The Canopy playbook: how to break into retail and scale omnichannel growth

Mike De Santis

Expanding into retail is the ideal next step for many DTC brands looking to scale.

That’s the dream for many founders, but it’s a complicated step. After all, retailers have high expectations for your factory standards

Mike De Santis, a founding team member at Canopy, lived this during his company’s push to retail. Below, he unpacks what he learned about streamlining your omnichannel growth. 

“Taking these steps is one part being thoughtful about retention and two parts mitigating risk in your business, which allows it to grow as quickly as possible.” 

Why you should have a retailer checklist

Brands often have no insight into the quality or cleanliness levels of factory working conditions. 

However, if you want to work with great retailers, you need to track ISO standards

When you’re doing your due diligence, keep track of any factors that specific retailers will care about to feel confident bringing your products in-store. 

The benefit of running pre-inspections

Some retailers require partner brands to use specific inspectors on their behalf. They will validate that you’re telling the truth about your factory standards. The standards are strict and exacting, and the ramifications for not passing are high. 

That’s why Canopy works with the Factored Quality team to run pre-inspections. 

That gives them a head start — it ensures they never get flagged by a vendor for deficiencies within the supply chain, no matter the scale. From an omnichannel perspective, this is a big unlock for speed to market. You want to get on retail shelves as quickly as possible — and don’t want anything to hinder that. 

How to mitigate against the “unknown unknowns” of QC

It’s worth being this picky about your processes because there are so many small details on the supply chain side. 

Smoothing them over absolutely impacts your retailer expansion. 

In Mike’s words, “Supply chains are long and complicated and sophisticated things with hundreds of people touching your product across the entire line.” It makes sense that having Factored Quality on the ground is both soothing and game-changing for the team at Canopy. 

We handle QC from end to end, ensuring both user and retailer confidence in your products. 

“The Factored Quality team gives us a head start, making sure we’re never getting flagged by a vendor for deficiencies within the supply chain — across whatever metric. That’s a big unlock as far as speed to market for an omnichannel brand.”

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