Successfully running any retail store can be challenging for most managers, and retail food stores aren’t an exception. Food retail is a highly competitive industry requiring consistent efforts and practical strategies to boost sales and facilitate customers.
The recommended method of running a successful food retail store lies in properly merchandising products. Merchandising is the art of presenting your products in an attractive and organized way to entice purchases and encourage further spending. All in all, merchandising plays an essential role in your retail business and, if done correctly, can yield lucrative results.
This article will look into ten tips to ensure successful merchandising.
Keep it straightforward
One thing to avoid at all costs is overwhelming customers by overcrowding an area with too many products, which can end up confusing and make them storm out of your shop out of frustration.
Keep your display simple and well-organized to prevent such situations from occurring. You can do so by keeping the same products in the same compartment, divided by their branding, instead of stacking them together. You can also put up informative signs to direct customers properly.
This way, customers can choose and find their favorite brands more accessible while having multiple options at a glance.
Understand the customers’ needs
The needs and preferences of your customers are central to effective merchandising, and you must understand them comprehensively. For example, when grocery shopping, customers will likely prefer putting their vegetables and other groceries into a tote bag. So, placing the best tote bags for grocery shopping near these products will create a compelling and convenient image for customers, enabling them to purchase hassle-free.
Additionally, determine what changes affect the customers’ demands differently by analyzing sales data so that you can adjust your displays and promotions accordingly. Knowing your customers is integral to a successful merchandising endeavor.
Sell your product fresh
Food products are known to expire much faster than processed or packaged items, so it is essential to keep fresh products on display. Stale merchandise can give the impression that your store seems to care only about making sales and emptying old inventory.
At the same time, selling expired goods can get you into trouble with the authorities. Ensure you rotate your stock regularly and remove expired products promptly to avoid such hassles and maintain a fresh impression, making customers more likely to complete purchases.
Visually appealing displays
Captivating displays are vital to successful merchandising. They can quickly grab customers’ attention, entice them to purchase the product, and even cue them to explore different parts of the store.
Using bold colors is also a proven strategy because colors are the number one influencing factor in purchases for almost 93% of people. Other than that, highlight products with the help of props and clever catchphrases, and ensure the lighting is top-notch. This way, you’ll be able to create visually-appealing displays for your products that customers find enticing.
Use themed displays
Grouping all your products by themes can also help your store look more organized and help customers conveniently locate products. Using dinner as an example, you can create a section for foods, ingredients, and beverages that people use for dinners together so your customers can have a one-stop for all their dinner-related purchases.
Similarly, you can create a section for snacks and add some famous chips, cookies, and drinks to that section. Remember to be creative when developing themes and remember your customers’ needs when merchandising.
Stick with the latest trend
Staying updated with the latest trends in pop culture or the online world and decorating your displays to fit accordingly is always a worthwhile idea. Don’t forget holidays and seasonal festivities like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or other events. Use these holidays and seasons to decorate your displays with attractive and fitting accessories.
Customers prefer changes every few months to keep things interesting during their menial grocery shopping. By remaining abreast of the latest trends, you can give them a sense of variety that will result in profitable sales.
Manage the traffic flow
One of the most fundamental requirements in retail business is to manage the flow of customers strategically; this means that your store must have signs that lead them to their desired products conveniently and satisfactorily.
Other than that, putting high-demand products towards the back of the store will ensure customers also explore other products as they approach the item. This way, you can display your inventory more effectively by strategically managing your store’s traffic flow.
Keep the store clean
It should go without saying, but retailers must keep their stores clean and well organized, especially when selling food commodities. Customers always prefer their food products to be clean and hygienic. You can do so by regularly cleaning your store before stocking the shelves.
Besides, a clean and organized store is essential for ensuring a positive shopping experience.
Another effective strategy for successfully merchandising your products is offering samples. Suppose you’re selling cookies; apart from creatively displaying them, you can provide customers with samples. This way, you will not only be attracting more customers but also ensuring higher sales.
Sampling is one of the best ways to secure buys, as people prefer to try items before purchasing them. According to a study, over 88% of customers prefer sample testing, so consider offering samples of new products that customers may hesitate to try.
Monitor your progress
Last but not least, keep track of your progress. Since merchandising is a continuous process, monitoring the results monthly or bi-monthly is crucial. You can do so through sales data analysis and customer feedback, allowing you to make changes to optimize your merchandising plan.
Be sure to avoid implementing strategies that don’t work and replicate the ones that yield positive outcomes. You can check for results by setting a specific date at regular intervals of a month or a week to track your progress effectively.
Successful merchandising is a critical part of any retail food business. You can leverage various strategies to ensure successful merchandising, including keeping the display simple, understanding customers’ needs, providing fresh products, using visually-appealing presentations, maintaining cleanliness, and monitoring the progress. Through successful merchandising, you can promote a positive shopping experience that drives lucrative sales and fosters high customer loyalty.