The Guide To Effective Merchandising
It is surprising how many brands neglect POS (Point of Sale) merchandising of independent stores. Some stores could be displaying your brand incorrectly, with out-of-date branding, promotions or worse of all displaying the brand logo incorrectly. It may not always seem the most important part of your marketing strategy but for the customer experience, it is.
Whether it is removing old POS materials, implementing new POS material, removing old products, implementing new products, applying signage, or simply rearranging products/promotions. It is all-important when considering the overall customer experience as ultimately it affects how customers interact with the store and your brand. This will then have an impact on their purchase decision.
As a professional merchandising agency, we have implemented over 500,000 in-store merchandising calls and have helped to re-brand over 500 stores for a single client so in this article, we will explain a bit more about what merchandising is and our top tips when merchandising your store.
What Is Merchandising?
Merchandising is presenting, arranging, and displaying products in a way that encourages consumers to engage with the product whether that is picking it up, trying it on, and ultimately buying the product.
When looking at how you want to display your store to draw shoppers’ interest and encourage conversions within your store display it is important to consider the story you want to present and the context in which that story is being consumed. It is very easy to put up a big red SALE sign, but this might not always be the best tactic.
So, if big red signs aren’t the answer what is? Your merchandising is often only curtailed by your creativity and knowledge of what works. But our experts have this in abundance so below we have outlined some of our top tips.
7 Top Tips For Effective Merchandising
Keep It fresh
Holidays and seasons only last so long. What consumers see, smell, feel and hear is their direct perception. Consumers yearn for stores to stay current, updating your display bi-weekly or monthly is important.
When refreshing displays and layouts, remember retail brand consistency is key. Changes can be as subtle as moving signage or front window displays around but for the customer, this might make all the difference. For example, frequent shoppers might be excited by the prospect of discovering something new with a different layout.
Visually Merchandise The Products People WANT, Not Need
Don’t try bringing attention to the products the customer already needs, that’s what they came for. We want to get the consumer to purchase more, take supermarkets as an example, why do you think the bread and milk are always at the back of the store? Customers will always respond to product displays for items they want and are drawn to.
Focus On The Front Of Your Store
Start with the display area closest to the front door and put your newest and most expensive items in the spotlight. Be sure that within this you are also creating hierarchy, using several levels of height allowing enough products so that customers can pick up and touch without destroying the display.
The advantage also of focusing on the front of the store is that this is what draws the customers in. If you can create an engaging storefront to get customers through the door that is step one complete. The next challenge is to keep them there.
Add Compelling Signage
Adding a few well-placed, well-worded signs can help to guide consumers to where you want them to be. Creating signs that are short and to the point and don’t have to just be promotional. Signage can also be used to clearly define different store departments or show products off with imagery. This then serves as a visual opportunity to lend to a store’s unique brand identity.
Track Sales By SKU’s
The biggest mistake you can make when merchandising is to create a merchandising display and never analyse the result this has had on sales. Whether the merchandising is a success or a failure, it helps to know what does or doesn’t work, so that action can either be replicated or avoided.
The best way to track the progress of the merchandising campaign is through SKUs, SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) are a way of uniquely identifying products typically through a combination of letters and numbers. Change the SKU codes of those products in specific places in your store or on incentivised purchases, if these are purchased more regularly you will know what is working.
Engage As Many Senses As Possible
Typically, people believe that merchandising is heavily focused on aesthetics however it can be much more than this. Building an experience around your product can help to engage the consumer and make them an active shopper rather than a passive shopper.
In-store shopper engages with all five senses:
- Hearing – music affects how customers interact in a store. Try a playlist with a slower, softer beat to lessen customers’ pace as they mill around the store floor.
- Sight – use visual cues (lighting, colour, balance) to direct a customer’s attention to specific products and displays.
- Touch – in-store consumers can touch and feel textures. Avoid putting items out of reach and put them in plain sight.
- Smell – The sense of smell is strongly associated with memory and connects with shoppers emotionally, there are even companies that engineer scents
- Taste – if you’re selling food or drink products, why not allow the consumer to try before they buy? Perhaps even look at in-store sampling with our promotional team just like Rekorderlig did.
As mentioned above, engaging the customer is important when merchandising. Adding motion to your display can draw in customers. This could be something as simple as a discrete fan blowing a dress or toy train chugging around during the holidays, but it will help to engage your consumers. Additionally, motion creates a sound which is another sense fulfilled by using this in your merchandising.
Ready To Add Effective Merchandising Into Your Marketing Plan?
As merchandising experts, the GottaBe! Marketing team bring a wealth of experience into every campaign that we launch. Our merchandising projects have seen us work with respected well-known brands including Western Union and Dorset Tea during which we delivered excellent results that enhanced their in-store merchandising.