to visual merchandising
take a trip and examine the sales floors of your competitors; we
want to see how they merchandise the goods and services they offer.
Hopefully, at each business, we will find quality items, well displayed
and reasonably priced-these three being the essential components
of selling merchandise.
make this happen, manufacturers have spent tremendous amounts of
money creating displays that will assist the customer in making
the decision to buy, whether or not a salesperson is with the customer.
It is also true that the manufacturer wants to be sure that the
customer purchases its merchandise-even if it is not from the store
they are currently in.
often we find dependence by dealers on manufacturers' displays.
Many times a sales floor becomes a collection of manufacturers'
displays rather than a showroom for the goods and services offered
by the business. Let's take a look at a baker's dozen of ideas that
will not only increase your chances of completing the sale, but
also will enhance your ability to distinguish yourself from the
first look at ideas 1 through 4, as they work together. Research
has shown the importance of the first-having an attractive entrance.
Over 50 percent of customers get their strongest perception of your
business by the exterior appearance. Mother was right when she told
us you only get one chance to make a first impression. The second
idea is to look at how merchandise is placed around your business.
You want customers to immediately see the direction you want them
to go (usually to the right) as they enter your sales floor. The
traffic flow you have created should take the customer through the
store in a manner by which they are exposed to all the product categories
you carry (idea 3).
4 is to place your drawing-card merchandise in the back of the store.
Think about a grocery store: where do they place the milk, bread,
eggs, and meat? They are on exterior walls, far away from the front
door. This is so the customer will see as much of the store as possible.
next five ideas also work together in maximizing the displays you
create and making the manufacturer's display an important part of
your efforts. The sales floor needs not only to address the current
season, but also should tell the customers about the trends for
the next season. Just visit a department store to see how winter
coats are displayed in late summer. This plants a thought in the
mind of the customer of where to shop when he or she has a need
for a winter coat.
6 is that your store should appeal to as many of the five senses
as possible. Research shows that customers are more likely to spend
money when the store smells good, has pleasant music, and allows
them to see and feel the products. Give the customer something to
nibble on-and you cover all five senses!
Grouping merchandise by colors is the idea 7. Just look at how hand
tools in a hardware store are available in day-glow colors. It is
also important to place related items near one another (idea 8),
and have displays of add-on sale items (idea 9). For example, if
you sell curtain rods and drapery hardware, they should be near
the drapery sample displays. After all, you should tell the customer
a new drapery deserves a new drapery rod.
impulse purchases is idea 10. Look again at the checkout aisle in
a grocery store, and you will see masters of getting customers to
add just one more thing to their purchases. While we are discussing
floor displays, if a display has an unattractive side, it should
be placed against a wall or backed up to another display. Merchandise
needs to be seen from whichever direction a customer approaches
our display discussion, the most important space in your business
is the area at eye level. Using the walls to their maximum, you
should display the high dollar items at eye level (idea 12); and
if you sell accessories to the whole goods you are selling, the
whole goods should occupy the eye-level space (idea 13).
we promised you a baker's dozen of ideas, there is one more. This
is done intentionally because, just as in dealing with customers,
you should give them more than what is expected. Idea 14 deals with
signs. Signs have been shown to substantially increase sales. With
today's computer-software programs, you can easily create signs
to introduce new products, explain their features and benefits,
and tell your customers the services you offer.
customers have the advantage of being able to shop through a catalog,
the Internet, or in your store. When they do come to your store,
make sure your store gives them many reasons not only to do business
with you but also to return.