Merchandising Secrets You Need to Know (BTW, they can boost retail by 35%)

by Annet King (as seen in Skin Inc.)

Whether it’s prescribing the right products to colleagues and friends or dealing directly with clients, I love retailing. I appreciate thought-provoking displays, well-merchandised and easy-to-navigate shelves, and anything clever, thoughtful or a bit cheeky. On the other hand, I can’t help but cringe at retail revenue killers: products that are locked away; sad, half-empty shelves; dirty or empty testers; no visible pricing; unpassionate sales people; and tired looking signage. Love it or hate it, retail is critical to maintaining a profitable business, and proper merchandising is the key to retail success.

Let’s be clear, merchandising isn’t just about fancy displays or something only bigger department stores can do. It is an indicator of your business image, an integral part of the customer experience that demonstrates an understanding of the way they shop. And done correctly, merchandising can increase retail revenue by 35%. It's estimated that by 2016, the global skin care market will reach $121 billion with prestige products positioned as the biggest growing category. Consumers are buying more skin care products than ever—there’s no reason they shouldn’t be purchasing them from you. Let’s make it easy on them and ourselves by putting our products to work. Follow these tips to swiftly see a positive shift.

1. The “Newness” Factor: After just one visit to a store, consumers will seek a new retail experience. They get bored easily, and are after something different each time. Change up your displays, windows, point-of-sale or feature table twice a month so clients have something to pique their interest every visit. Doing this also gives you and your staff something new to talk about

2. Turn Up The Music: Eight of 10 customers buy more when music is playing. And, while upbeat tunes will energize shoppers more than spa-like vibes, keep it as background music so as not to not overpower the rest of the shopping experience.

3. Cash Wrap = Easy Cash: Point of sale (POS) displays are responsible for 80% of the buying decision. These are impulse buys, so keep purse friendly items like travel sizes, hand cream and lip treatments here. It’s also a hot spot to highlight promotions and new products.

4. Light It Up: Good lighting for shelves and displays can increase sales by 25%.

5. No Price, No Sale: Without clear pricing, the sale will be lost nine of 10 times. Customers do not want to have to ask or review a price list.

6. Customers Shop to the Right: The majority of the population is right-handed, so have your core product shelving and merchandising on the right of your space.

7. Eye Level is Buy Level: Merchandise best-sellers at eye level for quick easy navigation and sales.

8. Use Mirrors: Because we all like to look at ourselves, mirrors slow down customers. More time in the space equals more purchasing time.

9. Make Touch a Focus: Unplanned buying is reliant on touch. This is why luxe cashmere sweaters are stacked on tables. This means clean testers, mirrors and tissues on hand. Personalization, education and demonstration will take the experience much further.

10. Straighten Up: Products should be well-stocked and straight. Use a wooden ruler to straighten and even out products. Ensure testers are in front of corresponding products.

11. Call Out: Use professional looking visuals and signs whenever possible to enhance displays and to communicate your message.

12. Odds Are In: Always display products in groupings of threes or fives, tallest to smallest, creating a pyramid shape. This will provide balance to your displays.

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Merchandising Secrets You Need to Know (BTW, they can boost retail by 35%)