If you are a small retail business owner, the first thing you would want is more customers. Attracting customers will allow you to make more sales, and therefore allow you to earn more revenue. But small business is often limited by the lack of money and resources. Merchandising allows you to draw more customers to your retail store without having to expand your business. Simply by giving your customers a more personal and pleasant experience within your store.
Merchandising: Accelerate Your Retail Store
What is Merchandising?
Merchandising refers to any activity which motivates a retail consumer to buy your products. This includes variation in the products available for sale and the display of products in such a way that it catches customer interest and nudges them towards making a purchase.
In the retail industry, visual merchandising can be done by making enticing product designs, variety in selection, eye-catching packaging, tempting prices, and display of products to stimulate customers into a purchase. It also includes the strategies that affect decide which customers should be shown. Which product or what products should be displayed at a particular.
To grow your business and increase your sales, you can take up several strategies regarding merchandising which can attract customers to your shop’s doorsteps. Window and in-store displays of your products can be a way to catch the interest of your customers into buying products that they had no intention of buying. You can also group similar products such as toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwashes, and other products related to dental hygiene.
Presenting free samples of consumable products such as chocolates or sweets can interest consumers into trying some out and persuade them into buying them. It is also important to have items in stock, to prevent your customer’s morale from dropping. Should they fail to find any of the items they are looking for.
Merchandising is not only limited to stocks and products of a business. It is also important to take a customer’s psychological aspects into account as well. Your store must also emphasize on tidiness and organization, which would affect a customer’s satisfaction.
This includes cleanliness of floors, shelves, and aisles and the absence of dust from old products, shelves, or other furniture present in the shop. The physical location and spaciousness of your store affect your customers’ spirits as well. The arrangement of products in a neat and organized manner can also a crucial factor in determining whether a customer chooses to buy your products.
Types of Merchandising
You can grow your business in many ways using merchandising. Some of its types are:
– Product Merchandising
Product merchandising deals with all regarding the product itself and the promotion of its sales. As mentioned earlier, this includes a neat display of products, exhibiting its unique characteristics, free sampling and in-store promotions.
– Visual Merchandising
Visual merchandising consists of activities that are used to highlight the features of your products. This can be done by the use of the physical space of your store. As well as playing with the lighting and designs within the store. In the digital medium, the use of colors, concrete web design, and elegant fonts can help attract customers.
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– Retail Merchandising
Retail merchandising is concerned with using activities that promote the product in the physical space. It comprises all marketing activities that attract customers physically to the store, rather than online or through a digital medium.
– Digital Merchandising
The counterpart of retail merchandising, digital merchandising refers to the merchandising techniques used to attract customers digitally. This consists of website promotions, email marketing, social media marketing, and online advertisements to sell your product. With the growth in technology and booming social media sites, digital merchandising is now a crucial part of any business to gain more traction.
– Omnichannel Merchandising
Also known as omnichannel retailing, omnichannel merchandising creates a seamless experience for all customers in all platforms where a retailer is selling his or her products. For example, the Starbucks app allows customers to order in advance. And when a customer pays using the Starbucks card, the information gets updated across all channels. Thus the customers can enjoy a unified experience, regardless of the outlet they are in.
The Pros and Cons of Merchandising
The proper use of merchandising has a positive effect on the business and will maximize revenue for you. It allows you to increase your profits without expanding your business in size or investing more money in manufacturing or R&D.
It brings more customers to your store, and the increased traffic increases the possibility of impulse purchases. Thus, effective merchandising allows you to increase your sales and therefore achieve a higher profit. For example, spaciousness makes a store easier for customers to navigate, raising the spirits of the customers and making shopping a pleasant experience.
However, merchandising is not all sunshine and butterflies. There are several limitations to running an effective merchandising campaign. For instance, it would be wrong to assume its campaign is a one-time thing. Your store must keep up with the changes in seasons and festivals for customers to enjoy the experience and feel comfortable within your store. For example, customers would more likely to attract to your store in December if you decorate it with Christmas lights.
You will also need expert staff and quality equipment, furniture and fixtures. Which would initially cost a lot of money. Also whilst, merchandising may bring more traffic to your store. Customers will not purchase if there is a downgrade in the quality and prices of the products.
The above requirements will cost you money. There will need to be continual investments in your store, which will increase the expenses of your store. Thus, even though it can increase your profits, there are initial expenses that would need to bourn initially.
While it may seem the use of merchandising is overwhelming and unnecessary. The changes it creates in your customers’ mood and motivations is shocking. Knowing your customers’ profiles and experimenting with styles and variety in your store can help your store achieve the traction you have been looking for.