences and experiences, Lin knew getting products on shelves was the best way to connect her product with the right audience.

2. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.
“We want to be a mass-market, household name in the future,” says Lin. Depending on what your product is, a brick-and-mortar retail strategy can be the right vehicle to make your product known and help it scale.

3. Do the math.
“Oatmeal is light, and now we have oat spreads that are heavy. Either light or heavy is not ideal for e-commerce shipping,” says Lin. Think about how you will recoup shipping and return costs and whether the strategy fits the physical makeup and dimensions of your product.

Whichever strategy you choose to launch your products, build a solid foundation for your supply chain to grow and thrive using GS1® barcodes.

consumer scanning product

Get Started With UPC Barcodes From GS1 US

Barcodes from GS1 US® provide an authentic way to uniquely identify your products and locations in the supply chain and in e-commerce.

How Can GS1 US Help?

Ultimately, as a founder and entrepreneur, you likely have many questions about how to succeed in retail today. You recognize that challenging aspects of running your business, such as selling online and managing inventory, are also critical to achieving your sales goals. GS1 US can help you on your growth journey and support your success.

Simply put, a UPC barcode from GS1 US represents your gateway to bigger sales. Whether you sell your product in store or online, through a retailer, or direct to the consumer, barcodes from GS1 US are an important part of a small business’s long-term strategy.

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