We have already discussed the basic Do’s and Dont’s of merchandising. Now it’s time to take it a step further! There are always ways to improve your merchandising skills. One of those ways is to think of the things you might have missed, the first time around.
Here are 10 tips you might have missed:
1. Print, Please!
Everybody, these days, has access to a printer. If you can’t go for the laminated, customized signs, at the very least you should print prices, messages, and info onto card stock paper. Use fonts, colors and styles that match your company theme and logo. For any signs, aim high for the most elaborate ones and then go down from there, depending on budget. NEVER handwrite signs!
2. Put Your Market on the Map
Literally, make a map of your store and the products in it. Walkthrough, as a customer, and ask yourself, “Does this make sense?” If you’re looking for any particular item, offered at your market, is it in a place that you would think to look for it? Make sure the flow of products almost forces customers to walk through the entire market. Put destination items at the back corner and impulse-purchase items near the kiosks. Put sale items near the back of the market so bargain hunters will walk through, as well. Do this regularly, to stay updated. It might help to have different people do this, to get a variety of opinions.
3. Compliments Work
Think about your products. Which ones go together? Make sure to place complimentary items together to encourage customers to purchase more and give you the upsell that increases your profits. For example, you could put salty items near water, chocolate next to milk, donuts next to coffee, etc… You might think these types of pairings are obvious, but when a customer is rushing to get what they came for they might not search the market for the complimentary item, or even think about it. Placing them together gives customers the reminder they need. Try to find a few complimentary items and put them all on the same display, stand or shelf.
4. Be a Team
Check with suppliers, vendors and distributors for co-advertising opportunities. Many of them will have posters and display items to help sell their products. By using these signs, you’re helping them help you – everybody wins!
5. Color Blocking
Help your products stand out by using colors that make them POP! Use black backing for bakery items, fruits, and vegetables. Create window and table displays with one color then place items, in that color spectrum, on it. You want every product to be seen. Using this technique can help you accomplish that!
6. Be Generous!
Selling one item, and LOTS of it is the goal! Try highlighting one product and pushing sales by offering it in abundance. If the product comes in other sizes and colors, offer those too! Keep it consistent through the entire market.
7. You Must Be This Tall
You don’t want your market to, literally, fall flat. Keep your displays interesting by finding variety in heights. Walk around your market and find opportunities to mix it up. Make sure displays have items of different heights. If all of the items happen to be the same height, stack them in a cool way, or use smaller stands or blocks to change it up. This will help to keep customers engaged in the market, and avoid products getting lost amongst the rest.
8. Let There Be Light!
Don’t leave any products in the dark. Make sure that the lighting in your market helps to showcase the products. When possible, on special displays, use small spotlights facing the products to help them really stand out! If your market has rows of shelves, make sure they are lined up with any ceiling lights, so that the light falls between the rows, lighting up the products. Don’t let any products sit in a dark spot, or they won’t be seen.
9. Keep it Clean
This might seem like an obvious tip – and it should be! Dust and dirt become obvious to customers. It makes the products and your entire market unappealing. Cleaning your market should be done very frequently, if not every time you visit. This includes dusting and wiping off shelves, displays, the insides of any coolers, the kiosks, floors, etc… People want to buy new products. New products should be fresh and clean! If a customer goes into a market and sees an amazing display with really great products on it, clearly labeled and ready to purchase from, none of that will matter to them if the display is full of dust. Keep your market and the products in it clean!
10. Makes Sense!
Most of the merchandising we have gone through is visual merchandising.. But don’t forget, we have 4 other senses.
- SOUND: Play music in your market that will keep customers around, not drive them away. It is important to know your customer. Adjust your music to the demographics of your clientele, if you want to slow customers down and get them to browse play more mellow music. Whichever music is best for your environment, keep it relatively quiet. Nobody likes to go into a market and not be able to hear themselves thinking. Also, to state the obvious, keep your music clean, too. Avoid music with offensive language.
- SMELL: You might not think about it at first, but smell is one of the most important senses to pay attention to in merchandising. It is the quickest sense we have to get to the brain. It can bring back memories and bring out emotions. Use this to your advantage! Have fresh-baked goods, flowers or other pleasantly scented items around to put customers in a good mood.
- TASTE: If you are able to offer samples, try it! They work like a charm.
- TOUCH: People often learn and become engaged by doing. If you offer any products that customers might like to try before purchasing, have a sample, unpackaged item out for them to try. It might give them the reassurance they need to purchase that item. Also, keep in mind the temperature of your market. During the hot, summer days, keep it cool and refreshing. When it’s cold, keep your market a little warmed up. Make sure your customers are as comfortable as possible, so they aren’t rushed to leave.