Merchandising: Present Your Products and Make Them Easy to Navigate

Being smart and strategic with your store merchandising is key to having a nice, easy-to-navigate showroom. I recently read an article that listed the top 12 solutions a store owner should do in order to direct customer attention and maximize showroom space. I am going to list my top 9 recommendations from their list. See article reference below.

1: Take It Outside
When the weather is good, set up a tent or small covered area and put a small sampling of products outside. Highlight any special deals you may be promoting. Delegate a salesperson to stay with the product, greet customers as they approach your store, answer questions and talk about your promotion. People are drawn to activity they can see so you will surely catch their attention. If they are even remotely in the market for new flooring, this is a great way to get them to stop in and at least take a business card.

2: Identify Everything
Make it easy for your customers to get a general idea on pricing, product value and benefits. By identifying these key buying factors up front, your customers can find exactly what they need and maximize their time, AND YOURS! When you know what price point they are starting at and what products fall in that category, you have the opportunity to help them get more for their money. The next level up in product may be a better value for them and you can show them that with confidence. Besides helping out the customer, you will also make a little more profit for your store. 
 
3: Set the Mood with Your Window Displays
A few of my stores make designer boards that show coordinating products together. They love to display the larger sample boards, paired with mosaics, window coverings, tiles, carpets, cabinet doors or any other complementary product. If you have a store on a high-traffic street, utilize your windows as giant 3-D billboards. Change out displays monthly, featuring new designs and products pairings. Make sure your entire sales team is ready to answer questions about the display when interested customers walk through your doors. 
 
4: Embrace All the Senses
For me personally, I notice smells. If you’ve ever ridden in my car or visited by house, you would know that I always have fresh air fresheners or candles burning. People like a welcoming atmosphere and pleasant scents, sounds and sights. These senses create memories or bring back memories, often drawing people back to your store.
 
5: Show Customers How It Will Look At Home
A lot of our vendors have developed software that allows a person to upload a photo and see how a particular style virtually looks in their home. Each salesperson should have a good understanding of how these tools work and should be sure to mention them to their customers. Demonstrate how the program works on your device so they can play around with it at home. Also, send samples home with them to get an idea of what they look like in different lighting. Be sure to help them load the samples into their vehicle. I always tell retailers, “Make sure your customer never leaves empty-handed.” Studies show that stores have a higher percentage of returning customers when the salesperson has taken the time to send them with samples to try and trusts them to report back. Also, make sure to get contact information so you can follow up with them and also to get the sample back.
 
6: Group Like Product with Like Product
One of the biggest challenges a store encounters is space; how to maximize it and how to create appealing displays that look like they’re in place. A lot of times, learning to maximize just means you need to get organized. Try to separate product categories and give them their own sections. Keep product types together, for instance, put laminates with laminates, LVT with LVT, etc. Utilize open floor space by making a circle or triangle with displays. Not everything needs to be placed next to a wall. Displays that invite people to walk around them, with plenty of room to see every side allows the person to focus on that display, eliminating overwhelming distractions cutting into their view. If your floorspace isn’t large enough to create shapes with your displays, isles are fine as long as they are short and maybe even angled. Angle your isles intentionally to lead your customer’s eye to something interesting such as promotional signage highlighting your specials or an installation featuring highly sought-after product. Organize your products in the displays according to value: good, better and best. Higher value = higher margins.
 
7: Use Spotlights
Good lighting is crucial to our business in order to help customers see colors accurately. You don’t want them getting a product home, installed and then finding out that it doesn’t look as good as it did in the store. Spotlighting can also draw attention to certain displays, enticing the customer to check it out over other displays. Take control of your customer’s experience and help guide them through your store to the products you really want them to buy.
 
8: Change Your Displays Often
You should update your displays every 6-12 months. Introduce new products or just change placing of displays. Each change will create a new visual experience for customers that frequent your store. Changing up the displays not only gives customers something new to explore, your sales team will also see things differently. FLCE02 Every salesperson has “go-to” products. It’s easy to direct customers to them because the salesperson is more familiar with them and are able to sell them with confidence. By subconsciously avoiding the rest of the products in the store, opportunities to serve the client better. This “tunnel vision” mentality is tough to overcome but we need to make sure we’re not overlooking product of higher value, both in benefits and profit. By retraining our brain to recognize the entire selection, we are able to sell with competency and become that “go-to” salesperson your customer wants.
 
9: Don’t Be Afraid of Color
Strong colors draw strong attention. Make your displays standout by adding a pop of color. You don’t want to go overboard but you can accomplish the same goal with color as you do with spotlighting. Color adds interest, attracts certain people based on preferences or loyalties such as featuring the local school colors or organizations that locals can get behind.
 
In conclusion, a showroom can add excitement to the sales staff and customers. Be both trendy and practical. Switch it up. Don’t be predictable with styles and designs. We are working hard to bring you a variety of new products at Tri-State. Be ready to display them proudly. Thanks so much for your continued partnerships!
 
Reference: “Top 12 Visual Merchandising Ideas” from www.Smart-Retailer.com
 

– Trent McDowell

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