Retail Trends to Watch in 2016

happy-new-year-622149_960_720w2With the beginning of a new year right around the corner, there’s no better time than now for retailers to plan their strategy for 2016. Retail is a dynamic, ever-changing industry in which new trends emerge on a regular basis. So, what kind of retail trends can you expect to see in 2016?

iBeacon

Many retailers already use Apple’s iBeacon technology, but it will likely become even more commonplace in 2016 and going forward. In case this is your first time hearing about it, let me explain: iBeacon consists of Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) devices that are capable of sending digital messages to nearby shoppers. If a shopper approaches the footwear section of a department store, for instance, iBeacon can automatically send a 10-20% off shoes coupon to his or her smartphone.

More Mobile Sales

Of course, mobile online sales is also expected to increase next year. Last year, U.S. consumers spent roughly $56.67 billion in mobile purchases. Experts predict this number will rise to $74.93 billion by the end of the year. And in 2016, U.S. consumers are predicted to spend $96.22 billion in mobile purchases. Retailers should embrace this trend by ensuring their online stores are compatible on both desktops and mobile devices; otherwise, they’ll be losing a significant chunk of sales.

Multi-Sensory Shopping Experience

Retailers are now implementing techniques to stimulate shoppers’ senses. Aside from visual stimulation, they may also include soothing, relaxing music to make shoppers feel more comfortable, as well as certain scents. Auto dealers have long used scents to increase sales, spraying special chemicals inside cars that create the characteristic new car smell. It appears now that retailers are following in their footsteps, using a similar strategy in which scented fragrances are released into the air.

Personalized Service

Last but not least, you can expect to see more personalized service in retail stores and shops. In other words, retailers are differentiating themselves by providing an exceptional level of customer service that’s tailored towards the shopper. This may include recognizing and acknowledging regular shoppers by name, as well as offering recommendations on apparel or products based on the shopper’s style. Offering personalized service such as this promotes a positive shopping experience.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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Product Placement Tips for Retailers

Healthy groceriesAs a retailer, you only have so much space in which to display products, and it’s important that you utilize that space in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Randomly tossing products on the shelves without any sense of cohesion or order is a recipe for disaster. Sure, some customers may purchase the products, but it’s not going to maximize your sales. If you’re struggling with product placement in your store, here are some tips to help.

Consider Shoppers’ Eye Level

When planning the placement of products within your store, consider how the shoppers’ perspective. If shoppers are forced to look down to see the product, there’s a good chance that many will pass right by without ever noticing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should avoid placing products on the bottom shelves, but rather use this area to store large, conventional products while using eye-level shelves for other products.

Elevate Products

Try raising your “displayed” products just a little higher so they are easier for shoppers to see. If you operate a retail clothing boutique, for instance, perhaps you can use should shoe risers to display footwear. Shoe risers live up their namesake by “raising” shoes a couple inches higher, allowing shoppers to see exactly what they look like. Of course, there are other solutions available for other products, so don’t feel restricted to only using shoe risers.

Rotate Products

It’s essential that retailers rotate products through different displays and placement areas within their store. Even if you have a winning formula, chances are there’s room for improvement. Moving one product to a new location or shelf, for instance, could yield more sales. But the only way you’ll know whether or not a new placement works is by testing it for yourself, so be sure to rotate products in different placement areas on a regular basis, testing to see what works and what doesn’t.

Seek Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help with your store’s product placement. Many manufacturers and distributors will gladly send a representative to assist in setting up their product. Some may even offer props or accessories to further draw attention to their products. After all, it’s in their best interest to help you sell as many products as possible.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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How to Motivate Your Sales Team

4285523308_9b4f8fbfc2_zMotivation (or lack thereof) will directly impact a retail store’s sales. When a store’s sales team isn’t motivated, they aren’t going to sell many products. On the other hand, a highly motivated team of salespersons will place your business on autopilot, converting all of those “window shoppers” into paying customers. So, what steps can you take to motivate your sales team?

Use an Employee Appreciation Program

Among the easiest and most effective ways to motivate a sales team is to implement an employee appreciation program. A State of Employee Recognition report published by Deloitte found that nearly 3 in 4 businesses operating in the United States have some type of employee appreciation program in place. This can be something as simple as an employee-of-the-month program, in which you recognize a single employee for his or her hard work and dedication each month. The worker named employee-of-the-month will set an example for other sales persons to follow, making this is a simple yet highly effective form of motivation.

Offer Performance Incentives Based on Sales

Of course, another way to motivate your sales team is to offer incentives based on sales. For instance, you can reward sales persons who sell X amounts of units within a month or fiscal period with either a cash bonus. The allure of receiving a monetary bonus is often enough to motivate a sales person to push the product. If you want to go one step further, you can set up multiple “tiers” for performance incentives, such a $50 bonus for selling 100 units; a $100 bonus for selling 200 units; etc. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t have to limit yourself to strictly using monetary performance incentives. T-shirts, company-branded gear, and free dinner passes are all excellent alternatives.

Motivational Speakers

Why not hire a professional motivational speaker for your sales team? Motivational speakers are fully trained in the nuances of retail sales, speaking directly to salespersons in a way that encourages them to sell more product. A good motivational speaker will sit down with you to discuss your company’s goals and objectives. And using this information, he or she will prepare an engaging speech that motivates your sales team.

These are just a few simple ways to keep your sales team motivated.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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Are You Making these Mistakes with Your Window Display?

2969910832_4e4a2b4825_zA well-designed window display will have a positive impact on your store’s traffic, and subsequently, its sales. It will catch shoppers’ attention, encouraging them to walk into your store and check out the advertised product. However, the wrong window display will have the opposite effect by discouraging shoppers to enter your store.

It Doesn’t Connect with Your Target Audience

When designing a window display, consider your target audience and whether or not they can relate to the elements being displayed. If you operate a store that sells women’s apparel, for instance, you should stick with female mannequins in your window displays. On the other hand, if your store sells sporting goods products, you may want to use male mannequins that are dressed and positioned in sports poses. Following this simple rule will go a long ways in enhancing your window displays.

Too Much Blank Space

While there’s rule stating that you must use every available square inch of space in your store’s window display, leaving too much empty space creates a bland appearance that will ultimately hurt your efforts to attract new customers. If there’s open space in your window display, consider filling it with props or decorations. You don’t have to necessarily fill empty spaces with products, but rather include props to enhance the display and make it more attractive.

Inadequate Lighting

Don’t underestimate the importance of lighting in your window displays. Lighting will illuminate your display, enhancing the advertised products for a greater level of visibility. Rather than using just standard overhead lighting, however, you should consider using track lighting. With track lighting, you can adjust the fixtures to focus on specific products or elements of your display.

It’s Disorganized

A good window display should be clean and well-organized. If there’s random props and debris scattered throughout, it may have a negative impact on shoppers. Therefore, you should put forth the effort to clean and organize your window displays.

No Central Theme

Want to know the secret to designing an effective window display? It’s the theme. If you check out some of the window displays designed by the biggest national retailers, you’ll probably notice that they all have a central theme. Sometimes the theme is obvious, while other times its more subjective. Build your window display around a basic theme that reflects the advertised products for maximum effectiveness.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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