At WBC, we certainly wouldn’t call ourselves consumer experts per se, but our customer base of more than 10,000 independent specialist retailers certainly are. We’ve spent years listening to your experiences of what works and what doesn’t, and when we asked some of our customers to share how they’ve dressed their retail space for maximum impact, we were blown away by the response. There is no magical way to become a successful retailer, but we’ve put together a few of our favourite tips that should inspire you in the year ahead. Our growing collection of merchandising solutions are designed specifically with your needs in mind, so you can offer your customers the very best retail experience.
Increase your Curb Appeal
Clearly identify who you’re trying to attract to your store by profiling your ideal customer. Who are they? What motivates them? What do they like and what do they dislike? By doing a bit of research you’ll focus your efforts on them and their needs. Maximise your shop front signage clearly showing what you have to offer – and don’t forget your lighting! You have just seconds to grab the attention of a passer-by, make sure you create the right ambience so that you don’t lose them at the first hurdle. Communication and face-to-face time set independent retailers apart. Simply standing on the pavement offering samples of new produce or handing out discount vouchers can help generate interest and tempt in new customers.
Share the Knowledge
Ensure your customer can easily find out how much something is without having to ask. Use ‘Point Of Sale’ displays like chalkboard signs to communicate price points, special offers and new products. You want to keep your customers inspired, try featuring regular recipe ideas, food & drink pairing or special one-offs like ‘hamper of the month’. If you need inspiration refer back to our ‘Inspire Me’ blog for how to make a hamper, we have lots of ideas for you. We’ve said it before but if there is one major advantage that independents have over multiples, it’s that you offer a personality, a service, and a unique selling point. Take advantage of it and you’ll be amazed how much your customer sticks to you like glue.
It’s important to have an understanding of how your customers feel when they enter your store. Obviously you want them to ‘feel’ comfortable and welcome, but as much as just pleasant feeling, you want to them to leave having bought something. Creating a store ‘planogram’ to map out your customer’s journey will help you influence traffic flow and guide shoppers towards premium speciality lines. Your store should have an obvious flow that customers find easy to navigate.
Good merchandising involves displaying product lines in complimentary colour groups and product categories. It may sound simple but if your store makes sense, and people can find what they’re looking for, they are far more likely to make your store their permanent home. Lastly, think about the areas of high footfall. What products are in eye-view? Where does your customer queue? The ‘checkout’ area is an ideal place to create displays that encourage impulse purchases. After all, a simple ‘bag-for-life’ is a mere drop in the ocean at trade price, but it can provide you with more than 100% profit when sold at retail just by placing it in a strategic position.
With those 3 pointers in place: increasing curb appeal, sharing your knowledge, and merchandising 101, what retail display solutions are available from WBC to help you create the perfect stage for your product?
WBC’s Merchandising Must have’s:
From Hessian sacks to antique fruit crates, the trend for recycled and recyclable packaging shows no signs of slowing down. Whether you offer food or drink or flowers, vintage is affordable and creates a wonderful ambience of back to nature and comfort. See how we re-vamped a local fruit and veg shop in South London, by helping them go vintage.
2. The Prop Shop
We recently introduced a brand new prop shop of one-off antiques you’ll find nowhere else. Now you can create an authentic retail space that makes a statement without the hassle of traipsing through antique dealers and scrap yards to do it. Perfect for retail showrooms, window displays and styling, but if you see something you like, move fast when they’re gone they’re gone!
3. In-store Display
Increase sales using floor standing units that create individual ‘Hot Spots’ that you can use to feature special offers or seasonal products like the Cool Britannia selections. Wicker shopping baskets make a great display, but they also double up as shopping baskets that encourage purchasing, and then become something to buy in themselves – 3 uses for the price of one.
4. Window and Store-front display
Floor standing retail display units can also be used outside to attract passers by and encourage increased traffic. Nested sets of wood and wicker display trays are designed to fit on these units or independently of them, either way they immediately create a ‘home-made’ feel.
5. Trade Shows, Exhibitions & Pop-ups
With an increasing number of artisan food and drink producers and retailers choosing to exhibit their produce across the UK’s many trade shows, market stalls, farmers markets and pop-ups, you’ll be looking for an attractive but versatile solution for displaying product. We recently worked with independent gift retailer, Grape Things to create an attractive display at the Ideal Home Show 2011 on a tight budget. The picture above shows just what can be achieved when finances are tight.
Coming Spring 2012
An extended range of freestanding display solutions is coming soon. They will provide a flexible and effective way to give your retail space a fresh look without the expense or restrictions that fixed units can impose. Contact us free on 08000 85 85 95 to register your interest and we’ll keep you up to date on when they come in!