It is vital for independent retailers to utilize effective merchandising techniques, as an attractive, organized and creative display of merchandise will always get attention. Merchandising is important year round, but it is especially crucial near the holidays, such as the back to school season and Christmas. Drawing attention to your shelves and displays is all about product placement, many times connecting with the senses and in-store advertising. Following are a few tips for more effective merchandising:
1) Engage the Senses. A store full of quality merchandise certainly helps drive foot traffic, but it also helps to engage the senses, so lights, sounds and even snacks may help. The buying experience then has an added entertainment factor. Stimulating a customer’s senses not only makes them more invested in the shopping experience, but may ensure a return visit, as they look to acquire the same experience over and over again.
2) Get The Message Out There. Many of your customers may be looking for a particular type of product, but there are also customers who are just browsing. This is where merchandising comes in. A well positioned salesperson or store helper can be placed throughout the store or near a particular display, to answer specific questions, or inquire about the customer’s interests, to steer them in the right direction. Presentation of shelves and displays plays a large part in perception. Are you doing all you can to entice customers at the point of purchase? Although merchandising displays are important, in-store marketing is more than product setup. In-store promotion can have an interactive feel as well, including staff presenting product demonstrations.
3) Stay Friendly. As always, be engaging, active and personable. Many customers buy local to be connected with their community, and the best way to grow that loyalty is by being friendly and helpful, and giving customers the knowledgeable guidance they won’t get at chain stores.