Glenn Polyn//March 1, 2023//
Glenn Polyn //March 1, 2023//
It’s no secret that creating a memorable in-store experience is one of the biggest ways independent pet retailers can compete with big-box stores and boost their sales. The look and design of your store is one of the things that will make a lasting impression on customers both existing and new. Taking a strategic approach to merchandising your store will not only improve the customer journey, but ultimately boost your bottom line. And, let’s be honest, one of the most exciting things about having a brick-and-mortar is decorating.
Unlike other retail stores, pet stores generally do not have large spaces to merchandise products, let alone space to merchandise them well.
Your back room is stacked with boxes of new arrivals. How well it sells when you transfer it to your sales floor depends, in large part, on how you display it.
Pet products can sometimes get a little tricky. Finding the right size hangers, forms and mannequins that work can be frustrating. Infant hangers are too big and regular mannequins for non-pet related stores are not going to do the trick. However, with a little research and creativeness you would be surprised just how many options are available to make your store fabulous.
You have two goals: making it easy to shop and encouraging shoppers to buy more. Groupings serve both purposes. The key is to display related items together, whether you group them by end use; lifestyle themes; fabrication; style; pattern; or brands, which should always be kept separate.
Let’s start with accessories –from leashes and collars to bows and adorable pet jewelry, it can look overwhelming. How can you properly display these items in your store without making it look cluttered? The easiest and most convenient way to display leashes is on a slatwall. You can also do this with collars. The trick is figuring out a way to showcase your star products on a slatwall. By researching all the different types of fixtures that can connect into the slatwall, you can surely find a solution. For example, you have a large slat wall with leashes hanging on one side and collars on another. Say you have a few collars you want to display, an acrylic shelf (used many times in shoe stores) you can buckle the collar together and prop it up on the acrylic shelf to showcase. The same goes for hairbows. You can get creative and find places to add them to the acrylic shelf, especially if the collar and bows coordinate. You can go wild with curvy display cases, racks, countertops or shelves.
You certainly have a lot of options when it comes to displaying accessories in your store, no matter how you decide the décor. If you are looking to display a large amount of hair bows all at one time, consider some different types of floor displays. You could use a two-inch by six-inch grid panel and attach legs to it so that it stands freely. Then you can attach peg hooks of any size to display your bows. Another option is a rotating slatwall unit. Just attach some slatwall peg hooks and you will be able to have a display that rotates for customer convenience. There is also a rotating peg display that has four tiers where you can hang your hair bows. It rotates and is very light and portable so you can move it around to suit the changing display needs of your store. There is also a counter-top version that is perfect for those impulse buys at the checkout. You could also use swivel clips to clip the hair ribbons and bows and hang them anywhere in your store. These all add personality, so let them inspire you.
We know that color and music have a big impact on our shoppers, but what about store layout? Does your store layout really influence your customers? It does — in both positive and negative ways. Understanding the psychology of store layouts will not only attract more shoppers through your door, but it will also give them a memorable shopping experience and plenty of opportunities to pick up impulse items.
Imaginative design can represent your brand and reinforce your store’s ambiance. You’re using the power of suggestion to encourage shoppers to purchase multiple items, and you’re showing fashion-challenged or less imaginative customers how to put together a great ensemble with all the trimmings.
Understanding what drives customer shopping behaviors will help you design a store layout that invites exploration. It will also help you create an overall ambiance and tempting merchandise displays that reward customers with an exceptional shopping experience.
Successful retailers know it’s important to stock up on the items shoppers want most, whether that’s groceries or the latest trendy fashions. But must-have merchandise is not enough to ensure success. Your store design can make or break your profitability, because shopping – especially trying to find that extra special furry pet bed and matching blanket – is tied to psychology.
Lighting is an easy way to make your store pop. You need overheads, downlights and/or task lighting to illuminate work areas. However, accent and decorative lighting, such as chandeliers add visual interest in ways that showcase your store’s individual character.
Even though functional elements of a store, like a cash wrap counter, are necessary it doesn’t have to be boring. Let it tell your story, whether it’s simple and sleek or outrageously entertaining. Turn your cash wrap into a focal point display case for treats to jewelry and collar tags.
With nearly unlimited design and materials options, your cash wrap can easily be eye-catching. Consistent branding is crucial, though, so while offbeat is acceptable, off-theme is not.
All in all, successful merchandising requires consistency and focus to set about doing tasks you can achieve and avoid taking on too much and leaving unfinished projects around your store. You can begin by taking the sensory approach and go one sense at a time. Or you could do something small like adding signs to your shelves and then something major like resetting your entire store. Regardless of what you choose these touches can create merchandising magic and improve the customer experience in your store. Improving the customer experience in your store can build brand loyalty and boost your bottom line, so get started today using these merchandising tips to create some magic and reap the rewards.