Retail is big business. Even during the recent recession you could go down to your local shopping center and find it packed with people carrying bags from the large high street retailers. The question is how do retailers convince shoppers that they need to buy from them?
In its simplest form you could say that if someone knows they want to buy a product they will just buy it – they don't need any convincing. What what about the potential for upselling accessories for that product, or planting a seed in a customers mind to buy something else?
That is where Retail Merchandising can help.
In the past many retailers have seen merchandising as nothing more than an expense, where as now it can be seen as a profitable investment. The science of merchandising is based around a solid marketing plan and no matter how big or small your operation you should allocate a sensible budget for your merchandising.
Retail Merchandising isn't just about putting products onto a shelf. It's about planning, product mix, customer experience and execution. A good merchandiser will look at your store in the eyes of your customers – right from the moment they enter the store to the moment they leave.
Questions that you should ask yourself, from a customer's perspective are things like:
- Is my shop front inviting enough to want to make people come in and browse?
- Is product presentation clear and appealing?
- Are prices marked in a clear fashion?
- Are products placed strategically around the store?
These are just a few simple questions that should be asked when it comes to merchandising your store.
One of the important things to remember about merchandising is that retail trends change, so merchandising isn't a one off exercise. It's about moving with the times and creating a continuous appeal to your customers and audience. This might mean bringing in new product ranges, re-arranging your store, sending out seasonal messages in your shop windows. It's about staying on the pulse and ensuring that shoppers are made to want to visit your store and part with their hard earned money.
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