Sell on

No matter how good your product is, it's going to be difficult to grow your business without having major retailers on your side. For many manufacturers, making it onto "big box" store shelves and websites is the key to seeing your business dreams realized.

HomeDepot is America's most popular source for home fixtures, furnishings, and DIY home improvement, with more than 2,200 stores across North America as well as a top-100 website. Among these outlets, millions of customers are served every week. This makes Home Depot one of the most important possible partners for any manufacturer in the home furnishings/improvement sector. Getting your products listed on could change your business prospects almost overnight in terms of exposure and sales potential.

Getting Listed On

Understandably, bringing your product to the attention of Home Depot is a multi-step process, and will require a significant time investment. A great attention to detail is required every step of the way, and as requests can only be re-submitted after six months have passed, it's vital to get everything right the first time.

As a broad overview of the process:

1 - Register online with Home Depot.
Before you can even submit an application to be a supplier, you have to register with Home Depot via their website. You will be required to provide several pieces of information demonstrating the legitimacy of your business, including your Tax ID number, DUN & Bradstreet Number, ownership and financial information, and any certifications required to legally sell products in your field.

2 - Receive a registration key.
Once the registration form is successfully filled out and reviewed, you will be emailed a registration key. This is necessary for beginning the actual submission process, as well as for adding individual employees to your account with Home Depot.

3 - Upload your business information.
Once you have access to the main supplier pages, you'll be asked to upload proof of your certifications, as well as any supplementary materials you feel are relevant to your application, such as sales brochures.

4 - Complete your supplier application.
From the supplier portal, you'll have the opportunity to select your Commodity\Service Area and then complete forms pitching your product to Home Depot. This application will be reviewed by a sales associate, then either be approved or denied. Denied applications cannot be re-evaluated without waiting six months, so again, getting this step right the first time is key.

Suggestions For Improving Your Chances Of Acceptance

The biggest mistake many companies make when pitching to Home Depot is to repeat the sales pitch they would make for their own customers. Rehashing your existing sales materials is virtually guaranteed to fail. You're not pitching why a customer would buy your product, you're pitching why Home Depot should carry your product instead of someone else's.
Towards that end:

  • Keep hyperbole to a minimum. Your submission should be primarily fact-based. Claims of being "the best" in some area or another will be disregarded without hard evidence backing it up.
  • Do research on your competition. Be prepared to explain -again, with hard facts- what differentiates your product from others on the market which are similar. Remember that in many cases, carrying your product would mean dis-continuing another brand's product, which is not something Home Depot will do without good reason.
  • Leverage synergy. Look at popular items at Home Depot and tell a story describing how your product fits in and can be sold in conjunction with products they already carry.
  • Show business competency. Focus on your financials and business side, and especially, be able to show that you have the ability to scale to meet demand. If Home Depot suddenly received a bulk order for 100,000 units of your product, can you provide it in a timely fashion?
  • If possible, play up your diversity. Home Depot has a strong emphasis on having a diverse supplier set. Businesses certifiably owned and run by women, ethnic minorities, LGBTs, or military veterans receive some extra consideration in the selection process.

You Don't Have To Go It Alone

Trying to get your products listed on can be a daunting process, especially for first-timers. However, that six-month resubmission restriction means it's vital to do everything right the first time to ensure your best chances of acceptance. Otherwise, you could be putting your business plans on hold for months or even years, while opportunity slips by.
eCommerce Trade is a retail specialist with more than 20 years' experience connecting manufacturers with some of the largest retailers in the world, including Home Depot. Our staff of experts are selected not only for their familiarity with retail, but also with the products themselves. We keep specialists on-staff who focus on particular product types, such as lighting or electronics, so that they can provide the best possible advice for those markets.
Beyond assisting you in getting into Home Depot's product listings, we can:

  • Manage and maintain your product listings, with optimized descriptions and up-to-date photographs.
  • Provide a single source for both accounts payable and any item returns issues.
  • Act as customer service, reducing or eliminating your need to maintain an in-house support staff.
  • Develop promotional and sponsorship opportunities.
  • Monitor sales and provide data-based futures forecasts.
  • "White label" products to avoid competing with your own brick-and-mortar operations, such as rebranding them for Home Depot distribution.
  • Maintain IMAP policies with daily MAP monitoring.

For manufacturers large or small, eCommerce Trade can be your gateway to some of the largest retail outlets in the world. Our experts are standing by and ready to help turn you into our newest success story. Contact us today for more details!