Landing a plum sale site inside a major store is a huge coup for an up-and-coming product. E-commerce is great in that you can draw customers to your product as they search for the particular item you sell, but much of what is sold in retail stores today is considered an impulse purchase; that is, the customer came in for something else but picked up other items because of their displays or other attractive features. This is how you can sell a new model of onion slicer to somebody who came for a jug of milk, and that’s tough to do online.

So making a foray into a brick-and-mortar store can reap huge rewards for your business. But a big part of what you must decide is how to get your goods displayed in the best possible way inside the store. Consider these points as you begin to negotiate your lane on the revenue highway.

You’re Not The Only Game In Town

Your display has to shine. It would help if it can sing and dance, too. That’s especially true when your product is a bit on the esoteric side and has a very specific niche market in mind; after all, people have to know your product exists before they can develop an interest in buying it. But even when it’s an item we all need–whether it’s socks or copier paper–there’s still the battle of setting your product apart from countless competitors. Shelf after shelf of similar-looking socks invite quick decisions from customers, usually in favor of the most accessible products. When your product is in the aisle on a corrugated box display, you’ve intercepted the sale before competitors in the aisle even get a look.

Customers Will Wreck Your Merchandise!

To put it nicely, people like to browse through items in a store. To be a bit more blunt, they pick up, squeeze, shake, smell, open, and drop just about anything in the place. Your goods will not be immune, so you need to plan for your display to be rugged in addition to being visually striking and enticing to customers. All that enticement will bring their hands, eyes, and noses to your product. And keep in mind that…

The Store Will Only Do So Much To Maintain Your Display

Even a small retail store has an unbelievable number of items on the shelves, on racks, in coolers, and on pallets. These items come from dozens of vendors and feature a huge array of display formats. Customers who select your item then change their minds elsewhere in the store will put your product down in another department, leaving it to be re-stocked by store personnel who have many other tasks to address. The more distinctive your display is, the better your chance of seeing those abandoned goods put back in the right place.

Not All Shelves Are Created Equal

Getting a store to carry your merchandise is only part of the battle. Even after the dollars and cents and quantities are settled, you still need to establish details like your shelf placement.

And the same shelves are not prime real estate for every product. If you’re selling an item that will appeal to kids, it needs to be at their eye level, not Mom and Dad’s. When your product is seasonal, such as tax software or holiday items, you want to be out in the aisle with appropriate markings. So as you negotiate your location with store management, keep in mind that what’s top-dollar for somebody else’s goods won’t necessarily be optimum for yours.

There’s also the matter of sales complements. If you are selling windshield wipers, you’ll want to be near the other automotive items. Innovative new headphones should be near the mp3 players and CD’s. You get the idea. You will sell more of your goods when they are positioned near related goods, even if you’re not the one selling those.

Too many startups overlook decisions like displays types and locations. But remember that the way you sell your product is equally important to the way you make your product. A quality display of a quality product is a successful combination every time.

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