In the fast-paced world of retail, standing still can quickly lead to falling behind your competitors. A holistic approach to merchandising is key to ensuring measurable, ongoing growth for your store – so rather than fixating on short-lived industry fads, you’ll need a strategy that’s built to last.
An airtight action plan should combine fundamental procedures with forward-thinking initiatives, from maintaining and streamlining your store to raising revenue in the long term. Today we’re bringing you a comprehensive in-store checklist so that you can level up your retail merchandising efforts in 2016.
Strategise for success
A scattergun approach to retail merchandising restricts your chances of making a real impact with target customers. Whether you’re mapping the customer’s path through your store or giving high-margin products pride of place, it’s crucial to keep one eye on the customer experience and the other on your store’s profitability at all times.
Crack the customer journey
Every in-store experience is a journey – and effective retail merchandising revolves around making the route through your shop as rewarding as possible for customer and retailer alike. Arrange products with a clear and logical path in mind – and consider placing essential everyday items at the very back of your store to guarantee the maximum number of customers complete this journey.
Perfecting the in-store experience and taking customers on a natural journey can be an effective way of curtailing showrooming in your store – with visitors compelled to explore the shop rather than spending the minimum amount of time in your store only to complete their transaction online.
Identify prime time products
Reserve primary locations for big ticket and high margin products to create engaging ‘hotspots’ throughout your store. Ensuring these key products and special offers are impossible to miss is crucial to helping them perform the way they should – giving you the chance to affect your store’s bottom line.
Act on impulse
Impulse buyers mean big business for retailers – and capitalising on these last-minute purchases can go a long way to increasing your customers’ spend-per-visit. Every store should have its own impulse purchase section and, by stocking this with fast-moving, high margin products, you can persuade customers to add another product or two to their baskets before they reach the point of sale.
Start a chain reaction
Inspiring bulk-buys is a surefire way to supersize spend-per-visit, but you’ll need to plant the seed to reap the benefits. The key is to strategically arrange products so that complementary items are grouped together, such as related products or accessories – incentivising link purchases store-wide and increasing revenue as a result.
Powerful point of sale (POS) displays bring your retail merchandising strategy to fruition, harnessing the potential of eye-catching visual assets to make your customers take notice. From counter-top literature stands to practical FSDUs and dump bins, retail display materials draw attention to key products across your store – with customisation options galore to help you bring your brand to life.
Get creative with shelf space
Retail space combines practical product storage with unique display potential – and recognising your shelves as more than mere racks will help you to ensure maximum impact. By double-facing popular products and adorning your shelves with attention-grabbing shelf wobblers, you can give higher margin items the exposure they deserve and put all eyes on the products that matter most. There are many POP display providers like Creative Displays Now for customized end-cap displays and aisle violators.
Examine your inventory
Retail success rests on a meticulous approach to maintenance – and taking stock is essential when it comes to keeping your store running like a well-oiled machine. A complete understanding of inventory management gives you the tools to offer an effective and efficient service – and this knowledge should be shared throughout your team for best results.
Invest in your stock
Identifying high-performing products creates lucrative opportunities to invest in these big ticket items and build strategies around popular purchases. Closely monitoring your store’s inventory provides valuable data your team can use to take advantage of the best performers and avoid restocking items that have historically been slow or difficult to shift.
Integrate in-store systems
Omnichannel retailing continues to grow in popularity, making it more crucial than ever to offer an integrated multi-platform experience. The diverse range of EPOS systems available to retailers includes everything from barcode scanners to touchscreen monitors at the point of purchase – giving customers instant and unlimited access to product information, stock levels and stress-free transactions.
By implementing state-of-the-art EPOS till systems in your store, you can also qualify for the Point of Sale VAT scheme awarded to retailers, with electronic tills able to calculate VAT on goods sold at the time of sale.
From managing your inventory to optimising your point of sale, the secret to a successful store revolves around providing a satisfying and streamlined customer experience. Giving visitors the right product in the right place at the right time is your key to maximising spend-per-visit and, ultimately, taking your profits to the next level.