Startup RANGEme has today announced that supermarket giant Coles will be adopting its platform. The partnership means that RANGEme, which allows businesses to pitch their products to large retain chains via an online platform, will be able to provide new sales opportunities to local SMEs.
The brains behind RANGEme is Nicky Jackson, 33, who had a very successful career as a Marketing Executive with Kellogg’s, Uncle Toby’s and Goodman Fielder. In early 2013, she started developing a range of baby skincare products, and it wasn’t long until she faced a problem. How was she going to achieve high distribution quickly?
Anybody who has ever tried to get a new product onto shelf in a retail store, knows that it’s a tedious process. The FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) market is highly competitive and supermarkets and retail chains are bombarded with pitches everyday.
The idea for RANGEme spawned from this frustration. Jackson thought to herself, ‘wouldn’t it be much easier if there was an online platform where you could just upload your products and receive interest from category buyers across Australia?’.
This would eliminate the need for SMEs to pitch the same information over and over again, only to find out that the buyers are not all that interested. Instead, they’d be able to focus on those they’re more likely to close. It was this fleeting curiosity that ended becoming a viable product.
RANGEme’s benefits are felt by two opposite markets, according to Jackson: “Small and medium businesses can often spend large amounts of time and resources looking to secure a buyer for their products.”
On the flipside,“Buyers are time-poor but they don’t want to miss out on new and innovative ideas either. This allows them to know about emerging products simply by accessing the website.”
Today’s announcement is a big win for RANGEme. Although she doesn’t specify the number, Jackson says there are hundreds of businesses signed up to her product. The partnership with Coles means that these businesses will have direct access to Coles’ team of buyers, which will in turn encourage other businesses to use the platform.
The partnership is also strategic for Coles. The supermarket chain is increasing its supply of locally-produced food and drink, after research revealed that 70 percent of customers want to buy locally-grown or made food.
Coles Head of Merchandise Support Jon Haggett says the new online initiative was an extension of Coles’ existing sourcing program to source new, innovative local products.
“We are keen to meet potential suppliers face-to-face and try to do that nationally whenever we can. However, this new online tool means that small and medium businesses have an easy and direct way to approach us with their new products,” Haggett says in a media release.
The partnership also comes two years after Coles launched a Meet the Buyer program, whereby Coles team of buyers visit different locations around Australia to meet with local producers seeking shelf space.