Why Do I Need Merchandising?
No matter what your B2C company is centered around, merchandising is a pinnacle for growth and success. Whether online or in-store, successful merchandising influences consumers and helps to reach sales goals. Through the right product arrangement, you communicate value and create an effective customer experience.
Successful merchandising happens when you display products in the right place, in the right quantity, at the right time, and at the right price. Shelf layout, promotional signage, foot traffic paths, and pricing are some key elements to nailing your merchandising strategy.
If you want to maximize the potential of your stock, merchandising should be a pillar of your strategy. It is proven to increase sales, customer satisfaction, time in-store, sell-through, customer loyalty, brand recognition, maximized retail space, and even employee productivity. With consumers also increasingly becoming savvier and having more options than ever, a smart consumer would simply leave your store if it were not properly merchandised.
Signs & Layout
Proper signage and labeling make it easy for customers to find their favorite items, improving the store experience and the chance that they will return. Use clear and enticing signage to draw attention and encourage them to look through the rest of your store, not just what they came to find. Using breadcrumbs to draw them deeper into the store and through other displays they may want to look at encourages customers to act on impulse. Placing popular items toward the back of the store is a common strategy to do, as they are lured past enticing signage and products on their journey.
Your store layout should plan based on what you want the consumers to do and go past. Using product samples and demonstrations can also help immensely with this. Remember to use the 5 senses when applicable – such as having them feel the texture of a product, see it in action, or to even use it themselves. Discounts are also a great tool to draw in more customers, and a great way to help recover loss on slow-moving inventory.
One of the most basic and yet most important methods of in-store merchandising is product displays. There are many psychological tips to displays that you may not have initially noticed, but will see in every big chain after reading this blog!
Fill shelves to show the customer that you can meet their needs. Keep displays at eye-level for easy browsing — the easier the experience, the higher the customer loyalty. Placing your best sellers at eye-level or above will help them to move quicker and help you to maximize sell-through.
An example of success with displays comes from one of our own customers, Monty’s of Provincetown.
“Both Dave and I wanted to let you know that for many years we have been offering Beacon products. This year, however, we added your Lighted Counter Display, wow! What a difference and we more than doubled our sales because of the display case.” – Monty and Dave, Monty’s of Provincetown.
The importance of vertical displays over horizontal is often overlooked. It is much easier for the customer to stand in one place and “scan” a display up and down. Horizontal displays are more challenging to look through, so if you use them, create scan zones where a specific type of product and its pairings are found next to each other.
Grouping similar items next to each other is called cross-merchandising, and increases the chances of similar items being sold together. For example, displaying salsa next to the tortilla chips would be an effective way to cross-merchandise.
Image Credit: Quechee General Store
Just because websites aren’t physical doesn’t mean that merchandising isn’t relevant! After all, with the rapid growth of ecommerce, your website is just as important as your storefront.
Personalize and Cross-Merchandise
Consumers online want personalization, so be sure any campaigns are targeted towards the individuals. Suggest items that pair well with the product they are viewing – taking cross-merchandising online. For example, suggest Christmas ornaments when they are browsing Christmas trees!
Reviews and Added Information
Include useful and interesting information in your listings – reviews, product tips, customer photos, videos, etc. Keep them on your site and push consumers towards taking action on their impulse. Your customers should know that you are legitimate and have a pleasurable experience on your website.
Searching and Filtering
Easy searching and filtering is the standard of ecommerce platforms. Unlike in-store, customers can’t ask anyone where to find a particular product on your website. So, you must make it easy to find products through search. Think of every term that customers may use to search for a given product and use those tags to make it easy to locate. Display images right away when searching for a product – this makes shopping more relevant and entertaining. Some people will also click on a product based on how it looks, even if they aren’t looking for that product!
Display your Call to Action above the fold and in the right places to guide customers to different sections of the website – use this to convince visitors they will gain something on your website. You can also use pop-up reminders about abandoned carts to bring them back to your website and finish a session with a purchase, or to offer a discount with an email capture when they are on their way out.
A Pillar of Your Growth and Success
Merchandising is essential to your business and can’t be overlooked. Being mindful of your product’s placement, timing, quantity, and price will increase your sell-through and cultivate success both online and in-store.