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://www.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://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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Preparing Your Retail Store for the Holidays

8085629858_be68d12232_zWith the holidays right around the corner, there’s no better time than now to prepare for the “retail rush.” According to Wikipedia, U.S. shoppers spend more than $600 billion during this time of year, which translates into roughly $767 per consumer. So if you’re looking to capitalize on this trend, you should follow the tips outlined below.

Hire Additional Staff

Don’t underestimate the increase of foot traffic that your retail store will receive during the holidays. The months of November and December yield the greatest amount of shoppers for retail businesses, which is why it’s recommended that you hire additional staff. More employees means faster checkout times and greater customer satisfaction. Furthermore, it will help to reduce the risk of injury, as staff members will have an easier time controlling large crowds.

Stock Up on Inventory

Retailers should also stock up on inventory to prepare for the holiday rush. If there’s a strong demand for a particular product, go ahead and order a surplus of it. Waiting until you run out the product to place another order will end up costing you sales — lots of sales during the holidays. To prevent headaches such as this from occurring in your store, stock up on popular products for the holidays.

Consider Changing Your Store Hours

Another tactic that can help maximize holiday sales is to change your store hours. Perhaps you can open a few hours earlier and close a few hours later. Those extra hours can yield additional sales, so long as you have the staff and resources necessary for the change.

Create Attractive Product Displays

Of course, the right product displays will go a long ways in boosting your store’s holiday sales. If your store sells footwear, for instance, consider using shoe risers to present them in a more attractive manner. Whether it’s acrylic or metal, shoe risers offer a simple yet effective way to display shoes. The shoes are elevated on a platform-like riser, increasing their visibility for shoppers.

Offer Special Deals and Promotions

With tens of thousands of retailers vying for consumers’ business during the holidays, it’s paramount that retailers offer special deals and promotions. It’s not uncommon for retailers to offer 50% off more or more during this time of year. Other incentives to attract customers may include buy-one-get-one-free offers, store credit vouchers towards future purchases, free giveaways, and more.

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

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Cross-Merchandising Tips For Retail Stores and Businesses

5930055189_d884c9e173_zIf you aren’t cross merchandising different products in your retail store, you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to boost your sales/revenue. Cross merchandising refers to the practice of displaying two more groups or types of products together. Instead of displaying a single dress on a mannequin, for instance, an apparel store could display a dress, high-heeled shoes, jewelry, handbags, and other related accessories.

Cross merchandising products can be grouped based on a wide range of criteria. Some store owners group their products based on the demographic of the respective target audience, while others group their products based on interest. An example of grouping products together based on interest would be a retail store placing DVD movies and popcorn together. Since so many people enjoy popcorn while watching movies, this form of cross merchandising would prove highly effective at attracting sales.

There are a number of reasons why retail store owners should cross merchandise different products together, one of which is its ability to trigger impulse purchases. A shopper may visit the store with the intention of buying a single garment. Upon seeing other items grouped with it, however, he or she may choose to buy several products. So even if the shopper didn’t intend to purchase the second item, the cross-merchandising display may entice him or her to make the purchase.

Tips For Effective Cross Merchandising:

  • Think about who’s going to buy the primary product and choose secondary products that appeal to this demographic.
  • An effective cross-merchandising display should follow some level of cohesion (e.g. don’t display swimwear with outerwear).
  • If a particular cross-merchandising display isn’t working, change some of its elements to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Invest in store fixtures to properly display your cross-merchandised products. The right fixtures can make a world of difference in your store’s displays, drawing greater attention from shoppers.
  • Implement high-illumination lighting fixtures to draw more attention to your product displays. Track lighting, standing floor lamps, and overhead fixtures are just a few ideas to consider.
  • If a product is drawing near its expiration date, try cross merchandising it with other products to move it faster.
  • Use cross merchandising to promote a better shopping experience for your customers.

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

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