There’s no doubt about it; in today’s crowded market, it pays to put time and effort into the visual aspects of your products. Whether you’re a retailer competing against big-name players in national supermarkets or a local retailer with a full store at your disposal, when it comes to making sales, it’s often the first impressions that will secure your customers’ interest and, ultimately, their cash.
Today, we’re exploring a range of tactics that you use to help your high-margin products fly off the shelf.
It’s no secret that there’s an optimal place for products if you want them to be seen – and that’s at eye level. Naturally, customers will glance at the products appearing directly in front of them before looking above and below, which means it’s at this height that you should put your most valuable products, if you’re hoping to positively affect your bottom line.
If you’re an independent retailer looking to get in on this space, many supermarkets will charge you a premium for the privilege. However, if you’re a retailer looking to optimise your ‘planogram’, this is the standard formula for success:
- Top level: This is where most retailers will place smaller brands and luxury and gourmet options, which consumers may be willing to look that little bit harder to find
- Eye level: This is the ‘buy level’ – the space you should place products with the highest profit margins, or those that you’re actively promoting
- Eye level 2: If your target customer for a particular product is a child, you might consider a lower tier of shelving. At a lower height, children are more likely to see a product and, therefore, ask their parents to buy it for them
- Bottom level: If customers are looking for the cheapest option, it’s not unlikely they’ll look away from eye level to find it, scanning the price tag for each product individually. This is why it pays to stock budget brands on the bottom level of your shelving
Similarly, when marketing particular high-margin products on your website, you’d do well to make them as easily accessible as possible. Whether that’s through a special button on the top menu, a custom banner or a placement on your homepage’s image carousel, giving products prime placement on your website will encourage visitors to navigate to them.
Tactical price positioning
Your most profitable product might not be the one with the biggest price tag attached, which can make it difficult to find the perfect place for it on your store’s display shelving units. A savvy technique is the price comparison method, which positions costly items next to more affordable, profitable equivalents.
The goal here is not to increase the sales of the more expensive products, but to get customers into the money-saving mindset. By placing an expensive product next to a more reasonably priced alternative, customers will quickly deduce that the latter is a steal, therefore boosting sales. It’s a simple, tried and tested way to make products appear more cost-effective than they really are.
Bold but insightful branding
Though more applicable to individual brands than for multi-brand retailers, your product’s packaging can play a central role in whether a potential customer picks it up or not. Packaging is the first thing that you see as you walk down the supermarket aisle, and if yours doesn’t hit the mark, customers won’t hesitate to walk straight past. There are two ingredients to make the perfect piece of product packaging:
Clear, simple, honest copy is the cornerstone of successful packaging. Yes, sell your product, but don’t oversell your product to the point where first-time customers are let down when they come to use it – as this is a surefire way to ruin your chance of securing repeat custom. This can also help cut back on text ‘clutter’, which only serves to muddy your brand message.
Standing out from the crowd is no mean feat when you’re on a packed shelf sat beside brands looking to do the same thing. Market research is essential at this stage, providing the competitor reconnaissance you need to put your product above the rest. Defying the norm in your niche can be highly beneficial if you take the right approach. Embracing a minimalist style, for example, could set your product apart from competitors if their styles are somewhat cluttered.
A product’s packaging colour palette will often be dictated by a brand’s house style, but there are certain hues that have an innate psychological effect on humans. Reds, for example, create a sense of urgency that can compel people to buy, which is something many heavyweights have used to their advantage – think McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Virgin and Ferrari. Each shade has a particular connotation, so consider the message you’re trying to convey carefully and pick a roster of shades to match.
Since the dawn of retail, store owners have experimented with the different ways they can capitalise on consumer psychology and behaviour. Fortunately, today, these have led to well-known discoveries that can be employed by any kind of retailer – from local corner stores to iconic high-street brands. Ultimately, though, each product is different, which means your approach should be bespoke, depending on what you’re selling and to who.
Implement our recommendations, then tweak and refine on an ongoing basis, for best results.
Simon Mitchell has run successful companies in Europe and the US that are focused on delivering exceptional value to clients – while Action Storage offers a diverse range of storage products, along with the technical expertise to help clients’ businesses operate more efficiently. In Simon’s words, that’s a rewarding place to be.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.