Merchandising drives sales. If you advertise, discount and promote an item will the consumer buy it? The answer is, yes. But, only if you address two important factors: What is the benefit to your customer and is there perceived value?
The most important requirement of any display is that it projects the retailer’s confidence in the products and a successful outcome for the consumer. A display won’t sell confidence with one or two pieces on the shelf.
The old adage of, “volume is validity” is very true when creating any display. Keep in mind that “volume” can be as little as a dozen items. End-cap displays or pallet displays are also great to bring in extra sales, but even a small shelf display, if done properly will significantly increase consumer purchases.
When developing your display strategy, consider these three consumer buying questions:
What is the product appeal? (Brand, style, function?)
The average consumer buys because they want to fulfill a need or requirement and they’ve come to your store looking for a solution, so use key items that will fulfill their needs. As an example, if you’re an aquarium store, you might simply design a small in-line shelf display for solving water quality problems. The display will appeal to the majority of your customers since water quality is such an important aspect of aquarium keeping.
Why should I buy? (How will these products make my hobby easier and more enjoyable?)
This is where signage becomes important.
Address the assets of the products in simple concise wording. As an example, if you have designed a water quality display, make a chart that shows various usages like desired pH, ammonia or phosphate levels that are achievable, etc.
Also design a header-sign to define that it is a water quality center which explains the overall reason for the display. Whether it is a water quality display or a flea and tick display, be sure to supply a header-sign to draw the consumer’s attention, then a secondary sign such as chart of usage or bullet point’s listing features and benefits.
What’s it worth? (Subconscious value vs. price judgment?)
It is important to know the retail value of a product. Think about all aspects of the product before setting the retail price. Can the product be explained to the consumer as a necessary item? Will it solve a problem? Is the product competitively priced? Which category does it fit into or is it unique? It is these combined aspects of the product that will determine the margin and suggested price.
The retailer’s cost isn’t the important issue here as good margins can be made on many items that serve the need and are priced based on convenience to the consumer. Price is important, but it isn’t necessary to show it on the signage. Information is what sells the product; the hobbyist will seek out the price if their interest has been engaged.
Most products already have your pricing on the packaging and this also allows for different product pricing within the display. On the other hand, large displays such as a stack of complete aquarium kits will do better by grabbing the attention of the consumer using price signage.
It is very important to change your displays monthly to draw customers back into your store. By working with your distributor on added value or discount programs it is easy to fund your display efforts.
Most distributors are happy to participate in a well thought out promotional program.
Remember, if you solve your customer’s problems or needs, they will recommend your store when talking to friends and fellow hobbyists.
– RD Webster