Last month, I attended the Global Shop retail solutions trade show. Each year I have two missions: one, to seek out new products and systems to aid visual display needs, and two, seek information and hear the talking points the retail industry is discussing. I also sourced and discovered products and companies that have solutions that would serve the powersports industry well.
Retail Solution No. 1, LED lighting: This is not new, but the applications are. Now, there are LED light boxes that are built to fit drop ceilings, track lighting, trough lighting, wall washers and even a light that replaces wattage-eating high bays. They are bright and throw light farther than most incandescent bulbs.
There were LED several companies exhibiting, none of which have the Energy Star rating yet. One company out of Canada is working to get the Energy Star rating before it mass markets its products. Most of these products are produced in China and have to be imported. Stay tuned as these products become easy to purchase and convert for your store.
Retail Solution No. 2, Use technology: Technology was another theme of the Global Shop show, and it applies to powersports retailing. What is its place in retail? Is your store’s use of technology solving problems? When is technology a competitive edge or bleeding edge? For example, do your flat panel TVs help customers purchase more products?
Technology solutions in store should make shopping easier and productive. Evaluate how you use technology and if you’re using it to create value and drive sales. Q2 (or QR) two-dimension codes, which are scanned by customers, can be very beneficial for retail. Most of you may think immediately that this system is bad for retailers. You may be thinking that this allows consumers to price shop you. Yes, there will be price shopping, but the other benefit you may be overlooking are that most consumers are looking for information on the brand or product and looking for reviews or consumer testimony about the brand or product. There are so many outlets for products and many are discounters that consumers know they are likely to find a few bucks cheaper, but buying on price is no guarantee that they will be satisfied with the product. Links to reviews or testimonies are more powerful for many people. Those help customers determine their money will be well spent based on what they learn.
Make sure to understand how these innovations can benefit you rather than hurt you.