Posted: Diane Capuano, PDR magazine executive editor
In today’s economic climate, every customer who enters your store is a precious resource. Your success depends upon how well you serve them and how well you market and merchandise your products to take optimum advantage of their presence in your store. Here are five tips that are geared toward maximizing your results in that endeavor:
- Emphasize quality Display your premium products prominently. When arranging good-better-best assortments, make sure the best-quality products are at eye level so that customers see these first and can easily reach for them. Make sure your salespeople start a sales transaction by talking about your highest-quality products. Remember: It’s always possible to move down to the next quality level if the customer voices a price objection. It’s much harder to move the customer up in quality when you’ve already introduced a lower-priced alternative.
- Make the store environment inviting and comfortable When customers walk into your store, you want to put them at ease and make it conducive for them to stay a while. You’re selling decorating products, so make sure your store interior conveys your expertise with the use of an appealing color scheme, attractive displays and a non-cluttered layout that makes it easy for customers to find the products they are looking for. Have comfortable seating in the wallpaper department or near the paint color selectors, which will prompt customers to sit down, relax and stay a while.
- Use cross-merchandising techniques It’s best for you and your customers if they leave the store with all the products they need for their projects, so group your merchandise to make this more likely to happen. If it’s deck staining season, for example, display your deck stain with deck cleaner and deck brushes. Another example is to display wallpaper stripper and wallpaper tools near your wallcovering samplebook library. Take a fresh look at your inventory and see what other selling cross-merchandising ideas come to mind.
- Create lifestyle vignettes If you sell multiple types of products—i.e., paint, wallpaper, window coverings and floor covering—put them together creatively into a display to show how these products coordinate. This can prompt a customer who came in for one product—a couple of gallons of paint, for instance—to expand their decorating project to include additional categories of products you sell.
- Be on the leading edge Consumers are attracted to what is new and exciting, so make sure your store is positioned as leading the pack rather than being a “me-too” retailer. Highlight the newest products from your suppliers, and be receptive to new directions that will motivate your customers. For example, the “green movement” is huge in the paint and decorating industry and is definitely here to stay. An excellent idea would be to create a “green” product section in your store and point out green product choices with appropriate signage on your shelves.
Follow all of these tips, and you will be in a good position as the economy strengthens and more customers enter your store. Do you have additional ideas you’d like to share for maximizing sales? Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below.
Tags: retail sales