BY NAPOLEAN TETREAULT
As fall approaches and summer riding makes way for back-to-school shopping, we take the time to reset our stores with seasonally appropriate merchandise in order to stay ahead of our customer. Of course, the ongoing challenge is to keep our customer engaged and provide a value to them every time they walk through our door. We’ve talked in the past about the many ways we can actively add value to our customers, but now it’s time to talk about ways to passively add value. Here are a few questions that you should be able to say yes to by the time you reset your displays:
Is your store shoppable? Can a customer walk through the door, look around and have an idea of where he/she needs to go? Billy Bob customer needs to walk in, see a bunch of ATV’s surrounded by a bunch of ATV gear and know that he needs to head in that direction if he needs some ATV stuff.
Are like items categorized together? To further expand on the ATV section example, like items should be stocked in the same location. In this example, your ATV trunks should all be displayed together so that a customer can compare and contrast the different features on the different models. Saddlebags, tools, tires, communicators, hats, gloves and the list goes on and on. It sounds simple and it is, but it is also easy to forget and just start putting stuff where it fits rather than where it needs to be.
Are there impulse items on our endcaps and at our cash registers? These should be seasonally relevant, universal to all and at such a pricepoint as to make it easy for someone to say yes to buy. Helmet fresh, goggle/shield wipes, battery tenders, spray cleaner & polish and tie downs are all items that fall into this category and should not only be stocked in their respective locations, but also put in high traffic areas to encourage impulse sales. This is by no means all inclusive and your creativity is your only limit. In addition to impulse items these also serve as go-to items for upsells for sales we may struggle with adding on to.
Do you have silent sales tools? QR codes, video loops, printed quotes from customers who bought said item, starbursts with “best seller” written on it are all silent sales tools. Although we strive to help every customer every time, sometimes we fall short. Some customers prefer to shop by themselves so they can process the information on their own with no pressure from us. We need to help those customers, too, but in a passive way. Silent sales tools are an excellent force multiplier. Put the work in while you can so you get the help when you need it most.
Are all your items priced…on the back? An old friend and customer made a great point. Consumers are statistically more likely to buy something if you can get it into their hand. Some kind of psychological ownership thing. What easier way to get them to pick up an item than to put the label on the back so they have to pick the item up to see the price! Now I don’t know what came first, the chicken or the egg and quite frankly I don’t care. What I do care about is getting every single advantage that I can leverage in order to help my customers and therefore be rewarded with the sale. What an easy way to gain a psychological advantage with my customer by putting the labels on the back of the product.
As you reset your store and change displays for the upcoming season please take the time to consider these points. The time spent on this up front will pay you dividends when you are busy and can’t help everyone as they deserve to be helped. In these days of lean personnel, proper merchandising is key to helping your customers help themselves until you can give them the attention they need. Happy selling!