We’ve talked before about some of the things you need to do to create a pleasant shopping experience for your customers. Today we are going to teach you a few “hacks” that you can use with your in-store merchandise to get your customers to buy more stuff—possibly even items they never knew existed before they entered your store!
It’s Called Merchandising…
Merchandising, to put it simply, is the art of creating appealing product displays that subtly (or, okay, sometimes not so subtly) point out new items for sale, items being sold for a discount, encourage customers to try new things and even sometimes to entice customers to shop impulsively. Everything from how you set up an endcap (we’ll talk about that in a second) and the promotional advertising you hang on the walls to the small things you set up near your registers falls under the “merchandising” umbrella. You’re probably already doing it; you just didn’t know it yet.
There are three major types of merchandising that we’re going to talk about in this article: endcaps and tables, and floor displays.
Endcaps and Tables
Endcaps are the displays that you put literally at the end of an aisle. They are usually built right into the aisle shelving units. What you display here is important because many people—especially those who are “just browsing” are more likely to pay attention to endcaps than they are to what actually sits on your shelves.
There are two approaches to endcaps and tables: to highlight which items are featured in that specific aisle (or section) and to introduce customers to new subjects and items they might not have discovered on their own. For example, in a bookstore, you might create an endcap of gardening books but put it on the shelving unit over in literature. These “out of context displays” are a great way to grab the attention of shoppers who have set routes or sections in which they prefer to shop (and rarely venture outside of them).
There are two primary purposes of a good floor display: to creatively (and beautifully) highlight your store’s merchandise and to call attention to that particular merchandise by setting it apart from your regular store displays. Typically, these displays are made of cardboard (for easy set up and tear down) but you can make them yourself out of other materials (in grocery stores, for example, they often build floor displays out of actual merchandise, especially when the highlighted item is a brand of soft drink or beer).
Where many store owners get tripped up, though, is in choosing the location of a floor display. You will never sell anything if you set your floor display discretely off to the side of a section or aisle. Yes, you’ll interrupt your traffic flow if you put the display right out in the middle of an aisle or section but—isn’t that the point? Studies have shown that stores sell more when customers aren’t able to walk in straight lines. Having to weave aisles forces them to pay attention to displays and other merchandising. Floor displays are a great way to break up the flow of traffic in bigger open areas.
Obviously, there are other types of merchandising you can do. Putting smaller and cheaper items right at your register increases last second impulse shopping and increases your UPT average. Signage highlights specific products and entices people to check out different sections of your store.
The endcaps, tables and floor displays, though: those are a subtle art that many store owners fail to utilize properly. Make sure you are not one of them! These tools have been proven to increase profits and enhance your customers’ shopping experiences.