How do you merchandise your store to maximize sales? This is a question that many retailers ask themselves when they are deciding what merchandising techniques will work in their store. In this blog post, we cover the three most important keys for retail merchandising that will boost your sales and help you make more money!
What is retail merchandising, and how does it work?
When it comes to selling products in a store, retail merchandising is the process of arranging items to best attract consumer attention and drive sales. It can be done in many different ways depending on your industry, for example, grocery stores generally place their most profitable products at eye level whereas pharmacies tend to put cheaper or more niche medicines higher up (or lower down) so that customers are exposed to more products. Popular items may also be placed toward the back of a store, forcing many customers to walk past many products and hopefully become persuaded to purchase more items.
Why do many fail at retail merchandising?
You’ve created merchandising that you think is perfect for your store, but it’s not selling. What gives? The problem may be with the product itself, or it could also be the merchandising of your product isn’t engaging your customers. Below are some tips on retail merchandising to get better sales.
1 – Identify your Target Market
With any marketing activity, it’s important to understand your target market. Once you define your target market, merchandising can be done to pique their interest and appeal to them. For example, if your perfect customer is a millennial woman between the ages of 18-35 who loves yoga and meditation products, merchandising that caters to her will result in more sales than someone outside of this demographic.
There are now sophisticated, live web-based call reporting such as the Classic Duo Storeaware that help to better understand your customers. You’ll also attract some customers outside your target market and that’s a bonus however, merchandising should be done to cater towards your specific target market.
A few other ways you can determine who your perfect customer is are by looking at the analytics of your website, doing some social media research, and creating buyer personas.
2 – Consider the Brand
It’s also important to understand the brand and how it engages with your target market. For example, if you’re merchandising for a building product then your brand may be quite masculine.
Different brands will approach this in different ways. Some will use imagery of attractive women in possibly revealing clothing in order to attract male customers. Other brands may be opposed to this type of imagery, considering it sexist and using imagery of tradespeople using the product so they can relate to the image.
Understanding your customer’s needs and what may attract them is crucial when merchandising retail products however the brand should also play a role in your decision making.
3 – Understand the store layout
When you consider the navigation and flow of customers within a retail outlet, you can make informed product placement decisions. In the current situation, many retail outlets have adjusted their retail merchandising to cater for social distancing.
A merchandiser who specializes in retail merchandising understands how customer behavior can be of benefit to the overall sales strategy. If you’re having architectural plans developed for your business you should brief your architect on your brand values. For example, the trend for sustainable living has seen many brands consider green architecture where possible so they can go green by design. By understanding your brand and consumer behaviors, you are able to maximize your profits by merchandising products on shelves according to where people look first.
Larger retail outlets are able to research various store layouts in order to produce the best possible store layouts. Smaller retailers should hire leading consultants who specialize in retail merchandising, so they can draw on their years of experience and insights.
We’ve really only scratched the surface of retail merchandising however these three areas are the most important attributes to consider. You should also consider cross-merchandising, impulse buys and engaging with various human senses.
Above all else, your merchandise has to be relevant and considerate of your target market. You need to know exactly who they are, what their habits are, and how they will interact with the merchandising that you have provided them in-store. You can then create a retail merchandising plan which caters to these factors and rapidly increase your sales.