What is merchandising? What are the best merchandising techniques and the most effective practices to sell more?
Definition: Merchandising includes all the methods aimed at optimizing the installation and presentation of products in stores, with the aim of increasing sales and profitability of the point of sale.
Born in the 1950s in the United States, merchandising is a branch of marketing that could be summed up as follows:
the right product (or rather the right assortment of products),
in the right place (space allocated to each product, circulation and layout of the point of sale),
at the right time (with the right communication),
at the right price (with the right offers),
In good quantity (products correctly highlighted and highlighted).
Having a real merchandising policy will help you:
bring in more customers,
to sell more while ensuring a real comfort of purchase,
To keep customers coming back.
The goal is also to better face the competition and offer a differentiated point of sale and offer.
This article offers you a simple and practical approach to merchandising. Take notes, decline and apply the tips for your store. This quasi-scientific method, coupled with a little rigor, should naturally increase your turnover.
Merchandising: the art of meeting customer needs.
Have you ever wondered what your customer really expects from their visit to your sales area? Chances are he wants:
And a price in accordance with its budget.
But above all, he wants to save time, have fun and simplify his life. The goal will therefore be that the passage of the potential customer in your shop is the opposite of the obstacle course!
For your part, you expect your customers to buy as much as possible, as often as possible, but also to bring in other customers.
Consequently, the good merchant is the one who knows how to build a relevant offer, explain his products, and help in the choice. All with kindness and making life easier for customers.
How to promote your commercial offer?
Merchandising consists of highlighting the point of sale as well as the products or services offered. This concerns the exterior of the store, its interior, but also the products themselves.
1) Promote the exterior of the point of sale.
Highlighting the outside of the store is a strategic issue in merchandising, because it is necessary to:
bring the customer (sometimes from afar),
encourage him to stop,
And get him to enter.
Here are some key techniques to enhance the exterior of your point of sale:
by the sign: pay particular attention to the size, material and colors of the sign,
by exterior signage: the trade name or logo designing can be recalled on a banner, flag, exterior easel board, but also on bags, packaging, leaflets or flyers,
By lighting: too often neglected, it must be really used in the window, as well as for the exterior sign, and for the point of sale itself, in a logic of coherence and continuity. Shop window lighting times must go well beyond opening hours.
Stop customers: this requires surprising people, for example by evoking a theme, a party, an event. The goal is to
create a strong visual impact, unexpected.
Bring in customers: through offers or price examples, but also and above all through staged, lively, and correctly valued products, not too numerous.
Some merchandising tips for a successful showcase:
List in advance the themes and events of the year,
Identify the decorations to be created,
Plan a window renewal rate (minimum once a month),
Present products that are complementary to each other, and consistent with the settings and events chosen,
Add value to the products by staging and highlighting them, or by using suitable media. Remove the packaging, be irreproachable on the visual quality or any defects,
See your showcase not as a flat surface but as a vertical space to decorate and animate,
Leave a little free field to see the interior of the store,
Ensure impeccable cleanliness (especially no dust or cobwebs!) And a permanent order,
Ensure neat surroundings (cleanliness of the building and the sidewalk),
Display products representative of your level of range.
In terms of merchandising, a showcase is a failure if:
it is not renewed: the barge has the impression that it is always the same thing,
too many products are on display,
if prices are missing: the customer may think that it must be very expensive … and do not enter,
if the window is not perfectly clean: the customer thinks that the products are out of fashion,
If the products on display have no link between them: the customer does not understand what is being sold.
Some aspects of window display regulations:
any product (or service) marketed by the point of sale must bear a price , including in the window,
the price must appear on the product itself,
a tolerance accepts a series of nearby prices, but this must remain easily understood by the customer,
When the showcase is assembled or dismantled, a panel must be put in place bearing the words “showcase in progress”.
Know how to use the outdoor space at the point of sale.
It is often very interesting (and very selling) to use the public space located in the immediate vicinity of the point of sale and in particular the sidewalk. This requires obtaining authorization from the town hall.
Highlight products with a good visual impact, for example bulky or colorful. This will give a lively side to your store and make the customer want to come in. This is also part of the merchandising!
2) Promote the interior of the point of sale.
Once the customer has entered, the goal is to make him discover all the products and services, to seduce him by attracting him to complementary products, and, of course, to make him buy.
Some basic rules and tips for merchandising inside your store
The customer does not easily push a door out of fear, shyness or laziness: leave your store door wide open,
The client hates silence, he feels observed. Use a pleasant background sound,
The customer spontaneously moves to the right: make it easier for him by placing attractive products at the start of his journey (lead products),
The customer is afraid of being confronted with a cash register (negative signal): place your cash register at the end of the journey, generally to the left of the store.
The customer very rarely walks through the entire store: attract them to neglected areas by placing products there that they systematically come to buy,
The customer rarely looks up and down: take this into account when placing your products.
Presentation furniture or merchandising furniture
They reflect your concept and you’re positioning. Take care of their visual quality, by choosing a suitable material; for example:
painted white metal: entry level,
solid or lacquered wood: more upscale,
Where and how to place the furniture, shelves and displays?
First of all, identify the journey of your customers,
If the route is too fast, or if the customer avoids certain areas, create a new attraction point:
Move a piece of furniture,
Cause a break in the course,
Place a piece of furniture so as to slow down the path,
Be careful not to leave any empty space: this creates an atmosphere that is not very conducive to the comfort of buying and selling,
Furniture should not exceed 1.90 meters high on the wall; if they are positioned in the center of the store, provide a height of less than 1.5 meters so as to leave a visual field,
If possible, use comfort items: armchair, drink or candy point, product information display, etc.
Some advice on lighting:
The lighting must bring clarity without aggressiveness,
It must be studied to add value to the products,
It constitutes an element of comfort for the customer,
Do not hesitate to play with the color of the lighting for a warmer atmosphere for example (yellow, pink, etc.),
Beware of grilled spots or spots of different colors: they give a very negative image of your store.
Of course, enhancing the interior of a point of sale implies adapting to constraints such as the shape of the store, the location of the reserve, the location of shelves requiring assistance (cut-to-size products for example), the volume of products presented or their fragility, emergency exits, etc.