Understand what merchandising is in practice and learn how to make an effective strategy – WAU
Merchandising is a marketing technique focused on presenting and passing on information about products available at points of sale.
Do you know what merchandising is? For sure, you have heard of this Marketing tool and have a notion. But you may not know how to apply to your own business.
Although this situation is quite common, make sure that understanding this concept and knowing how to apply it to your enterprise is essential to be more successful.
This also has to do with commoditization and massification of products.
After all, products, services, customer service and points of sale are quite similar today.
So, how to stand out? How to attract more customers and add value to your product or service?
Considering these issues, we must first understand:
What is merchandising?
This is a marketing tool whose techniques are intended to present and pass on information about the products available at points of sale.
The final objective is for the goods to have a turnover, that is, a high turnover, avoiding that they remain in stock for a long time.
Thus, we can also say that this feature helps to lower the company’s costs, since the storage of products in stock causes extra expenses, which can be reduced with product turnover.
However, the main purpose of the tool is to attract customers present at the point of sale, making them feel attracted by the products offered.
This involves knowing about consumer behavior.
It is important to know what your preferences, desires and demands are.
That way, it is easier to make them buy, even if you don’t need that product.
At this point, another question you should be asking yourself is:
How to develop a merchandising strategy?
Considering the main purpose of the tool, a step-by-step is taken to develop an appropriate strategy.
However, it is important to highlight that there are basic strategies, which should be adopted in any situation, and others that are more innovative, helping your company to differentiate yourself from the competition.
To better understand, let’s first present the basic steps that must be followed.
Define your audience
Any entrepreneur must know his target audience since before the opening of the business.
However, the elaboration of a strategy to attract customers requires that this element be well defined, including consumption patterns, purchasing habits and consumer behaviors.
Outline the goals to be achieved
Whenever a strategy is devised, you need to have well-defined goals to be achieved.
In addition, it is necessary to define the deadline for achieving the objectives.
Thus, it is possible to measure and make sure that the strategy is being carried out well and that there are no deviations.
On the other hand, when faults are found, you must analyze and adjust them, avoiding too much damage.
Create stimuli appropriate to the target audience
Knowledge of the target audience is important because the stimuli of the strategy must be adapted to it.
Therefore, consider the wishes, demands and needs of the consumer, offering products and services that meet quality requirements, physical attributes, price and functionality.
Offer a beautiful and pleasant selling point
The saying goes that “the first impression is what remains”. This also applies to the point of sale.
Therefore, it must be beautiful and pleasant, an inviting environment for customers.
In this case, it is worth taking care of the layout, the appearance, the organization of the items, the conservation of the facilities and the motivation of the employees (yes, they also represent your company and can pass on a positive or negative image of the business).
Formulate an annual promotion calendar
One of the most efficient ways to attract new customers is through promotions.
Therefore, prepare an annual calendar that contains promotions on the main holidays, such as Christmas, Easter, Children’s Day etc.
These dates must be significant for the area in which the business operates; only in this way will they have a really positive impact.
Therefore, one must change the displays monthly, highlighting what is new.
Now that you know all the mandatory good practices, how about knowing some strategies to innovate and differentiate yourself from the competition? See below.
Create an identity for the business
It is not enough to have a company, it needs to stand out from the competition and be remembered by customers.
However, the point of sale must be totally differentiated, offering an immersive experience for the consumer.
This offers so many incentives to customers that it is normal that they end up buying a product just for the experience they are going through.
Therefore, your company must have an identity, which must take into account the consumer and be reflected at the point of sale.
Involve the most different senses in the experience
The experience offered at the point of sale should not be restricted to just one sense of the consumer.
The more senses it covers, the more effective it will be. So, think about the ambient sound, the aromas that will be scattered, the adequate lighting, which favors the exhibition of products etc.
Thus, upon entering the establishment, the customer already feels involved. An example of this are the stores in O Boticário. Perfume aromas and lighting are very characteristic.
Adopt technology to convince customers to buy
Technology should always be used to your advantage, you already know that. But have you ever thought that it can also improve interactivity and help the customer when making their choice?
This is very clear in cell phone stores, which use prototypes and offer the possibility for the customer to touch the smartphone before actually purchasing it.
Therefore, bet on technology, offering the possibility for the customer to try the product, even if virtually, show videos that allow the customer to better know the product’s functionalities, make simulations (for example, changing the decoration in a certain environment) etc.
Know what’s important and focus on it
Every business has an element that should suffer more attention than the others. And you, as an entrepreneur, need to know that.
Therefore, identify which product attracts the most attention, which is purchased on impulse, which has the best cost-benefit ratio, etc.
This way, you will know which goods should be highlighted.
In general, the products that draw the most attention can stay in the back of the store, because that way the customer has the chance to view other objects.
New products should be highlighted. In turn, products that are more impulse purchased should be close to the checkout counter.
Test before putting a strategy into practice
Whenever possible, test the strategy that will be adopted, especially if it has a low implementation cost.
Thus, you will check the opinion of consumers and will be able to reorganize your point of sale in the best possible way.
Have an element of exclusivity at your point of sale.
It can be a different way of presenting products, offering promotions or offers with customized gifts or any other action that draws the consumer’s attention.
The goal is to create in the target audience the feeling that there is always something new.
What factors influence merchandising?
To stand out, the company needs to innovate, either in products, or in new and best practices. The focus should be on persistence and simplicity.
The company needs to be focused on new technologies, offering practical and quick solutions that also increase productivity.
Thus, it is linked to trends in gaining time and increasing and improving practicality.
The self-service modality is becoming more and more common due to problems with labor.
This way, customers can search for what they want more quickly, changing the more traditional retail format.
Increase in the value of services
The value of services often increases as a means of customer loyalty and differentiation.
It is important to pay attention to this element, because different brands have similar products and what will make a difference for the consumer are the aggregated services, whether tangible or intangible.
Management effectiveness and efficiency
Effective and efficient management brings positive results to the organization.
This includes organizing the environment, controlling and monitoring inventory, managing human resources, training and qualifying sales teams, etc.
So, adopt good practices and measure them by means of indicators, ensuring that the business administration is being efficient.
What are the positive and negative points of this strategy?
As you have already noticed, this tool can bring many benefits to your company.
However, it can also cause negative impacts when not used properly.
So, what are the positives? We can say that it helps to highlight products, differentiate the company from the competition, draw the attention of consumers and encourage them to buy.
But it is important that you know that this strategy in itself is not decisive for the success of a company.
This is the negative point. Therefore, it is necessary to work on price, service, product quality, advertising and other factors together with this strategy, ensuring better results.
Thus, using merchandising as a tool and combining it with other elements, your company will be more successful and attract more customers.
However, to further improve the positive result, how about learning better about the point of sale? So, read the post POS now: how to choose the best selling point for your store?