Despite being told you can’t judge a book by its cover, books are chosen based on the cover art by millions of readers every day. While hopefully most will also read the back, look at the author, or skim a couple pages before making the ultimate decision to purchase, it is the cover that made them garner enough interest to pick up the book to begin with to take those next steps. The actual meaning of the saying holds true- the quality of the writing and whether you like or agree with the book cannot be judged from the cover, but the process of the purchase and reading begins with a judgment call on the cover and title.
This concept should be remembered by all retail businesses when considering how to display their wares for sale. With the right highlighted words and good visual graphics you can influence what items your customers pick up to give greater consideration and directly impact the purchase rate of these items. Judicious use of this fact will give any business a clear strategy for improving the turn rate of problem merchandise as well as increasing the average item count per transaction. With these two key performance areas on the line (see YouTube), it is worth some time and effort to learn to maximize use of displays.
Inside the Mind of a Customer
Every customer that enters your business has a purpose in mind. It may be to purchase a specific item or set of items. It could well be it is simply to look at or look for something for future consideration. While it is impossible to know which purpose a customer has when they walk in, there are steps the business can take to influence both situations into a profitable or more profitable interaction. Since it is virtually impossible (and would not be well received most often) to have an associate follow every customer from aisle to aisle giving advice and information on each item for sale, the best means of communicating to that customer is in the way you display the merchandise.
The use of planned and strategized displays allows for you to not only influence the customer into a purchase, but it will also allow you to influence which items are chosen. This how you can effectively move stagnant merchandise without costly discounts or add high margin items and extras in item counts on your sales receipts. Print display units can be tailored to influence your customers buying decisions to meet your needs as a business.
Talking to the Customer Type to Increase Sales
The specific needs customer has come into your store to purchase a specific item or set of items. They will typically proceed directly to that area, make their selection, and leave. While on face value this seems like a perfect customer, in reality it is an area that must be capitalized on to maintain a profitable business. You have 2 major hurdles beat already- they are in your store and they intend to spend money. The issue is often they are there because of a sale on the specific item meaning a reduced margin on the transaction. Use of print displays that emphasize value, quality, or trendiness of similar items to the ones featured as on sale will give the opportunity for you influence their purchase decision from a heavily discounted item to a higher margin item.
A customer that is just looking and has no real intent to purchase is a lost opportunity if you do not find a way to change that state of mind into one that sees a reason to purchase now. While the display advertising used on the specifics needs customer may give a small chance of success, a much better conversion ratio can be achieved by sending a different message. These shoppers are best motivated by placing quantity or time motivators into the sales message as shown in the Forbes article. Things like “unadvertised special this week only” or “special shipment” tell the customer the best time is now and allow the customer to reward themselves for the time spent looking in your store. This is a perfect way to push slow moving merchandise that has few specific customers looking for it or to sell large quantities of high margin merchandise. Since these customers have not been comparison shopping for the item, cost is less of a factor in their decision making than the belief it is a special opportunity.